VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE
April 1, 2009
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:31 pm)
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Barsky, McGowan, Mershon, O’Keefe, Tegtmeyer, Vice Mayor Herman, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Holycross, and Law Director Crites.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Councilmember McGowan moved to approve the agenda as presented. Second by Councilmember Barsky. Motion carried (7-0).
CITIZEN COMMENTS (7:32 pm)
As no one appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comments. (7:33pm)
Nancy Reechie, with Columbus Historic Preservation, spoke to Council regarding the scenic byway application. Ms. Reechie indicated that after the draft management plan was originally submitted, the Ohio Department of Transportation requested that the draft be submitted to the Licking County Commissioners and the Licking County Engineers Office for their review. She indicated that the Licking County Commissioners were very supportive and impressed with this plan, especially as it was being included as part of the Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Reechie indicated that during that review process, it was recommended that the T. J. Evans Bike Pathway system be included as part of this plan. Ms. Reechie was before Council to request an amendment to the resolution passed in 2008 to include the T. J. Evans Bike Path as part of the Scenic Byway Plan. Ms. Reechie indicated that she hoped to complete this process by the end of April.
Councilmember Barsky asked who would be following up with McKean Township. Ms. Reechie indicated that Trustee Bill Habig was making that contact. Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if a McKean Township member would be included as part of the committee structure. Ms. Reechie indicated that including McKean Township would be possible. She also indicated that the Licking County Commissioners discussed asking the Licking County Visitor and Tourism Bureau to become involved to develop a more comprehensive plan throughout the County.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked Ms. Reechie to summarize the benefit of having a scenic byway designation. Ms. Reechie indicated that Ohio’s scenic byway program identifies routes with intrinsic value such as scenic, historic, recreational, natural, archaeological or cultural. These routes allow local communities to preserve and enhance their local environments while attracting tourists to the area.
Councilmember Mershon asked if T. J. Evans Foundation owned the trail and/or were supportive of the byway plan. Ms Reechie indicated that she had not contacted the Foundation as she thought the trail was public right-of-way. She indicated that she would contact the Foundation.
Mayor Hartfield and Councilmember Barsky thanked Ms. Reechie for all of her work and persistence.
PUBLIC HEARING (7:44pm)
Ordinance No. 03-09, An Ordinance to Amend Sections 1189.01,1189.09, 1189.10, 1189.11 of the Codified Ordinances to Revise the Regulations Pertaining to Temporary, Exempt, and Prohibited Signs
Maggie Barno, Executive Director of the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce, stated that the Chamber was still in support of sign laws that help maintain a consistent look to Granville and enable businesses to make their products known. The Chamber appreciated the changes in the temporary sign portion of the code. The Chamber asked that the Village hold a meeting with local business owners to educate them about the new legislation.
Council indicated that staff was available to answer any questions regarding changes in the sign code at the convenience of any business owner.
Mayor Hartfield closed the public hearing for Ordinance 03-09. (7:46pm)
Ordinance No. 04-09, An Ordinance to Provide One-Time Issuance of Four $20 Vouchers to Each Resident or Business that has a Water Meter Located in the Village as of May 1, 2009
Maggie Barno, Executive Director of the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce, stated that the Chamber was in support of this ordinance. The Chamber website hosted a poll for Chamber members regarding this issue. She indicated that 61% of poll respondents were in favor of the ordinance. The Chamber supported this program as a boost for the local economy, local businesses would see an increase in activity, and it would encourage residents to shop locally. The Chamber encouraged Council to pass this ordinance.
Councilmember Barsky asked the total number of respondents. Ms. Barno was not aware of the total number of respondents.
Mayor Hartfield closed the public hearing for Ordinance 04-09. (7:47pm)
Ordinance No. 05-09, An Ordinance to Appropriate Funds for the Pedestrian Bridge Over Raccoon Creek and Authorizing the Village Manager to Enter into a Contract for the Project
Dennis Cauchon, 327 East Broadway, commended Council and Assistant Manager Roberts for pursuing the grant and moving forward with the project. He indicated, after reviewing the eight sample designs, he would not be supportive of either the Buckeye or Cortez designs.
