VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES September 19, 2001
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Robertson at 7:32pm)
MOMENT OF SILENCE
ROLL CALL (7:33pm) Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Crais, Lucier, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson; Manager Hickman, Law Director Crites. Vice Mayor Wernet moved to excuse Councilmembers Bellman and McGowan; second by Councilmember Crais. Motion carried. [Councilmember Bellman arrived at 7:36pm.] CITIZENS’ COMMENTS (opened by Mayor Robertson at 7:35pm) All Topics (none)
Seniors in Granville (7:35pm) Kristen Thomas presented the results of her work as an intern for the Village, detailing services currently available and raising issues to be considered. Sinnett House, which has a paid director, offers luncheons, trips, parties, discussion groups, interest classes, etc. The Methodist Church has served as a Meals-on-Wheels center for 31 years; it currently provides a hot meal/bag lunch to approximately 20 seniors.
The Licking County Aging Program serves 116 seniors in Granville Township and 111 in the Village. They also do Meals-on-Wheels and provide activities for those who are mobile. The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAA) serves as an advocate for seniors, identifying their needs, creating plans, administering funds, and offering classes and sessions. Catholic Social Services provides a volunteer escort service which is free to all seniors; arrangements must be made ahead of time. Land of Legend Transit runs a bus on Wednesdays between Newark and various points in the County; cost is $1.50 one-way, with no advance arrangements required. Ms. Thomas emphasized that transportation, especially for doctors’ visits and prescription pick-ups, is a huge issue.
Funding for meals, home-health, transportation, etc. is available through the Older Americans Act (OAA), legislation designed to ensure that seniors will have access to needed services. (Granville is eligible for these funds but must apply.) Funding also comes from the Licking County Senior Levy.
Ms. Thomas also described Green Thumb (an OAA program), through which seniors (55 and older) may work up to 23 hours a week, with a cap on pay, at jobs for which their skills are a match (maintenance work, visiting other seniors, driving, etc.).
Re housing, Ms. Thomas noted that seniors who cannot afford Kendal, who can no longer care for themselves, or who have no family to assist them must usually leave Granville. A residential state subsidy program might help us make affordable housing and/or assisted-living options available. COAA is a good source of information for these options, as is HUD. In addition, homebound seniors can become isolated from family, friends, and the outside world in general. They are less mobile and might have a loss of sight or hearing that adds to their isolation. They have constant money worries due to living on a fixed income while taxes, medical expenses, and the general cost of living continue to increase.
Volunteers from the Granville area—community members, Denison students, church members, school projects, and seniors themselves—could be a huge help with issues such as home maintenance/chores, transportation, and home visits. The Village (perhaps using a paid person who understands seniors’ issues) could maintain a list and a central phone number.
Ms. Thomas reported that seniors themselves, via a survey, identified four major concerns: transportation, maintenance work at their homes, the high taxes and high cost-of- living, and their reluctance to have to ask for help. She then profiled four seniors facing these issues—Ted Preston, Rose Muir, Buck Sargent, and Dora Sargent—adding that, with more interest and awareness, we can help make seniors in Granville increasingly satisfied with their life here.
Dave Bibler, director of LCAA, reported that his agency serves approximately 5,000 people, aged 60 and over, in Licking County—almost a quarter of the population of the county. LCAA is not as active in Granville as elsewhere in the county because Granville has some programs already in place. LCAA supplements what Sinnett House does and does some home care and transportation. Mr. Bibler seconded Ms. Thomas’s assertion that seniors are reluctant to ask for help—so reluctant that many seniors in the county, including some in the Granville community, are living in poverty. LCAA is the chief provider of senior services in the county; the major portion of their funding comes from the County Senior Services Levy, augmented by OAA funds. Their services are provided at no charge (except for a sliding scale for lawn-mowing), though they do accept donations. LCAA will start providing meals at Sinnett House on a trial basis, then evaluate the service; seven “customers” a day, on average, are required for the service to continue. The meals are produced at the senior center in Newark and the delivery van will also pick up seniors and transport them to meal-service locations at the same time they deliver meals. As for home-maintenance work, LCAA has a crew of three men who mow, rake, shovel, and do heavy cleaning for seniors in Licking County, on a first- come, first-served basis, based on need; LEADS takes care of building wheelchair ramps. Mr. Bibler noted that the Mayor and members of Council will be invited to the LCAA four-year planning meeting on October 11th.
