VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES October 4, 2000
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Robertson at 7:33pm)
ROLL CALL (7:33pm) Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson, and Manager Hickman. Attorney Robert Erhard was present to sit in for Law Director Hurst. Vice Mayor Wernet moved to excuse Councilmember Bellman; second by Councilmember Crais. Motion carried.
CITIZENS’ COMMENTS (opened by Mayor Robertson at 7:35pm) Mayor Robertson welcomed the members of Boy Scout Troop 51.
Bike Path Arie Janssens, 764 Newark Granville Road. Noted that the crossing at West Broadway is badly in need of yellow paint. [Manager Hickman stated that though that crossing is probably on township land, he will work on it.] Mr. Janssens asked if the path could be plowed in the winter. [Manager Hickman said the Village is investigating a rolling-brush attachment for a small tractor but cautioned that any work on the bike path would have to wait until other plowing is accomplished.]
Susan Murr, 279 Potters Lane. Thanked Manager Hickman for removing trash behind the township land east of the cemetery and asked for a trash receptacle somewhere along the path behind Wildwood Park. [Manager Hickman said he would see that one was placed within the Village limits.]
Sugar Loaf Ben Barton, speaking for the Sugar Loaf Park Foundation. Reported the park is in “deplorable condition,” with trees down across pathways, benches rolled down over the hill, poison ivy everywhere, and the kind of trash that indicated “hangout-type activities.” Reminded Council that, two years ago, the Village committed to taking a more proactive stance about the park’s maintenance and urged Council to take care of its property. [Councilmember Lucier stated that Council needs a planned approach to maintaining all our public property and suggested a comprehensive look at the issue.] Responding to a question from Mayor Robertson about the Foundation, Mr. Barton said he and Linda Sandin are the only two members at this time. [Mayor Robertson suggested that the management of Sugar Loaf might parallel that of Fanchion Lewis Park, with an advisory committee. Councilmember Moore asked Manager Hickman if anyone did regular maintenance in the parks; Manager Hickman responded that trash pick-up was the main Village activity. Councilmember Crais suggested an “urban forester” position, with someone assigned to look at greenspaces in a coordinated way. There was general consensus that this is also a coordination issue—a problem with no niche and therefore no committee assigned to oversee it. Mayor Robertson asked Mr. Barton to prepare a list of the problems and give it to Manager Hickman. Council, meanwhile, will direct one of the standing committees (e.g., Streets and Sidewalks or Tree and Landscape) to take up the matter. Vice Mayor Wernet added that we need a long- term focus as well and suggested the two named committees have a joint meeting; Councilmember Moore suggested adding Parks and Recreation. Councilmember McGowan, recalling that the Village had done some work on Sugar Loaf after Mr. Barton’s last appearance at a Council meeting, asked Manager Hickman if some preliminary work could be done now. Manager Hickman said he and Mr. Barton would work together to do what they can before leaf pick-up season starts. He also asked Mr. Barton to make more regular reports of the park’s condition rather than waiting until the situation is so serious. Several Councilmembers asked if the police made, or could make, regular visits to the park. Manager Hickman reported that they do so with Wildwood and Fanchion Lewis; he will check on the status of Sugar Loaf. Councilmember Moore stated that Village parkland should be treated like Village streets and sidewalks, with regularly scheduled maintenance procedures. The Village has relied on volunteer help for much of this in the past, but needs to coordinate the efforts better and be more diligent about finding out what the needs are.] Boy Scouts Darryl Dickerson, Scoutmaster of Troop 51. Informed Council that the scouts, as part of their rank requirements, they must complete service projects. He suggested that Council communicate any needs for help with such projects (e.g., Sugar Loaf) to Steve Hoar, the District Representative of the Licking District, so that every scout troop in the area would know.
Mayor Robertson closed Citizens’ Comments at 8:01pm
PUBLIC HEARINGS There were no public hearings.
