VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE COUNCIL MINUTES August 7, 2002
CALL TO ORDER: (by Mayor McGowan at 7:32pm)
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL Those responding to the Roll Call were Councilmembers: Mayor McGowan, Vice Mayor Candy Moore; Clifton Crais; Lyn Robertson; Richard Main; Dan Bellman; Melissa Hartfield
CITIZENS’ COMMENTS (7:33pm) All Topics Mr. Ben Rader, 39 Briarwood Drive, sent an e-mail that was successfully received by all but Dan Bellman for whom Mr. Rader had an incorrect address. Mr. Rader addressed the purchase of all or part of the Bryn Du Mansion. One year ago Mr. Rader said he was asked by a public official to look at the Jeffrey Mansion in Columbus, Ohio, which he stated might be similar to Bryn Du. He had access to the Jeffrey Mansion books and operations and saw it was a very large project. He learned the Jeffrey Mansion was donated and was expensive to maintain. He urged council to take a hard look at the mansion and the associated costs of running it. Mr. Rader recalled many years ago when he was a member of Granville Village Council that Council attempted to institute an income tax and the issue was placed on the ballot. The tax did not pass. He suggested Council place the issue of the Bryn Du Mansion purchase on the ballot, too. Jean Binkovitz, 258 Carmarthan Way, expressed her concern about the Spring Valley pool and what will happen to it. As a parent of a member of the swim team, she believes Council should keep it as a swimming pool because it keeps kids busy and is a good family experience.
Sara Jean Wilhelm, 202 Thresher Street, favors purchasing Bryn Du and the Spring Valley pool. She stated the mansion is historic and she feels that the village needs to preserve the green space. If upkeep becomes a problem, she suggested the village sell it or rent it. According to Mrs. Wilhelm, Spring Valley pool is deeded in such a way that dedicates it as a community facility. She says that in a 1974 survey the village did not include it in the survey because the pool was believed to be part of a community project. Mrs. Wilhelm supports purchasing both properties.
Dave McCall, 112 Victoria, is against the purchase of Bryn Du. He has serious concerns about renovations. He asked council about what renovations would need to be performed if the mansion became a public facility in regards to disabilities, asbestos mitigation, etc. He said that as you go by the property you could see it needs a lot of work now. He asked what it would be used for? Mr. McCall believes it will cost beyond current costs to get it up to speed and that maintenance will be expensive and long term. He asked how much that would be? Where the funds will come from? He is concerned about the initial and long-term costs. He believes there are too many unanswered questions to support the purchase.
Kitty Consolo, 18 Samson Place, commended Council for the time and for listening to all the public comments and for the process of taking the time to review all the issues. She encouraged elected officials not to rush into the project. Ms. Consolo expressed she has a lot of questions and agrees a lot with what has been already stated. Ms. Consolo says Council should not rush, but should not wait too long to do something either. Regarding the Spring Valley pool, what does it give us as a community? It is a place that fosters community spirit! Because of its graduated shallow end the pool provides a place where mothers can come together with their children. It has lanes for those who are into fitness, as is Ms. Consolo. She said because of Spring Valley, she was able to become a member of the swim team and then become a lifeguard, etc. She talked about it being more than a pool with its hiking trails, meeting rooms, basketball, volleyball, and picnic areas, and mentioned that recently, the facility held over 400 at a recent music concert. Ms. Consolo asserted Spring Valley is more than just a pool but more of a community gathering place. She said it has a lot of history and many come back to Granville in the summer just to go to the pool. The pool has the potential of being used year-round and that, too, is important. She urged Council to take their time, get all the costs, assets & liabilities.
Eloise Dezwarte, 338 East College Street, said she was very glad Council is considering both projects. She says Council probably won’t get another chance like this and will be glad they did it now. Dezwarte suggested that if it doesn’t work out that the rest will be manageable; Council will find a buyer later as the property will always be in demand. She says if the mansion is sold, Council will be unable to buy it back. One of the objections she has heard about the purchase is what it would do to the taxes that wouldn’t go to the school – that evens out because if the front part is developed, she asks Council to think how many kids would be added to the school system. Ms. Dezwarte asserted that Spring Valley is a gorgeous piece of property and thinks that kind of green space won’t be available any more. She said purchasing it will not take much from the schools because the tax area isn’t as high there. Ms. Dezwarte checked with a tax person for the schools who told her that they get about $60,000 from Bryn Du – $6,000 from land around the pool. Both spaces are beautiful pieces of property and is the village’s last chance for preserving it. Council should grab them and use the many talented people they have in the area to make the properties if not profitable, at least, sustainable.
Gloria Joseph, 251 Sunrise Street, read a letter from her sister, a former resident. Coming from someone who has seen beautiful surroundings in exclusive resorts, the letter describes the pool and surrounding property in lovely terms. Spring Valley pool is one of Ohio’s only spring fed pools, which makes it economically viable. She mentioned Ogilbey Park in Wheeling, WV, as an example. Many city pools are hot because they are not spring fed like Spring Valley. She appreciates what she had now that she doesn’t have it. The letter is signed, Terry Joseph, former Granville resident.
Gloria Gerber, 1746 North Granville Road, stated she lives across Newark-Granville Road from the mansion. She has traffic concerns. She informed Council that a car in the crosswalk area at Jones and Newark-Granville Road already hit her child. She wants to know whether or not it will be opened and/or create more traffic. She wants answers to her questions before she can support the mansion’s purchase by the village.