Becky Shafer, director of Sinnett House, spoke about program offerings: formal groups throughout the week, blood- pressure checks, a couple of day-trips each month, and motor-coach trips once a year. She noted that Sinnett House receives $8,000 a year from the Senior Citizen Levy, as well as monies from the Rec Commission, the Granville Foundation, and the Village. The Library’s “contribution” is charging reasonable rent. Sinnett House does not exclude anyone in Licking County. They mail 245 newsletters each month and usually have 65-70 people at the monthly fellowship luncheon. She concluded by saying the seniors are “heartsick” about having to vacate Sinnett House. They have been feeling they’re not important to the community and they need a voice, an opportunity to express their feelings.
Lisa Durham, director of outreach for COAA, said that Granville is part of an eight-county service area. COAA is a passthrough agency for funds received from OAA, then passed along to other agencies. COAA also coordinates Passport and Medicaid waiver programs (nursing-home diversion programs), allowing seniors—especially frail and high-risk seniors—to stay at home with a higher quality of life than might be available in a nursing home. There are 250-300 adults in Licking County on Passport now. COAA makes every effort to be proactive, offering free in-home assessments and an extensive community outreach program. They also have a community-education program, targeted to well elderly. In all, they reached over 10,000 people last year with these programs. They have also partnered with LCAA programs to support the caregivers in an effort to keep them from burning out.
Councilmember Crais asked what our local government could do that it’s not doing now. Trudy Knox, 168 Wildwood Drive, said we need a senior center, right in the middle of Granville, that is owned by the seniors so they don’t have to pay rent or worry about being evicted. She said a community like Granville could certainly combine donations, funding from the Village and the Township, and tax relief efforts to raise the money to do that. She also stated that moderate-cost housing is a big issue, with the average home now costing about $250,000. Transportation to the drug store and grocery store is a problem, too. Medication prices are high in Granville but it’s hard for seniors to get to Meijer, where the best prices are.
Dave Dix, chair of the Alexandria aging group, suggested there might be some interest in having the two communities share a facility that would address a wider area. He urged Council to expand their horizons and consider create some synergy with the “larger community.”
Betty Allen, 1683 Columbus Road, urged Council to step back and “talk, talk, talk” before making any decisions. Councilmember Bellman suggested that, in the short term, Council consider a person as recommended by Ms. Thomas. He agrees that we need to find a convenient time and place for an open forum with seniors. Councilmember Crais wondered if we couldn’t generate a list of senior properties/sidewalks that would be a high priority for snow removal, with the Village staff assisting as they are able. Mr. Bibler noted that shoveling might be a perfect project for aspiring Eagle Scouts. Mayor Robertson suggested we coordinate that list of needs with a list of volunteers. Councilmember Moore suggested we approach Green Thumb for a part-time person. Mayor Robertson formed a committee to look into these ideas and bring some concrete ideas to Council’s next meeting. Councilmembers Crais and Moore will work with her.
Mayor Robertson thanked Ms. Thomas for her efforts. She responded by saying that, since she lives in Granville, she would be happy to help out with meetings and/or consultations. She will come to the first meeting of the committee just formed and will provide a printed version of her earlier presentation.
Lewis Park Committee (8:39pm) Maxine Montgomery, 345 Shannon Lane; also present were committee members Mike Robertson and Laura Evans. Mrs. Montgomery reported that the committee had decided to use the 2001 balance in the park fund to establish a water well on the site and pursue underground electrical service. The concrete floor for the red barn is still on their list as well.