NEW BUSINESS (8:01 pm) Cherry Valley Road/ODOT Review (Jerry Brems) [Background: The current ODOT study proposes widening S.R. 161 from New Albany to Granville into a 4- lane/divided/limited-access road, ending at southbound S.R. 37. While the proposal may be amended to include the River Road/S.R. 16 crossing, there are no current plans to include the Cherry Valley Road/S.R. 16 crossing.] Mr. Brems appeared to ask Council to add their endorsement to a request being submitted to ODOT to include Cherry Valley Road in the pending study. The County Commissioners, the cities of Newark and Heath, and the Granville Township Trustees have all already expressed their concern that the expected increase in traffic resulting from the widening would be a very serious problem at that intersection. Council was virtually unanimous in its insistence that any study of east-west routes would be seriously deficient unless it also included a simultaneous study of the interdependent north-south routes, since increased east- west traffic would only exacerbate the existing north-south problems. Mr. Brems indicated that he expected ODOT would fund the River Road study; if that happens, LCATS would be willing to transfer funds it had set aside for the River Road study to a study of north-south routes. If the River Road study is not funded by ODOT, for whatever reason, Council agreed that Cherry Valley Road should not be included at the expense of River Road. Vice Mayor Wernet challenged Mr. Brems' recollection of what had transpired during his previous discussions with Council on this issue about four years ago, and asked why Council should have any confidence in ODOT and/or LCATS doing what they said they would do. Councilmember Moore asked what information would be produced by the study. Mr. Brems responded that the study would look at traffic volumes, origins and destinations, delays at intersection, projected traffic volumes over a 20-year period, alternative interchange locations, environmental concerns, cultural issues, and public input. Councilmember Moore stated it was “incredulous’ that ODOT wouldn’t include Cherry Valley Road without prompting. Councilmember Crais reiterated Vice Mayor Wernet’s concern that the north-south issue consistently fails to enter into the public discourse. Studies, even though they may be frustrating, have a way of profoundly shaping what comes out in the end and the fears are that this study will lead to an interchange at Cherry Valley Road while having failed to address the north-south issue. Councilmember Crais said he felt it was “quite wise” to refuse the extension of the currently proposed study until people have a clear and concrete solution to the north-south problems (“If we do otherwise, we risk exacerbating the situation.”) Mr. Brems noted that there is no guarantee that funding will follow the study but nothing can happen unless we take the first step; not addressing the Cherry Valley intersection now would be a terrible mistake. Mayor Robertson asked if the entities that had already signed on to this proposal had put any conditions on their support. Mr. Brems replied that they had: they would not let the project go forward if Cherry Valley Road were not included. Vice Mayor Wernet asked if Mr. Brems and the others would take the same stand re the north-south element. Mr. Brems asked if Vice Mayor Wernet meant tying construction dollars to the project. Vice Mayor Wernet said, no, he meant would the group refuse to facilitate more traffic coming in without creating a way for it to go north-south. Mr. Brems' answer was non-responsive in that he said he could not make such a commitment, that anything north-south would not be a state route and therefore not eligible for dollars, and that he could not speak for the County or Newark or Heath on this issue without their agreement. Councilmember Moore asked Mr. Brems why he was just now coming to Council. He responded that he had tried a week or so ago to contact the Village and noted that the letters he had distributed to Council at this meeting (dated in August) had been done independent of meeting with any other entities or communities. Councilmember Lucier asked Mr. Brems how much LCATS even needed Council’s support and whether affected rights-of-way around the Cherry Valley Road intersection were even in the Village. Mr. Brems responded that only the north-side rights-of-way were in the Village and that, in all reality, LCATS didn’t need Council’s support at all; they would just like to be “neighborly and together on this issue with other communities.” Councilmember Moore re-emphasized the strong tie between how a study is conducted and what projects we end up with, stated that it’s therefore vital that Council be involved, and asked Mr. Brems just how involved we could be. Mr. Brems stated the Village could be as involved as any other political entity; it was simply a matter of having names put on ODOT’s mailing list to be notified of meetings, etc. He also said he could Manager Hickman’s name on the LCATS list so he would be notified of LCATS staff meetings with contractors. Vice Mayor Wernet asked about the total dollar amount of the study. Mr. Brems responded that the environmental study to date has spent $3 million; ODOT has asked for another $1 million to study the area from S.R. 310 to Granville. There will be a new right-of- way from the Franklin County line to S.R. 310; they have yet to decide on the right-of-way east of S.R. 310. The overall budget for the project is $157 million. He stated that he was “pretty confident “that LCATS will insist on including River Road, then added they won’t sacrifice one for the other (i.e., both River Road and Cherry Valley Road must be included). Vice Mayor Wernet asked if $75,000 would be enough for both studie; Mr. Brems said it would cover both feasibility studies. He also said that LCATS has already okayed another $10-15,000 “if that’s what it takes.” Councilmember Crais asked if 2% of the $4 million earmarked for the environmental study of S.R. 16 could be dedicated to the north-south issue. Mr. Brems said not, given that the north-south route is a “different level of study” with a different funding source. Councilmember Crais asked if there was any ODOT interest in including the north- south issue in this study. Mr. Brems said there was none at this time. Councilmember Moore asked if the 4-lane highway was a “done deal” irrespective of what the study says. Mr. Brems said it was, from the Franklin County line to S.R. 310. He then asked for an indication of Council’s level of support. Councilmember Lucier asked if Council LCATS would make a separate commitment to do the north-south study. Mr. Brems said he would put an item to appropriate the funds on the next LCATS agenda and assured Council that, if the LCATS vote supporting the north-south study isn’t unanimous, he will not report Granville as being supportive of the inclusion of Cherry Valley Road in the study. Manager Hickman will attend the LCATS meeting tomorrow and will report back to Council.