Liz Mahr, 354 North Granger Street, talked about how Spring Valley, as far as open spaces, is one the prettiest places that she knows. With Spring Valley pool you would get 48 acres of park, spring, buildings, a picnic shelter, and a huge pool, which is friendlier to small children and parents than any other pool in the area. She hopes to keep it the way that it is.
Donna Childers, 115 North Granger, a Spring Valley parent, she says her daughter has been there since she is 5 and is much older now. Ms. Childers supports the purchase of the property. She knows Council needs to consider the cost and liability, etc., but stressed she wants to keep it the fun, safe place that it is. Ms. Childers said a lot of other communities where they travel for swim meets have pools and knows Granville can afford this—as the places they go are much smaller. When they are teens and at the pool and having a good time it is healthy and the community needs to promote that kind of thing – and nurture our kids. Also, the kids are there together as a team. She said it’s unusual as a team sport to have kids of all ages playing together from 7 to 17. The mentoring that goes on is a very valuable thing to see as a parent. Also, a lot of older people are at the pool doing laps so it’s not just for the kids. If councilmembers haven’t been at the pool Ms. Childers believes they don’t have a sense of what it brings to the community.
Jeff Gress, 161 New Gran Drive, thanked Council for listening to public comment. He agrees with Ms. Childers, people need to give careful thought to a recreation center for the community. He does not believe the village will be able to operate the pool as it has been operated in the past. Parking and access is inadequate. Can the village do the same things as that a private owner can do? What changes will come to Spring Valley if it is publicly vs. privately held?
Mr. Gress explained that the mansion is right across the street from his house. It is a great purchase to make if the proper discussion is had prior to the purchase. This may be an appropriate place for all publicly operated divisions in the area to be located. If township facilities, library, recreation center, and senior citizens center are all located there, it will return to the commercial tax base because of the trade-off that will be beneficial to the community as a whole. He hopes that as Council continues to look at both that they will look at all aspects carefully.
Dorothy Garrett, 45 Donald Ross Drive, was a swim team mother. She believes both properties, sound lovely to purchase. The village and township need to get together to see how they can coordinate the activities before they purchase anything. Before a commitment is made, the village should look at all the financial consequences beyond the purchase price of the property such as maintenance and upkeep. People talk about the uses of the mansion and moving all village services there – what will that do to the village? What about the post office? People have objected to this in the past. These services are what bring people to town. She encouraged Council to give this more consideration. Ms. Garret said the village has only known for a couple of weeks about the purchase of Bryn Du and the pool. It may be more appropriate for the Recreation Commission to purchase the pool.
Maxine Montgomerty, 345 Shannon Lane, encouraged applauded the young people who came to Council this evening to get involved. She believes the community needs a lot more information. She believes there could be capital expenses and maintenance that Council is not aware of right now. She again stressed that Council needs more information. Ms. Montgomery would like to see both issues on the ballot. She would like to hear some discussion from council on financing plans for both purchases. She wants to hear about the loss of revenue to schools. She encouraged Council to give this lots of talk, time and share it with the community to help everyone understand what decision Council wants to reach and why.
Carol Roberts, 243 Denison Drive, stood to publicly state she loves Spring Valley pool and if she hadn’t seen it with a realtor she would not have moved here. She wants to see Council’s plans for it and how it will be run and to see if the physical land will change. She asked Council whether or not Denison was kicking some money in for the purchase.
Carol Goland, 843 Burg Street, expressed her strong support for preserving Spring Valley pool. She said it is a treasure for the community, a natural and cultural treasure, and what makes a place distinctive, is what weaves the fabric of that community. Spring Valley pool is a place that does just that for Granville. People have been heard saying that the Heath pool will suffice, but to her that is like saying we don’t need 4th of July in Granville – Columbus fireworks will suffice. She encouraged Council to give it strong thought and be open. Most will appreciate and understand the financing of this village and how you can accomplish this purchase.
Kathy Minks, 3889 Granview Road, said she has lived here a little over a year. She and her family came from a community with explosive growth that was not handled well. They came to Granville because of the small town feel that it has. She sees Spring Valley pool as unique to the village and to the community and knows it is a wonderful place to meet your neighbors and learn about what is going on, like the meeting this very evening. She said she doesn’t know about tax bases, etc., but had risen to speak from her heart. It is a wonderful resource for the entire community and buying it will help control growth. She said she very much wants to maintain the small sense of community and uniqueness that the village now has.
Barb Franks, 210 East Maple, talked about the land that runs along the street into town, Route 16, as a place where a great restaurant or something on top the hill could be built that would generate a great deal of money and funds for the school district. But, she said if Council uses the land for revenue purposes we get to keep the land and the revenue.
Howard Garrett, 45 Donald Ross Drive, stated that the bottom line with Bryn Du is that it is totally irresponsible to go ahead with this purchase due to lack of knowledge, lack of planning, a lack of information, etc. Those who think otherwise, Mr. Garret said, would likely be welcome to work for Arthur Anderson. Lisa Miller, 217 East College Street, Granville. Ms. Miller says Spring Valley is all she has ever known. Her daughter is a 4th generation Spring “Valleyan.” She encouraged Council to leave it a part of Granville, as it is a treasure.
Mayor McGowan closed Citizens’ Comments at 8:07pm.