Dan Rogovin, 222 Glyn Tawel Drive, indicated that he was representing US Bridge. He provided Council with copies of brochure booklets showing bridge products that his company provides. US Bridge has been in business since 1936. He indicated that the typical bridge design used in projects such as this was the Voyager.
Assistant Manager Roberts indicated that the Voyager design was being used as the design for ODOT’s base bids.
Mayor Hartfield closed the public hearing for Ordinance 05-09. (7:50pm)
Ordinance No. 03-09, An Ordinance to Amend Sections 1189.01,1189.09, 1189.10, 1189.11 of the Codified Ordinances to Revise the Regulations Pertaining to Temporary, Exempt, and Prohibited Signs was moved for approval by Vice Mayor Herman. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.
Councilmember Mershon questioned the new language at the top of page three in red that was not highlighted regarding signs that no longer advertise an existing business. He asked if that language was new. Planner Terry indicated that the language should not be included in the draft and should be removed. Council requested that the language be removed.
Councilmember Mershon questioned allowing multiple televisions in an interior window display. He indicated that he did not have a problem with that type of display and suggested removing the last sentence in section 1189.11(w). He indicated that the size of the window would limit the size of television screen used or the number of screens. Councilmember Tegtmeyer understood the need for this restriction. She indicated that a business could always seek a variance. No change was made.
Councilmember Barsky asked if Planning Commission was comfortable with the responsibilities outlined in this ordinance regarding off-premises signs. Manager Holycross indicated that the section in question was added to exclude sandwich board signs. Councilmember McGowan asked if a business could place a sandwich board sign in the downtown area that was more than a block away from the business. Manager Holycross indicated the restrictions being reviewed do not affect the guidelines regarding sandwich board signs as those restrictions were in another part of the code. Planning Commission still had the ability to restrict those signs.
Councilmember Mershon indicated that language in section 1189.10(a)(10) was not the language he suggested during the previous meeting. He indicated that the correct language should read “Signs that are not visible from public streets or legible from adjacent properties.”
Councilmember McGowan commented on the suggestion from the Chamber regarding additional education for local business owners. He asked if there was anything additional that needed to be done. Mayor Hartfield indicated that multiple Planning Commission hearings were held and two public Council meetings with one being held over provided businesses several opportunities to review and question the legislation. Vice Mayor Herman suggested that the Village Planner would be willing to meet with any business owner who had questions and discuss any issues. Manager Holycross and Planner Terry indicated in the affirmative.
Mayor Hartfield asked if Council was comfortable with the new language regarding vehicles that were used for advertisement. Council indicated agreement with the new language. Councilmember Mershon recommended a change in the language to focus on the principal purpose of the vehicle. Councilmember Mershon amended the language to read “Any sign that is placed on or affixed to a vehicle or trailer that is parked in a location that is visible to the public and for a period of time that indicates that the principle purpose of locating the vehicle in that location is principally for advertising, rather than transport.”
Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on the amended Ordinance No. 03-09: Barsky – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Tegtmeyer – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes. Ordinance No. 03-09 passed 7-0.
Ordinance No. 04-09, An Ordinance to Provide One-Time Issuance of Four $20 Vouchers to Each Resident or Business that has a Water Meter Located in the Village as of May 1, 2009 was moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan. Second by Vice Mayor Herman.
Councilmember McGowan indicated that his intention in proposing this legislation was to give something back to the residents during these tough economic times. He indicated that he listened to Council’s concerns regarding designing legislation that would ensure the money be spent locally and developed a voucher type program. He indicated he would welcome any amendments to increase or decrease the amount of the credit or extend the program into the Township.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked the cost of the program if all of the vouchers were redeemed. Manager Holycross indicated an estimated total cost of $120,000.