(8:47pm) Ordinance No. 20-00, An Ordinance To Amend Ordinance No. 43-99 Providing For Adjustments Of The Annual Budget For The Fiscal Year 2000 And Revising Sums For Operating Expenses, was introduced by title only by Councilmember Lucier. Second by Councilmember Crais. A hearing was set for October 18.
(8:48pm) Resolution No. 00-34, A Resolution To Authorize The Village Manager To Advertise For Bids For Crosswalk/Speed Table Improvements On South Main Street, was introduced and read in full by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Crais. [Discussion: Councilmember Lucier asked for clarification of which crosswalks were included. Manager Hickman noted it was just the just bike pathway and said the crosswalk had been redesigned to include a catch basin to avoid ice pooling. Council reviewed the plans with Manager Hickman.] A voice vote on Resolution 00-34 yielded six (6) ayes. Resolution 00-34 is carried.
(8:53pm) Resolution No. 00-37, A Resolution To Authorize The Village Manager To Advertise For Bids For Cedar Street Sidewalk Improvements, was introduced and read in full by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Crais. [Discussion: Council reviewed the plans with Manager Hickman.] A voice vote on Resolution 00-34 yielded six (6) ayes. Resolution 00-37 is carried.
(9:00pm) Resolution No. 00-38, A Resolution Of Appreciation To Bernie Lukco For His Dedicated Service To The Granville Planning Commission, was introduced and read in full by Councilmember Lucier. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. A voice vote on Resolution 00-34 yielded six (6) ayes. Resolution 00-38 is carried.
OLD BUSINESS (9:02) 2001 Salary/Wage Discussion After much discussion, it was apparent that five of the six council members present remained unwilling to move forward on this issue. Councilmember Crais summarized by saying that the way Council has deal with salaries over the years is “all over the place” – different increases, no increases, flat increases, and the like – and the entire process needs to be examined. Mayor Robertson stated that, rather than concentrating on the details of the “step” system now in place, Council’s first priority ought to be agreeing on a philosophical premise (i.e., what pay, and pay raises, represent). Another important issue – to determine what part pay and morale play in why we seem to be losing so many employees – will have to dealt with in the long run since it cannot be addressed fully before the November deadline for salary determinations. Councilmember Moore added that the new census might well move Granville to a “city” classification, meaning we would be subject to collective bargaining and should therefore be both conservative and cautious with our salary scale. Additional discussion on details led to the conclusion that more information was needed on market comparisons for our jobs as well as health-insurance premium increases. Manager Hickman said he could produce this information for the next meeting. Councilmember Crais asked if Manager Hickman would do a prose draft of Councilmember McGowan’s salary proposal, as well as a prose proposal for timing, action, percentage increases, etc. Mayor Robertson asked that the issue be the first agenda item at the next meeting.
REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES (10:00pm) The minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of September 20, 2000, were presented for review. The following amendment was requested by Council-member Moore: Page 2, Personnel Committee - rephrase the third sentence to read, “Attachment C showed a revised scale, eliminating Step A of the 2000 salary schedule as the lowest level of the scale and creating a new column for the highest level, 4% above the previous high.” Councilmember Crais moved to approved the minutes as amended; second by Vice Mayor Wernet. Motion passed.
COMMITTEE REPORTS (10:07pm) Economic Development Committee (Councilmembers Crais and Moore; Mayor Robertson). The committee continues to move toward the completion of the brochure to assist prospective businesses. Norm Kennedy, representing the Township Trustees, joined the meeting and the Committee indicated interest in enlarging its membership to include on a regular basis any Township Trustees who wished to attend. The Committee also initiated work on exploring the formation of an economic council. Councilmember Crais will draw up a proposal for their next scheduled meeting.