Kendal Rob Drake, 142 Brennan Drive, representing the Kendal Corporation, said he is not sure whether Kendal can support the current proposal that was passed or not. He had originally cued the language as closely as possible to the words in the resolution and said Kendal officials are very concerned that what was adopted is less clear about what was being said. He said Kendal’s request is that the objectionable words should be replaced with other words. He stated that there is a report later in the agenda about the sewer options. He asked Councilmembers to please tell Kendal officials and the community as quickly as possible about what proposal they believe is most feasible and which direction Council intends to take. Kendal folks need to know which option is feasible so they can collect bids from contractors in order to accurately determine what the real costs of the projects will be. He asked Council to please revise their motion and again expressed hope that Council would soon be able to tell Kendal representatives what is needed so they can proceed quickly in obtaining their estimates.
Councilmember Crais moved that this topic be moved up the agenda to New Business. Councilmember Moore seconded this motion. Motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARING (8:07pm) Ordinance No. 08-02, An Ordinance to Authorize The Purchase of 18.040 Acres And 2.5 Acres of Land Located at 537 Jones Road. No one appeared to speak for or against the Ordinance. Mayor McGowan closed the Public Hearing at 8:08pm.
Ordinance No. 09-02, An Ordinance To Accept The Donation of 32.24 Acres of Land on Newark Granville Road. No one appeared to speak for or against the Ordinance. Mayor McGowan closed the Public Hearing at 8:09pm.
Ordinance No. 10-02, An Ordinance To Approve the Conveyance of Up To 19.8 Acres Of Land To The Trustees Of Granville Township. No one appeared to speak for or against the Ordinance. Mayor McGowan closed the Public Hearing at 8:09pm
NEW BUSINESS (8:45pm) Resolution No. 02-27, A Resolution To Authorize The Village Manager To Enter Into Negotiations With Representatives Of The Spring Valley Company, Inc. To Purchase The Spring Valley Property. Introduced by Councilmember Crais; second by Counciomember Hartfield. Councilmember Hartfield then recused herself from discussion.
Discussion: Councilmember Main asked why the proposal was in the present format? Councilmember Crais responded that the village Law Director told him they needed to put together a purchase contract and an ordinance would include that. He simply followed the Law Director’s advice in this matter. Councilmember Robertson reminded Council that this is a process. Councilmember Crais and she held one meeting, open to the public for input. Councilmember Moore noted that in past property discussions Council has had a difference of opinion on different aspects of this project. Will the Manager have direction? Will the property remain the same, or will we be able to develop or sell parts of it? Should the village own, acquire and run the pool? Can a separate group do that? How can the manager negotiate without direction? Councilmember Main had questions as to the Spring Valley property and what it would mean to the village if purchased. The fact that Spring Valley is a local treasure is obvious. However, there are serious questions as to whether or not this should be a village purchase, since it is in the township. He said he is not sure that he’s willing to send the Village Manager to negotiate a purchase if Council has not done their due diligence. Councilmember Robertson recollected discussing this during executive session, and that negotiations could be a way of accomplishing this purchase. She believes the more delicate details of this can be discussed during additional executive sessions of Council. Councilmember Crais said it is his understanding that the purpose of a resolution is part of the process of due diligence. This would allow Council to get into writing precisely the information and issues they have been discussing. The resolution simply asks the Village Manager to start the ball rolling to accumulate the information needed to answer the questions that have been asked and to begin working forward toward a possible purchase ordinance. Councilmember Moore stated that she would like to see Council continue to seek further investigation of this property. Her earlier question indicated she was just not sure that the proposal Council was discussing would allow the Village Manager to do what it is they want him to do. Councilmember Crais stated he believes it is necessary and he and Councilmember Robertson are committed the slow process to looking into this issue. Councilmember Moore stated her concern of what she’s read in the paper. It appeared that terms of a contract were being discussed that were different than what Council had previously discussed. Mayor McGowan commented that two years ago the Recreation Commission’s opinion was that they did not want to run the pool due to liability issues and traffic and parking issues. There has been a lot of talk from a broad spectrum of interested parties, residents, and elected officials about the need for a community center with an indoor and outdoor pool, and it was suggested that the students could use a pool built near the school. The township trustees looked at this five years ago and said they were not interested as they had other items of higher priority on their lists. McGowan thinks Council needs to have the support of the township to proceed. Additionally, Council has not seen financial records of Spring Valley; at least he has not seen any. He said that as there is another facility in the township, government should not compete with another business of a similar nature located so close. He said he cannot support the resolution as written. Councilmember Crais commented that Spring Valley is a chlorinated pool and that their financial reports have been upstairs for over a year as a part of the appraisal Council contracted. Councilmember Robertson believes that having one sort of recreation area should not preclude having another. It could be entirely possible to have an indoor pool somewhere and to maintain the Spring Valley area, too. She reminded everyone that Spring Valley is not just a pool. There is a whole lot more out there. As stated tonight, it is a treasure, a gem. A lot of people like to go to both of Granville’s outdoor facilities in the community and preserving them is an important thing to do. She sees this as one way of preserving thecommunity because Spring Valley is part of our history, community culture and where neighbors meet one another, etc.
Councilmember Crais moved the question.
Councilmember Main requested that additional questions be permitted before proceeding and asked the Law Director Crites if there were any problems with the village buying the property outside the village. Law Director Crites stated that title seven of the Ohio Revised Code has a section that allows municipalities to buy properties outside its boundaries for recreation purposes.
Councilmember Crais again called the question; seconded by Councilmember Robertson.
A Roll call vote yielded three (3) affirmative votes (Councilmembers Crais, Robertson and Bellman, three (3) no votes (McGowan, Moore, Main) and one (1) abstention (Hartfield). Resolution No. 02-27 is not adopted.