Councilmember Tegtmeyer expressed concern regarding the impact of this program on the staff. Council and staff had not allocated time during this year for implementing this program, so other work would not be completed. The program was not simple and wondered what staff’s availability. Manager Holycross indicated that staff would be able to manage the program; however, there could be lost opportunities to work on other projects. Staff’s time would just be used differently.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked about the reserves shown in the five-year revenue projections. Manager Holycross estimated that the general fund balance after five years was just over half a million dollars. Councilmember O’Keefe asked what an appropriate reserve balance would be for a municipality our size. Manager Holycross indicated that the Village’s financial policies required a minimum of half a million dollars. He indicated that he and Assistant Manager Roberts would feel more comfortable with a 25% reserve of the annual budget, about one million dollars. He indicated that providing a cushion allows the Village to handle emergencies, unanticipated costs or take advantage of opportunities. Manager Holycross indicated that Dublin holds a 100% of the annual budget in reserve. Councilmember Barsky wondered how the current economic climate would be calculated into that five year projection. Manager Holycross indicated that any estimate made regarding the next five years would be a guess as to the impact on the economy and the Village. Councilmember O’Keefe questioned if Council should count on a surplus of funds from the street improvement project that came in under bid. Manger Holycross indicated that even though the Village Engineer included an allowance for overages prior to bidding this job, reconstruction jobs often run into unanticipated problems. The staff thought it prudent to hold these funds in reserve until the project was well underway. Councilmember Mershon indicated that the Village Engineer indicated that extra costs were built into the bid. Manager Holycross answered in the affirmative, but in discussing the issue of releasing these funds for other projects, staff felt it would be prudent to hold those funds in reserve.
Councilmember McGowan stated that he initially proposed legislation of providing credit to the water bill which would have been procedurally simple. Councilmember McGowan asked Council if they did not feel it was important to give anything back to the residents during this tough time or help local businesses, Councilmember should so indicate. Councilmember McGowan indicated that he voted against the appropriation for a $60,000 water pump that was rarely used. Council could always find ways to spend money. Councilmember McGowan suggested that Council needed to decide if it was important to give something back to residents or local businesses at this time.
Mayor Hartfield indicated that a voucher program was initially her suggestion. She indicated that she made the suggestion after feeling worn down by the rapidity of similar legislation. Mayor Hartfield indicated that she was wrong for making the suggestion. Mayor Hartfield indicated that with the unknown economic climate, unknown revenue income for the coming year, the potential of unknown expenses regarding the street project, and the expenditure of staff time makes supporting this legislation not possible. She indicated that philosophically she cannot justify supporting this expenditure. She questioned if providing these funds was a productive expenditure or a consumptive expenditure. She questioned if people were being encouraged to spend just to spend, was there future capital to back up the Village providing these funds, or was this program just a short term fix. Mayor Hartfield also questioned possible unintended consequences both financially and socially between residents and businesses. The Village has traditionally been conservative in our fiscal policies, this legislation seems to go against that tradition. Councilmember Tegtmeyer and O’Keefe indicated that residents advised them that they were not interested in the program, to use the funds to fix the roads or sewers. Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that in the current economic climate a contingency fund was important and prudent. Councilmember Barsky indicated that being good stewards of the Village’s finances was possibly a more important way to give back to the community over the long term.
Vice Mayor Herman indicated his willingness to support the legislation. He indicated that he felt it was worth a try and anticipated that the program would not be as costly as many vouchers would not be used. He indicated his support due to the challenging financial climate and could be helpful for both residents and businesses.
Councilmember Mershon indicated that he philosophically supported the goals of this legislation. The budgetary needs of the Village had been met, the Village fiscal standards would still be met and the Village has surplus funds. Although this proposal was the most costly administratively, the Village had unspent monies in the general fund for years that had went unspent and the appropriate thing to do was to give the money back to the residents. Councilmember Barsky indicated that with the recent requests from organizations within the community, Council may need to consider the long term cost benefits of giving funds directly back to the residents, rather than through programs.
Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on the amended Ordinance No. 04-09: McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – no; Tegtmeyer – no; Barsky – no; Herman – yes; Hartfield – no. Ordinance No. 03-09 failed 3-4.
Ordinance No. 05-09, An Ordinance to Appropriate Funds for the Pedestrian Bridge Over Raccoon Creek and Authorizing the Village Manager to Enter into a Contract for the Project was moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Vice Mayor Herman.
Assistant Manager Roberts indicated that Council was provided with information specific to this project as part of their project. The estimated cost of the project was $657,000. ODOT was requesting this legislation, which includes the alternatives requested by Village staff. The ordinance was needed in order for funding to proceed. Councilmember Mershon asked if the price of the project increased significantly, Council could reconsider funding the project. Assistant Manager Roberts answered in the affirmative.
Councilmember Mershon asked how the split funding for the sidewalk in front for Granville Market happened and if this was Village policy. Councilmember Mershon indicated he was trying to determine what the Village policy was regarding sidewalk installation. Manager Holycross indicated that the split funding was part of the approval granted Granville Market for their recent renovations. Planner Terry indicated that as part of the renovation, the Village asked the Market to install a sidewalk in front of their business. The Village would be solely responsible for installing a five foot sidewalk; however, the Village wanted a ten foot pathway so the Village agreed to cover fifty percent of the costs. Manager Holycross indicated that in new areas, it was the financial responsibility of the developer to build sidewalks. The Village also splits the cost of replacing existing sidewalks with the property owner. Manager Holycross indicated that this instance was a first for him in regard to installing a new sidewalk in an existing area.
Councilmember Barsky suggested allowing the Pathway Advisory Committee to recommend a specific bridge design.
Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on the amended Ordinance No. 05-09: Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Tegtmeyer – yes; Barsky – yes; McGowan – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes. Ordinance No. 05-09 passed 7-0.
Vice Mayor Herman recused himself from the meeting.
Four Funding Requests
Granville Federation for the Appreciation of the Blues
Granville Historical Society
Robbins Hunter Museum
Councilmember Mershon appreciated the general language in the non-profit fiscal policy, but indicated that he was opposed to it. As public monies were being used, the Village should receive an identifiable return. He indicated that the Village should be entering into contracts with specific outcomes. Councilmember Mershon suggested that the Village provide funding to organizations that could provide services to residents more efficiently than the Village could. Councilmember Mershon suggested that as only one of the requests were of an urgent nature, the rest should wait and go through the budgetary process. Mayor Hartfield indicated that she wanted whatever policy or procedure that was established to be fair and equitable to each group.
Councilmember Barsky indicated that she also wanted definable outcomes with an accountability component. She indicated support for an application process that required each group to identify how funds were used and/or allocated.
Councilmember Mershon indicated that if there was an emergency need, those needs should be considered. When non-profits provide a service that government would provide otherwise, it made sense to provide funding to those organizations. He indicated that he was not supportive of funding all non-profit organizations.
Mayor Hartfield indicated that whatever process was selected, all groups should receive equal and fair treatment. She asked each group how soon they needed an answer from Council regarding their requests.
- Kiwanis indicated that Kiwanis paid for the fireworks display; however, most municipalities pay for community fireworks displays. The Village certainly derives a benefit for the service that the Kiwanians have traditionally provided. Kiwanis needed to know within the month to secure fireworks.
- The Bluesfest indicated that they could wait one month
- The Robbins Hunter Museum indicated that they began this process in December, 2008.
Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked Councilmembers if Council had an opinion whether Council wanted requesters to exhaust all options for funding requests prior to coming to Council or act as a catalyst for initiating projects.