Mrs. Evans talked about their vision of how the park should be used—as a “low-key, down-to-earth sort of place”—given their current facilities (picnic areas, shelter-house, handicapped-accessible porta-john). There is still no facility for group gatherings and the committee wants to add the utilities to light the outside of the building at night, add inside lighting to the building, and perhaps add skylights or high windows that would allow light to enter the space without providing access. They see the revamped barn being useful for school groups, scouts, Rec Commission programs, musical events, 4H meetings, nature-study classes, etc. They intend to use plantings that will grow on their own, without a lot of tending. Mr. Robertson said they have no intention to expand the 10-space parking lot, preferring that schools buses drop their groups, then leave the park until it’s time to pick them up.
Councilmember Bellman suggested the committee consider installing a permanent restroom at some point. He also thought that it would be good to have an architect look review their ideas and the site to help frame and give continuity to the long-term plans.
Mayor Robertson closed Citizens’ Comments at 8:48pm.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (8:48pm) Ordinance No. 31-01, An Ordinance to Amend Ordinance No. 25- 00 Providing For Adjustments Of The Annual Budget For the Fiscal Year 2001 And Revising Sums For Operating Expenses. No one appeared to speak for or against Ordinance No. 31- 01. Mayor Robertson closed the public hearing at 8:48pm.
OLD BUSINESS (8:48pm) Ordinance No. 31-01, An Ordinance to Amend Ordinance No. 25- 00 Providing For Adjustments Of The Annual Budget For the Fiscal Year 2001 And Revising Sums For Operating Expenses, was re-introduced by Councilmember Crais. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet.
Discussion: Manager Hickman reported the construction crews had found an unmarked medium-pressure gas main on College Street, just east of the Granger Street intersection. Councilmember Crais moved to amend Section F-2-250 to reflect the actual cost of the new chipper ($25,072); second by Vice Mayor Wernet. Motion-to-amend carried. Councilmember Moore asked Manager Hickman to check on how much of the $14,476.98 paid to-date for Prosecutor services had been paid to the previous Law Director.
A Roll-Call Vote on Ordinance No. 31-01, as amended, yielded six (6) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Bellman, Crais, Lucier, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson. Ordinance No. 31-01 is adopted.
NEW BUSINESS ( 8:53pm) Resolution No. 01-56, A Resolution To Award The Bid For The Purchase Of A Brush Chipper, As Per Specifications, To Buckeye Power Sales Co., Inc. And To Authorize The Village Manager To Enter Into An Agreement Therefore, was introduced by Vice Mayor Wernet; second by Councilmember Bellman. Motion carried. Resolution No. 01-58, A Resolution Accepting The Amounts And Rates As Determined By The Budget Commission And Authorizing The Necessary Tax Levies And Certifying Them To The County Auditor, was introduced by Vice Mayor Wernet; second by Councilmember Crais. Councilmember Moore moved to amend the document by removing all the “Misters” and replacing them with the appropriate titles for each office. She also asked Manager Hickman to express Council’s dissatisfaction to the County Auditor with respect to the sexist wording of the resolution’s form. He will do so. Second by Councilmember Lucier. Motion-to-amend carried. Motion, as amended, carried.
Resolution No. 01-59, A Resolution To Authorize The Non- Permanent Installation Of A Sidewalk Café On The Public Sidewalk At 132 East Broadway In Front Of The Business Known As “Village Coffee Company”, Subject To Restrictions, was introduced by Councilmember Bellman. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet.