Councilmember Moore made the motion for reconsideration of this proposal with amendments. Law Director Crais suggested Council introduce a new resolution, not reconsideration, as the previous motion failed.
Resolution No. 02-28, A Resolution To Authorize The Village Manager To Enter Into Negotiations With Representatives Of The Spring Valley Company, Inc. To Purchase The Spring Valley Property. Introduced by Vice Mayor Moore; second by Mayor McGowan.
Discussion: Councilmember Moore re-read the proposal explaining that Section One’s modification direct the Village Manager to carry out due diligence and only Council orders on the Spring Valley property. Councilmember Crais asked what Council’s direction is since it was decided in Executive Session, except for the agreed upon process. Councilmember Moore responded that usually those discussions make it clear how people feel about these things. Council agreed on a price in Executive Session, which was the only thing she was clear about. Councilmember Bellman said he sees both resolutions as being virtually identical. Bellman stated that even if Council had passed the first resolution, Council would have to have had a few more details than what is presently being discussed. However, he feels that the language being written now was implied in the first resolution. Since Council is making changes however, he suggested an amendment to Sections 3 and 4. In Section 3, Bellman proposed adding the following language: “Council shall appoint a Task Force to review, evaluate and consider the cost of operation of the facility should the village decide to agree to purchase the property.” Bellman suggested this after hearing the community discussion about the pool. He contended that it is difficult to put the kind of detail Council wants to put into this in just one Council meeting. Bellman believes Council can get business people in the area who can talk numbers (such as Ben Rader) to do the work. He said that there are others with good backgrounds from whom he would like to hear review on how this will work, what it will cost, etc. Bellman said these are ideas Council could ultimately take or leave but it would be helpful to do it now. Councilmember Robertson seconded this motion. Motion carried (5-1-1abstain)
Mayor McGowan requested further discussion. Councilmember Main asked how the Task Force would report to Council? Councilmember Bellman responded that the report could be given during Executive Session or publicly.
OLD BUSINESS Kendal – Request for motion amendment.
Councilmember Crais moved to accept the language as recommended in the attachment. Councilmember Main seconded the motion.
Discussion: Vice Mayor Moore commented that the only change in the language was to remove the words “in principle.” Mr. Drake representing the Kendal Corporation answered that only a few minor changes were made. Councilmember Bellman commented that taking out the word in principle didn’t bother him. His biggest concern was that Council was promoting project “C” or as close to that as possible. Now with the amended language he is sure that is where Council was in the discussion. Rob Drake responded that the motion was based on the language of July 17, 2002, meeting as taken from the original minutes for the July 10, 2002, meeting. Drake said Kendal raised the questions at Council whether or not people had made recommendations on the language. He said that Kendal felt there had been language in written amendments covering the issue. He then took the language from the July 17, 2002, meeting to create the language for the amendment. Councilmember Crais recalled that the majority of Council was in favor of project “C;” but was not in favor of project “B” or “D,” and that there was a substantial minority that was committed to project “A”. Of the four, projects “C” and “A” were the only projects favored. Councilmember Bellman thought there was another proposal Council had thought seriously about but did not recall that being project “A.” Councilmember Robertson suggested it would be meaningful to look back at the actual approved minutes. She remembers seeing section “D;” and remembers it as Councilmember Crais did, and that project “A” came in after that. Robertson said project “A” is pretty much what Kendal wants to have in place. Councilmember Main said the minutes of the July 10, 2002 meeting were not accurate which is why they were changed at the July 17, 2002, meeting. Village Manager Hickman described the different sewage systems and talked about what easements might be necessary. Hickman said today we could construct the sewer via private easements, as described in version or project “C.” Vice Mayor Moore asked if the requirements for the easements were something Council would have to approve? Hickman said that presently there are several requests for taps at point of consideration, some annexation requirements, and one property that wants one tap and another that wants one or more taps. He believes the taps would have to be tied to annexation. Councilmember Bellman brought up another issue. He said if there is nothing on paper about the prior meeting in question, Council does have an audiotape of the meeting. He suggested that Council listen to the tape and hear verbatim what was said so there would be no question what was passed that night. Rob Drake commented that he and others from Kendal had told Council in early January that they needed an answer by the end of July - a deadline given to them by an external financial source. He encouraged Council not to go back and take additional time because he believes they must to go further now. Drake said Kendal needed Council to vote yes or no, now. Councilmember Bellman responded that he would agree if the second sentence was eliminated. Mayor McGowan asked Mr. Drake if Kendal wanted to remove the second sentence at this time? Mr. Drake stated that without the second sentence, as illustrated by Councilmember Robertson, there really wasn’t anything that they could use. Mayor McGowan suggested amending the proposal to say: “Or project “A” or “consideration of”. Councilmember Crais asked Mr. Drake whether or not Kendal’s concern with the previous document was that it was “mushy.” Drake replied that Kendal folks thought the language was “technically mushy.” Mayor McGowan asserted that he did not believe a majority of Council had agreed that project “A” was acceptable. He thought the issue was that Council could not agree on project “C” because of the easement issues. Mr. Drake explained that Kendal’s reason for liking project “A” is that there were fewer wild cards. Kendal has a time pressure from within and without which is their reason for preferring project “A”. Drake though it looked like all pieces could be dealt with from a management point of view. Councilmember Roberson said that was how she recalled the discussion. If project “C” didn’t work due to easements, Council wanted the project to happen, and project “A” could happen. That is how she understood why project “A” was there in the first place. Manager Hickman stated that project “C” could work. He would be comfortable with the technical aspects of project “A” or a modification of projects “C” or “A.”