Councilmember Mershon asked the number of local non-profits. Mayor Hartfield indicated that the list provided Council included thirty-seven organizations. Councilmember Mershon asked if each group would be provided $10,000. Mayor Hartfield indicated that Council would limit the number of dollars available annually, reviews each application and provides funding as available. Councilmember Mershon questioned if all of these requests should be considered or funded this year.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked how long it would take to develop an application. Manager Holycross indicated that an application could be develop and provided to each group by the middle of next week based on the current guidelines in the draft policy. Council could move forward with the process as outlined currently and see how the process works. As the applications were turned in, they would be forwarded to Council for their review. Councilmember Barsky suggested the Manager Holycross forward the draft application to Council for their review via email for suggestions prior to forwarding to the four applicants. Mayor Hartfield indicated that Manager Holycross could then forward the application to these four organizations. Manager Holycross would provide all applications to Council as soon as the information was received.
Councilmember Mershon asked if additional non-profits could apply for funding. Councilmember Mershon indicated that he would like to know the emergency that makes funding each group immediately, rather than including this policy as part of the annual budgetary process at the end of the year, necessary. Councilmember Barsky indicated that the request for funding this year may indicate the need. The application process should provide that information and allow Council to address those requests now.
Resolution No. 09-24, A Resolution to Amend the Scenic Byway Management Plan for Granville to Include the T. J. Evans Trail was moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan. Second by Councilmember Mershon.
Councilmember McGowan indicated that approval of this resolution would be beneficial for the community. Councilmember O’Keefe expressed the importance of incorporating the byway plan into the Comprehensive Plan. Councilmember Tegtmeyer was pleased that the Licking County Commissioners expressed interest in the plan and supported extension of the plan throughout the County.
Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-24. Motion carried (6-0). Resolution No. 09-24 was adopted.
Vice Mayor Herman returned to the meeting.
REVIEW OF MINUTES
Regularly Scheduled Meeting of March 18, 2009
Councilmember O’Keefe made a motion to approve the March 18, 2009 minutes as amended. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion carried 7-0.
Economic, Finance, Personnel Committee (EFP) – (Hartfield, Herman, Tegtmeyer)
Granville Foundation – (Tegtmeyer)
Light, Safety, Sts/Sidewalks, Utility Committee (LSSU) – (Herman, McGowan, O’Keefe)
Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)
Councilmember O’Keefe reported that the Planning Commission dealt with two specific issues at their last meeting. An electrical box was placed on an East Broadway business without Planning Commission approval. The Commission also completed a thoughtful discussion regarding the replacement of an insert on an internally illuminated sign. Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that the Commission felt the sign was historic and changing it to an uplighted sign could cause more light pollution for area residents.
Planning & Zoning Committee – (Barsky, Hartfield, O’Keefe)
Councilmember Barsky asked the status of the Comprehensive Plan. Planner Terry indicated that she just received information from the Township Trustees regarding changes they were recommending to the land use map. She will confirm those changes with the Trustees during the next week.
Recreation Commission – (McGowan)
Councilmember McGowan reported that the GRC would be hosting the annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 11th. He would not be able to attend the next GRC meeting.
Tree & Landscape Commission (Barsky)
Union Cemetery (Mershon)
Councilmember Mershon reported that the Fannins would be returning to Granville for two or three weeks beginning June 11, 2009.
OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS
Mayor Hartfield indicated that Council received updated goals and objectives. She asked Council if they would like to discuss each topic. Vice Mayor Herman indicated that he would like staff to provide the amount of time involved to complete each item. Manager Holycross indicated that staff would like Council to indicate which items were of the highest importance. Councilmember Mershon suggested allowing Council to rank each item and return to staff. Manager Holycross indicated that staff could provide a calendar indicated the time involved in accomplishing each task.
Councilmember Barsky moved to enter into Executive Session, pursuant to ORC 121.22(G)(2) – “to consider the purchase of property for public purposes.” Second by Vice Mayor Herman.
Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: Tegtmeyer – yes; Barsky – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 7-0. Time in: 9:37pm.
Councilmember McGowan moved to return to regular session. Second by Councilmember Mershon.
Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: Barsky – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Tegtmeyer – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 7-0. Time in: 9:57pm.
Councilmember McGowan moved to adjourn the meeting. Second by Councilmember Barsky. Motion carried 7-0. Meeting adjourned.