Discussion: Manager Hickman clarified that this is the same basic agreement as with Victoria’s Parlor. John Raymond, owner of the Village Coffee Company, clarified that there will be no wait-service for the outdoor tables. He asked for an adjustment to the stated time frame so he could set out movable tables and chairs (i.e., not concrete) as weather permits, regardless of what the calendar says. Council asked that the exterior area be no- smoking; Raymond agreed. He hopes to open October 1st. Councilmember Bellman moved to amend Section II as follows: “…property described herein until October 31, 2001 , within the discretion of the Village Staff and the owner as to date and time, but no later than the renewal of this resolution on or before March 2, 2002. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. Motion to amend carried. Motion, as amended, carried. [Council indicated that if Victoria’s Parlor wanted a similar time-frame, they would agree.] Ordinance No. 32-01, An Ordinance To Approve The Terms Of A Real Estate Purchase Contract Relating To The Proposed Purchase of 5.45 Acres On Columbus Road Known As The Watson Property And To Authorize The Village Manager To Execute Said Contract, was introduced by Councilmember Lucier. Second by Councilmember Crais. Mayor Robertson set the public hearing for October 3, 2001. OTHER (9:10pm) Ordinance No. 17-01, An Ordinance To Amend Chapter 1189 Of the Codified Ordinances Of Granville, Ohio, remains on the table. Manager Hickman will provide copies for next meeting.
REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES (9:11pm) Regularly Scheduled Meeting of September 5, 2001. The following additions and/or corrections were requested: 1) Mayor Robertson, p 5, “OTHER” – delete “Vice Mayor Wernet” from the list of those who attended the meeting. 2) Councilmember Moore, p 4, “Planning Commission” – change “… majority of members preferred the green-on-white white-on- green version.” Councilmember Moore moved to accept the minutes as corrected; second by Councilmember Lucier. Motion carried. MAYOR'S REPORT (9:14pm) The Mayor's Court Report for the month of August was presented for review. Vice Mayor Wernet moved to accept the report; second by Councilmember Crais. Motion carried. Mayor Robertson directed the report be filed with the Clerk. A copy of said report is attached as part of these minutes. MANAGER'S REPORT (9:14pm) The Manager's Report for the month of August was presented for review. Vice Mayor Wernet moved to accept the report; second by Councilmember Crais. Councilmember Lucier reminded Manager Hickman that she had asked the police department to document the number of school-related calls. Vice Mayor Wernet moved to table the report until the next meeting; second by Councilmember Crais. Motion-to-table carried. COMMITTEE REPORTS (9:16pm) Development Committee (Councilmember Crais). Councilmember Crais reported the Committee would meet the next day with Professor Dale Bertsch and some OSU graduate students—the first foray into a student project looking into ways of preserving and enhancing the economic vibrancy of Granville. At a separate public meeting yesterday, the committee discussed the issue (raised by Jerry Martin of Brew’s) of the “grossly inaccurate” census and its effect (s) on liquor permits. Martin wanted to know timetable for pursuit of changes in the census. Councilmember Moore reported that the students are counted for the census but not for Granville to become a city. Law Director Crites concurred, citing 703.01-B-1: “No municipal corporation shall have its classification as a village changed to a city by virtue of counting students if their residential addresses when not in attendance at the institution are at another place.” Mayor Robertson stated that it is Council’s decision whether or not to challenge the number (i.e., there might be “other reasons” besides being a city that would make it to our advantage to have an official count over 5,000). Councilmember Crais noted that while we will lose one liquor permit (allocated at one permit for every 2,000 people), the one being lost is not being used at this time. He also asked Manager Hickman to communicate with Mr. Martin about the census issue. Mr. Martin has also suggested the Village look into the creation of a Community Entertainment District, a classification that would allow a permit for every five acres in the district. The CED may be smaller than five acres but not larger than 20 acres. Mr. Martin will provide the materials about this to Council. Councilmember Moore noted that the Arena District in downtown Columbus is an example of a CED.