Finance Committee (Councilmember Moore). Has not met since the last Council meeting. Newark-Granville Joint Committee (Councilmember Bellman, Mayor Robertson). Has not met since the last Council meeting.
Personnel Committee (Councilmember McGowan). No report.
Planning Commission (Councilmember Lucier). No report. [NOTE: Mr. Erhard reported that the Planning Commission had approved a request to erect a temporary structure (i.e., a modular unit), per the covenants, to use as an off-road construction/sales office to keep cars from parking along the sides of Granville road. Mr. Erhard feels the definition of “structure” needs to be more adequately addressed in the zoning code itself. It is now defined as something permanently attached, or something attached to something that is permanently attached – a definition that means trailers may not be regulated at all. This usage (as a preview center, rather than the permitted construction shed) pushes the envelope. Vice Mayor Wernet: asked Mr. Erhard to draft a solution to meet these concerns. Mr. Erhard said he would try to find out what other communities have done and make some recommendations.
Rec Commission (Councilmember McGowan). The fall brochures are out and are very nicely done. The Commission is considering a possible user fee for Union Township residents. The Kiwanis Club will install a flagpole at Raccoon Park to facilitate playing the national anthem before sporting events. The skateboard park will be used again for July 4th fireworks. Finally, survey results will be available in the near future.
Street Light Committee (Councilmember McGowan). The lights have arrived and are being installed.
Streets & Sidewalks Committee (Councilmembers Bellman, Crais; Vice Mayor Wernet). Met with Seth Patton about Denison’s desire to reduce traffic on Burg Street by keeping campus traffic on the campus. The plan would require moving Burg Street slightly to the west. The Denison parking spots would be eliminated, leaving a slightly reduced number of municipal spots. The Committee asked Mr. Patton to come to a Council meeting present the general concepts. The consensus of the Committee was that, even though details remain to be worked out, this could well make good sense. The Committee also talked about the general tidiness of downtown. For example, they suggested better coordination on work in the Broadway Boulevard area (e.g., taking trees out and replacing them in the same general time frame). Tree and Landscape Committee (Councilmember Moore) No report. Manager Hickman noted that the tree planting on South Main Street will begin shortly. Twelve trees will also be planted in the Broadway Boulevard.
Union Cemetery Board (Councilmember Lucier). Plans are under way to meet with the property owners disputing boundary lines on the east side of the cemetery.
OTHER (10:32pm) Mayor Robertson: · Asked for a proclamation to formally thank the BluesFest organizers. · Reminded Council of the need to schedule a planning meeting for priority-setting. · Invited council members to attend the October 20th public meeting of the Newark-Granville Joint Committee when Jay Hottinger and David Evans will be present. · Reported on her meeting with Manager Hickman, and Phil Watts about the truck scales. The terms Mr. Watts would require for use of his scales are not acceptable (i.e., too restrictive and not legal); the Village will now move on to install our own scales. · Sent the request from the woman in Kirkersville re holiday decorations to the Denison Community Association to see if students want to take it on as a project. · Asked for volunteer(s) to hand out candy at the Village office on Beggars Night. · Asked for a volunteer representative to the Farmland Preservation Task force. Councilmember Crais recommended Kitty Consolo; Manager Hickman will meet with her. · Asked if there had been any response to attempts to set up a meeting with the Township Trustees; Manager Hickman said there had not. Mayor Robertson will give Manager Hickman a copy of the proposed agenda she gave to Jim Havens. · Reported that Chief Cartnal had done an excellent job in meeting with members of the Denison community about substance-abuse problems on campus that spill over into the village. There have been few-to-no incidents this year. Members of Denison psychology and sociology classes are signing up to ride with officers in the cruisers. · Asked Manager Hickman to communicate with Marion Dunham in regard to her letter about the Pearl-College intersection. · Asked that the lights on the elementary school be shielded. · Asked about a resolution of agreement to Manager Hickman’s continued employment. Mr. Erhard will have a draft employment agreement ready for review at the next meeting.
Councilmember Crais: Expressed concern about the skateboard park - vandals’ activity, possible drug activity, and safety issues.
Vice Mayor Wernet: Asked if the leaf pick-up schedule could be restructured so that entire quadrants of town aren’t restricted at the same time. Manager Hickman will talk it over with the crews.
MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS Next Village Council meeting – October 18, 2000
ADJOURNMENT Councilmember Crais made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:55pm. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. Meeting adjourned.