Motion for amendments was approved (5-0 with 2 abstentions). Motion carried Ordinance 08-02, An Ordinance To Authorize The Purchase of 18.040 Ac And 2.5 Ac of land located at 537 Jones Road. Re-introduced by Vice Mayor Moore; second by Councilmember Main.
Ordinance No. 09-02, An Ordinance To Accept The Donation of 32.24 Acres Of Land On Newark Granville Road. Re- introduced by Vice Mayor Moore; second by Councilmember Main.
Ordinance No. 10-02, An Ordinance To Approve The Conveyance Of Up To 19.8 Acres Of Land To The Trustees Of Granville Township. Re-introduced by Vice Mayor Moore; second by Councilmember Hartfield.
Presentation: Vice Mayor Moore presented a slide projector presentation of Bryn Du Manor after receiving a request two (2) weeks ago from the Village Manager to do a presentation for the Rotary Club. Moore said it provided a lot of good information for citizens and hoped it would for Council. There are a few new facts in this presentation. The history about Bryn Du is that a few years ago after a second green space levy was passed, a Green Space Committee was formed to recommend properties to protect from development, of which she served on that committee. It rated the Longaberger (Bryn Du) property as the number one (#1) property for preservation. The Strategic Land Acquisition Committee that consisted of Councilmember Crais and others, also determined the Longaberger property as key to green space preservation in the community. At the time the owners of the property were not entertaining offers, although the estimated value was approximately $3.2M. However, development rights were still an issue. Longaberger said if they decided to sell they would talk to the village first. An appraisal of $440,000 to $650,000 was obtained for the field and a proposal was made to the owners. The owners said they were getting other offers on the property and asked if the village wanted to buy the whole property. Therefore, what might be an acceptable price was discussed. If the village wanted the field, it became evident that the whole property would have to be purchased. The cost of this would be approximately $2.4-2.5M with the field being donated. With these figures, the following proposal was derived. Two (2) parcels, 32 acres are in the front parcel, 20 acres are on the rear parcel. $2.4 Mwas suggested for the 20 acre rear parcel and the building; 32 acres would be donated to the village by the Longabergers. $430,000 in green space money would be used to keep development from occurring in the area. At each step along the way what was happening was reported to Council. In June, the township was given a proposal to consider. On July 17, 2002, Council acted to include sharing the costs with the township. Therefore, Ordinance No. 08-02 commits to purchase 20 acres & the buildings; Ordinance No. 09-02 accepts the donation of the 32 acre field in the front of the property; and Ordinance No. 10- 02 sells part of the front field to the township in order to obtain the contribution of green space monies and to subsequently share in the maintenance costs of the field. This can be accomplished by expending $500,000 in capital reserves and borrow $1.47M in/notes with current interest rates at 1/6 to 1.25% Councilmember Moore believes that in the long term the purchase will clearly be in the best interest of the village, the township and the schools. The reasons are: Development pressure (PUD zoning = 48+ new homes), High probability of development, Willing seller, Location, Scenic view, Historic value, Green space needs on the East side of Village, Senior needs, Art recreation, Meeting and office space, Easy accessibility in village could provide for additional tourism With every new house with a child comes a loss to our schools. Our school board says it costs $7400 a year to educate one child. $3900 per house on average is what is paid to schools with the property tax rollbacks. There are two (2) kids, on average in each home. It will cost more to educate than to preserve the land (net cost to schools each year $355,000+). That kind of intense residential growth must be limited to protect our schools. The community has said this over and over again. The proposed uses on the property include: Manor house – 11,000 sq. ft., Indoor tennis building; Pool equipment building; Pool guest building; Laundry building; Play house and spring house; Barn. Vice Mayor Moore even wondered whether or not the field could be used as a walking path? The mansion could serve as an art gallery or studio and the village could look for a partner to lease space. And she suggested fees could be charged to stage events in or on the property, Renovation costs could be offset in other ways. Lancaster, Ohio recently did this with the Skeeters Mansion. The Ohio Arts and Sports Facility Commission gave them $1.5M to assist in the renovations of the mansion. Volleyball, aerobics, etc., could be held in the other buildings. A 20-yard pool would work for aerobics, and/or a lap pool. The Ohio Nature Works Program, the village, the township, private funds and or grants, etc., could be generated along with user fees. These are by no means an exhaustive list. These ideas demonstrate that there are needs and uses for this property. Comments about the structural report followed. Joe Hickman had Melvin Ree do an inspection of the property and found that it was in sound condition. Hickman said Mr. Ree happened to have prior history with the Bryn Du mansion. He knew it when Sally Jones owned the property. The condition is about the same although it will need a fair amount of work. Operating costs would mostly be for lawn maintenance and snow removal, utilities, insurance, building repairs and maintenance. Additional amounts will depend on type of use Council determines the property will have. It will cost a lot to keep the status quo. Village staff found that it cost about $11,000 a year in gas and electric costs. The buildings are kept at 55 degrees year-round. The insurance carrier says it will cost the village an additional $8,000 per year to insure the property. All the buildings are sound and need only minor repairs. Hickman suggested that Councilmembers look at the current annual maintenance and repair costs of $14,000for the 8,000+ sq. ft. office buildings. The 11,000sq. ft. of the mansion also includes the attic and basement space. The actual usable rooms are only about 7,000 sq. ft. Council will have to examine the need for costs based on types of use. Vice Mayor Moore presented pictures during her presentation that were taken on the tour of the home. The first floor main rooms showed one area where it has been torn down to the bare walls and pipes replaced while some areas were lovely. Some showed need for paint. The back lawn, inside the laundry building, the outbuilding in front of the barn; the pool; the pool equipment building, clay tennis courts; indoor tennis facility; front driveway; parking lot (lot of parking on site more than Vice Mayor Moore expected and room to expand parking if needed). Moore concluded by thanking everyone for their comments and ideas, not just tonight but for the past several weeks and years that the property had been discussed. She hopes that the front porch is where the village will celebrate their bicentennial celebration in three (3) years. Mayor McGowan thanked Vice Mayor Moore for the work that went into the proposal. He said a number of issues remained to be addressed in the long run but that the slide presentation provided a nice representation of the whole property.