The Committee also heard Kathryn Wimberger’s initial findings about Village economic issues: 1) The width of Broadway is not conducive to a “comfortable pedestrian atmosphere.” She thought we should talk about aesthetic issues as they relate to the economic impact of a boulevard, as well as consider broadening the sidewalk on either side of the street and eliminating the center lane to bring the pedestrian areas closer together. 2) The “streetscape elements” (trash receptacles, signage, parking, etc.) are “dated and decayed;” we should think about a “special improvement district.” 3) We need to consider how our business strip relates to other areas. Mayor Robertson reported she had read that the optimal length for a business district (i.e., how far people will walk to get to a store) is 1,500 feet. Councilmember Moore said the directional signs should match all other signs in color and style. Manager Hickman reported he had ordered benches as well as dark green trash receptacles and cigarette urns just last week (after conferring with Keith Myers and Jack Burris). A “test” street sign, with a top design similar to the “Welcome to Granville” sign, has been ordered for the intersection of Broadway and Prospect.
Finance Committee (Councilmember Moore). Councilmember Moore pointed out that year-to-date income tax revenues (through August) are 2.59% above last year— lower than the 3% increase that has been budgeted. She emphasized this is no reason to panic but suggested we keep a cautious eye on spending. Newark-Granville Joint Committee (Mayor Robertson) No report.
Personnel Committee (Councilmember McGowan). No report. Planning Commission (Councilmember Lucier). Manager Hickman noted that the Episcopal church wants to make modifications to 118 South Main Street. Councilmember Lucier said she had advised them to not assume that going before the Planning Commission was the same as getting permission from their lessor—who, in turn, would have to get permission from the owner of the property. Manager Hickman will talk with Seth Dorman. Rec Commission (Councilmember McGowan). No report.
Street Light Committee (Councilmember McGowan). No report. Streets, Sidewalks & Utilities Committee (Vice Mayor Wernet). No report.
Tree & Landscape Committee (Councilmember Moore). No report.
Union Cemetery Board (Councilmember Lucier). No report.
Strategic Land Acquisition Committee (Bellman, Crais, Moore) Councilmember Crais said the committee has issued an interim report that still needs to be discussed. They intend to produce a more complete report that includes discussion of criteria as Council sees them, of specific properties and how they fit the criteria, and of strategies the committee thinks Council should be pursuing. They are also concerned about too much talk and too little action (i.e., they want Council to “take the ball and run with it,” and would like additional instruction from Council about what they want to the committee to do).
JEDD No meeting has been scheduled yet. Manager Hickman will call Norm Kennedy. The group needs to meet before October joint meeting.
School Sewer System Update Manager Hickman reported that Mayor Robertson and Councilmember Lucier had met with Ohio EPA representatives on Tuesday. He distributed a map of the corporation limits with certain properties (prospective annexation sites) marked in yellow. He noted that the EPA was here to discuss the school’s sanitary sewer issues even though they have no authority to force the Village to extend service. The EPA said they were strongly in favor of connecting to the public system and would give no assurance that they would approve any other systems for the schools. Vice Mayor Wernet asked if the school had given Council either a proposal or an offer to meet. Manager Hickman said it was left that the school would get back to the Village to discuss options. Mayor Robertson reported that the EPA had met with the school yesterday, at which time the EPA was to convey the message that Council wanted a 3-way discussion. We are now waiting to hear from the school and can’t do anything until we do. Councilmember Crais reported that the School Board had voted to submit another request to the Village but don’t yet know how that will happen. Mayor Robertson said the EPA had been “quite sympathetic” to what the Village has gone through, including our reservations about extending service on the one hand and the environmental impact of the school not tying into a public system on the other. They also understood the different kinds of environmental risks (e.g., the pollution potential of school waste v. the pollution potential of over- development). She felt that Council should go ahead and initiate the contact if we don’t hear from the school (i.e., we can’t solve their problem but we could offer to have the meetings). She asked Manager Hickman to coordinate with the School Board and the EPA to schedule a meeting.
MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS September 20, 2001 – BZBA September 24, 2001 – Planning Commission October 3, 2001 – Village Council
ADJOURNMENT Vice Mayor Wernet moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:58pm; second by Council-member Crais. Meeting adjourned.