Discussion: Councilmember Crais asked whether or not the purchase contract in Exhibit A, mentioned restrictive covenants that might be located in the deed office and if so, where might those be? Law Director Crites said that the Village does not have a copy of any restrictive covenants at this time but are attempting to use this as the legal description of the property. Councilmember Crais redirected his questions to Vice Mayor Moore. Moore responded that there were restrictive covenants with respect to Bryn Du estates. Crais also asked whether or not there were any notes discussing Paragraph 5. Law Director Crites stated that the contract was a 5-D standard contract. One of the things he would recommend is that it be considered under an environmental report and to be included in paragraph one (1) in the last two sentences of the contract. Council is supposed to receive any prior environmental reports. It is a contingency as part of the contract. Councilmember Moore also responded saying that the village would conduct its own environmental inspection. Councilmember Crais recalls the purchase price being $2.1M not $2.4M, and expressed concern with all the “whereases” in the contract…and the memorandum of
understanding between the village and the township with regard to green spacemonies. He believes Council should add this to the language. Vice Mayor Moore says there would be no problem adding clarifying language to address Councilmember Crais’s concerns as those monies would have specific strings attached. Councilmember Crais said his general comments were more about the lack of information on the cost to make the needed repairs to the buildings. He’s concerned Council might be buying something that requires a lot of money and don’t even have a range of what that might be. Finally, Mr. Crais has heard a number of times that there is a buyer lurking in the corridor ready to purchase the property from the village. Does anyone know about this? He said that we could let a potential buyer purchase the mansion and still benefit from the property around the buildings. Councilmember Robertson said that there are so many questions she has about the project. She wanted to know which part of the field could be bought with green space monies. Councilmember Moore responded the green space monies could be used to purchase the property that fronts Newark-Granville Road. Robertson said she recalled Council-having discussions in the past to preserving all of the space. Moore said if the township were to take 2/3 of the facility/area, it would only take a 2/3 levy to improve the project bids. If the township takes 2/3 they will have to pay to maintain 2/3rds. With this information, Moore favors preserving all of it. Robertson again asked who Moore might forsee overseeing the management of the building, etc. Moore responded it could be a variety depending on the use of the property. Mayor McGowan said the Recreation Commission told him they were enthusiastic about the Village purchasing the property. McGowan says Council could consider appointing a committee to oversee this and similar type projects. Councilmember Robertson asked the Mayor whether or not he could forsee establishing a commission or a group to oversee the mansion? Councilmember Moore responded that she would initially establish a group to determine uses of the property. Then how it is used will ultimately dictate who will manage it. Nothing in the law states that the village or the township will always manage the property. Councilmember Robertson asked what budget departmental services such as fire, would come out of village funds each year. Moore said the village would only pay interest the first year. Robertson asked how much that would be. Moore responded $30,000. Robertson asked about expenses after that and Moore responded that the village could roll over these costs into bonds or notes. For 25 year bonds at current rates, it would cost the village $100,000- 105,000 if there was a pay down on the principle in place. Robertson asked what the cost of utilities and insurance on top of the rest would be each year. Moore said that she’s only looked at what it will take to maintain the property, which is what was outlined previously in my presentation. Robertson asked if all costs were added together what the most per year would be? Moore asked for clarification whether or not Robertson meant to include Prinicipal and Interest costs. Moore said it would be less for notes that have a short-term interest rate and no required pay down on the principal. She restated that she again believed $100,000-105,000 per year would be the most it would cost plus maintenance costs. Councilmember Robertson stated she favors buying Bryn Du. As the pool there is very small, she asked what it could it be used for? Moore responded Aqua-aerobics, parents with small kids, etc. or it may not be the pool we want to keep, or may want to expand. Councilmember Robertson asked for clarification, did Council want to buy the mansion then spend a year deciding what Council will want to do with it? Moore said yes, the mansion should be purchased then council should take some time to decide what to do with it. There are some things that are “need” things Council has been talking about. A senior center; art facility, recreation facility, etc. This place has a lot of those things without having to build them new. We need to closely look to see if the facility will meet the needs the way we think they will. Once we find out what they cost, maybe we won’t want those things. A committee looking at this will be important. Councilmember Moore said we have a seller interested in selling now. Robertson said really she really don’t favor having the village offices there and does not support relocating the library. Mayor McGowan said he does not think Council can put a stipulation on buying without the time to really know what it is they need or want to do. Personally, McGowan doesn’t think that the property will be together next year. He thinks a lot of the decisions can be made later. Councilmember Robertson said she would not vote for the ‘88 General Assessment if Council has in mind to move the current Council out to Bryu Du. Councilmember Main stated, for the record, that he would not support it either if that were the case. Councilmember Moore said Council did know the property is a PUD. It has sewer and water. She reminded Council how fast the houses were constructed on either side of it and says it will be what will happen again. Mayor McGowan said in the next 10 years will bring what the last 10 years in building brought to the area. He thinks the numbers Moore has provided, about $132,000 each year, is fairly correct, in terms of costs to the village. Councilmember Main reminded Council about the tour of Bryn Du again where it was viewed as a tremendous opportunity. Another way of looking at is to say there is a mess and a lot to do. Speculating on maintenance costs at this point in time is just mere speculation because they are going to depend greatly on what Council decides to do to the property, mansion, and other buildings. Main said that both strut engineers have said it is in good condition—structurally sound. He instructed Council how important it was to keep this in mind. Also the building inspector from Newark did not find any particular problems. Main asked Hickman to verify his recollection. Hickman said the roof was rated good to very good; foundation-super; windows-very very good (wood sash) and there is a new steam heat system no more that two (2) years old with heat pumps to cool it that are only ten (10) years old. The inspector said the mansion has a lot of good solid pieces to it. Whatever Council does with the mansion—use or sell—it is a really good sound piece to begin with. Councilmember Bellman said he’s been a supporter of considering the mansion very carefully. It’s historic value, minus the axe to chew with schools—it was good to find that is a non-issue; purchasing the mansion and green space would save the schools in the long run. Bellman said he is open to the idea that Council open something in the community. He talked about what happened in Cincinnati where something similar was accomplished by saving an old building. Ultimately it became the natural history museum. Sometimes when building can be purchased, a community preserves it without quite knowing what its use will ultimately be. Bryn Du could be the same. He also commended Councilmember Moore for doing a great analysis of the property – which was a lot more than he expected in such a short period of time. Moore’s presentation answered some of his questions about operating costs, etc., but there is the risk that if Council does not lock into an interest rate when they are low the village could lose money. Bellman recommended further analysis on a few things. He recommended council come up with strong ideas on what is needed and run them past some people that would know what might or might not be feasible. Personally Bellman thinks the mansion would be a great recreation area – but after talking to someone he found that it’s just not workable without costs getting out of line pretty quickly. He thinks Council needs to appoint a Task Force similar to what was formed for the Spring Valley Pool. He recommended the types of people on the Task Force be a landscape architect such as Keith Myers; a construction person to eyeball to tell us what Council can do and how Council can use the buildings; and, finally a business person to look at whether the uses are “pie in the sky” or feasible. Councilmember Crais agreed with Councilmember Bellman’s comments and looks forward to voting in the affirmative. He does not think tonight is the night to do so with so may questions at the end raised. He wants to make sure that a few more “t’s” are crossed and “I’s” are dotted. Crais does not want this on a slow track, but doesn’t want it to move too quickly, either. Mayor McGowan said time is of the essence. If Council doesn’t act, he warned, he doesn’t think the mansion will be there tomorrow. If the community decides six (6) months from now they don’t want it they’re not losing anything. There is potential, as Councilmember Moore pointed out, for grant money, etc. McGowan is not sure the seller will wait around for village Council to decide. If Council appoints a Committee to make decisions about the property – then the village will have options. He does not think Council will have any opportunity to have any say about the property if something isn’t done about it tonight. Councilmember Bellman said if Council does their yearly analysis and find it cannot use the rear property because of cost prohibitions, can the rear property be sold and if so – what would the lowest price the village could expect to get for it? The Mayor said any portion of the property might go for a higher price because someone would be mowing that front lawn for perpetuity! Councilmember Bellman asked if $2M was at risk if Council decides the rear property cannot be used. The Mayor answered that he was not a real estate person but asked Council to allow him to give an – architects and others can tell the village whether or not it can use the buildings and properties or not. He did talk to an architect who said the village couldn’t do some things with a private property. But that would be only a bottom line risk if the village decided they wanted to sell it. Councilmember Main said the County appraisal was $2.1 and the mansion owners have had offers of up to $1.3 just for the mansion but he thinks it is worth more than that. Councilmember Bellman asked if there was a buyer that will buy it? And will we find that kind of buyer on resale? Main said there are houses for sale in the community right now for 700,000-900,000 that isn’t nearly a nice as this property. It probably won’t cost as much to bring the property up to a “home” than it would other things like Council is talking about. He doesn’t think that is a serious enough problem to stall. He thinks Council will always have the out to sell the property. He doesn’t think that this is a situation where the village will be “snookered” in any way. Bottom line, when he went on the tour he was very concerned about the condition of the buildings. But, the reality is this is not about buildings, it is about acquiring the green space and Council will deal with the other part at a later time. Councilmember Robertson said that Council has talked about a Task Force to deliberate what will be done about the mansion. She proposed a commission to have permanent authority over management of the mansion—to place in language that the commission will determine the uses of the facility for its lifetime. Mayor McGowan explained that is what he had in mind for the Task Force. Robertson responded that in thinking about other large properties like Bryn Du such as private foundations, etc., they don’t decide once and for all what to do about a property – they make decisions based on what happens in society— culturally, etc.. Bryn Du will always be vital to the Granville community. Councilmember Moore agreed she could see an advisory board, such as this perhaps. Councilmember Robertson stressed It would be vital to have the language she proposes because she doesn’t think a task force will determine what to do with the property a hundred (100) years now. Council should craft language that is somewhat different and have a vision to set something into motion that perpetuates itself. Robinson asked to see some of that written into the ordinance. Main asked if Robinson wanted this language as part of the purchase ordinance and Robinson responded yes, she did. Main answered he saw this type of language as a second (2nd) step. Robinson asked for assurance that this will happen. Main said that what happens is that when such purchases are made you just get in the ring and decide, the community decides. Robinson explained that Council will be responsible to place language that will require us to keep deciding. Moore said she didn’t have a problem with that. Main said that while Robinson’s proposal makes a lot of sense, he doesn’t think it makes a lot of sense to put it into part of the purchase ordinance. Robinson said if Council does do it the community will be given the sense that Bryn Du is theirs and not purchased in narrow interests that might be controlling it at the time. Councilmember Moore suggested if this proposal passes with Robinson offering a resolution following the adoption of the ordinance would that suffice. Robinson responded that some of her vote would be based on whether or not this language will be in the purchase ordinance although she said she did not have a specific amendment at the present time. Mayor McGowan said he is in favor of it, too, but not for tonight. Councilmember Bellman called the Ordinance No. 10-02 into question. If there is an emergency to do “A” & “B” why is an emergency needed to pass “C” until Council has the opportunity to have their ideas congeal a bit more. Once Council has a bit more idea where it’s might be heading is when we should do it. Main strongly disagreed. He said these three things go hand in hand. It’s part of a deal. If Council adopts the first two and jerk around the township trustees, Council is not being upfront. Bellman said he did not know where Main was getting the language, “jerk them around,” until Council has some better idea what it wants to do with the property. Council has talked tonight about the need for more flexibility, more acres, less acres. Since there is already some flexibility in there, until Council has at least a guesstimate (maybe a year to finalize it with some people that Council trusts) until it’s known--Bellman doesn’t want to get into the scene of pushing the ordinance right now. Mayor McGowan asked how the maintenance up to 75% of the lawn would be figuredBellman asked whether or not this would be taking more or less to the village’s advantage or not?
Ordinance No. 08-02 - A Roll call vote yielded five (5) yes votes (McGowan, Moore, Main, Bellman & Hartfield), and two (2) abstentions (Robertson, Crais). Ordinance No. 08- 02 is adopted. Ordinance No. 09-02 - A Roll call vote yielded five (5) yes votes (McGowan, Moore, Main, Bellman, Hartfield & Robertson), and one (1) abstention (Crais). Ordinance No. 09-02 is adopted.
Ordinance No. 10-02 - A Roll call vote yielded four (4) yes votes (McGowan, Moore, Main, &Hartfield), one (1) no (Crais), and two (2) abstention (Bellman, Robertson). Ordinance No. 10-02 failed.
MINUTES Regularly Scheduled Meeting of July 10, 2002 Councilmember Crais moved to accept the amended minutes. He stated they indicate a precise record; second by Councilmember Main. Motion carried, 7-0
Regularly Scheduled Meeting of July 17, 2002 Councilmember Crais moved to accept the minutes as submitted; second by Councilmember Moore. Motion carried, 7-0 COMMITTEE REPORTS
Economic Development Committee (Crais, Moore, Robertson) No Report
Finance Liaison (Moore) No Report
Granville Foundation (Main) No Report
JEDD (Bellman, Crais) No Report
Newark/Granville Committee (Bellman, Main) No Report
Personnel (Hartfield, McGowan, Robertson) No Report
Planning Committee (Main) Mayor McGowan reported on the Planning Commission Meeting: There were 2 - 2 votes. Council we will be hearing back from there. It was enlightening to sit there for three (3) hours. Councilmember Main commented he had diligently read the few papers he had seen reporting on the Commission meeting.
Recreation Commission (McGowan) Mayor McGowan stated he had reported already on the soccer field. Early enrollment is happening so they want to sign up for fall activities and have folks sign up in the next week.
Senior Citizen Committee (Moore, Robertson) No Report
Strategic Land Acquisition Committee (Bellman, Crais, Moore) No Report
Street Light Committee (McGowan) No Report
Streets/Sidewalks/Utilities Committee (Bellman, Hartfield, McGowan) No Report.
Tree & Landscape Committee (Moore) No Report
Union Cemetery Board (Main) No Report.
OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS
Kendal at Granville - Sewer Easement update Mayor McGowan noted that the Manager is still working of obtaining easements.
Comprehensive Plan: No discussion scheduled. Cherry Valley Road Update Manager Hickman informed Council that he is making a request to extend the deadline for completion of the project to July 1, 2003. He intents to bring a full report to Council on August 21st.
Owens-Corning Rededication They spent time and money to use that facility with its 583 acres and some buildings looking at to lease or sell the property with some similar type businesses or for office space or use it entirely for something else. Owens is committed to do something with that property which could be a very beneficial thing with the tax base. There is potential for that in the future.
Deputy Clerk of Council Mr. Hickman reminded Council that it was their decision to appoint the Clerk of Council. He introduced Susan Dean Byrnes who was staffing the meeting and asked Council to let him know if he needed to do anything further.
MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS Aug 12 – Planning Commission (7:30pm) Aug 13 – Tree & Landscape (7pm) Aug 21 – Village Council (7:30pm) Aug 26 – Planning Commission (7:30pm)
ADJOURNMENT Mayor McGowan moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:37pm. Seconded by Councilmember Main. Motion carried, 7-0. Meeting adjourned.
Submitted by Susan Dean Byrnes