Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes December 16, 2009

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

December 16, 2009

CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:30pm)

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL

Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Barsky, Lerner, McGowan, Mershon, O’Keefe, Herman, Hartfield, Manager Holycross, and Law Director Crites.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Vice Mayor Herman moved to approve the agenda. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. Motion carried (7-0). 

CITIZEN COMMENTS (7:31 pm) 

 Sharon Sellitto, 215 South Cherry Street, indicated that she was unsure why the Village wanted to be in the trash business. Ms. Sellitto indicated that the letter forwarded to Village residents had not provided residents sufficient time. She expressed her unhappiness about charging every tenant in a building for trash pick-up. She indicated that her rental properties did not have room for three large toters. She also indicated that she stopped by the Village Office to ask about opting out of the program and was told she had to write a letter of explanation. She indicated that there should be a form to check appropriate options. She was also advised that residents who take their trash to other resident’s homes to dispose of it might not be permitted to opt out of the program. Ms. Sellitto felt that any reason should be acceptable. She indicated her frustration with the Village changing the existing system and with the new policies and procedures. 

 Mayor Hartfield explained that there would be certain criteria that would need to be met in order to opt out of the program. Manager Holycross explained that residents were being asked to provide something in writing describing their particular situation. He indicated that the new system would not permit residents sharing the costs of refuse disposal. Manager Holycross indicated his willingness to meet with Ms. Sellitto at her convenience. 

 Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comment’s at 7:44pm. 

 PRESENTATION

 John Weigand, Past Rotary President, made a presentation to Council regarding the proposed Rotary Bridge across Raccoon Creek from the TJ Evans bike path to the Raccoon Valley Park. He explained that the Rotary Club of Granville adopted the Raccoon Legacy Bridge Project to construct a pedestrian bridge. The Rotary Club has committed up to $150,000 toward this project if groundbreaking occurred within 24 months of the initial environmental impact study. The StanTec Corporation completed a required environmental impact study selected three separate sites to build a truss-style bridge. The cost estimates were between $750,000 and $1.2 million. The Village offered a community survey to gauge support for a smaller suspension type bridge, similar to the one constructed at Flory Park in Newark, Ohio, at a cost of $295,000. The survey indicated that a majority of Village residents (60%) supported a lower cost suspension bridge versus the truss-style bridge (20%). Dr. Weigand indicated that the next step in the process was to establish the actual cost of the bridge. JB Riddel and Associates agreed to create an advance design of a suspension including costs at a total cost of $7,000. In order for the project to move forward, Dr. Weigand requested from Council $3,500 to cover half the cost of the construction design. He indicated that he would be asking the Granville Township Trustees for the other half. Dr. Weigand hoped that Council would be willing to help the project continue to move forward by providing the requested funding. 

 Councilmember Barsky asked how the additional $150,000 would be funded. Dr. Weigand indicated that additional funding requests would be requested from both the Village and Township. 

 Councilmember O’Keefe asked about the funding for the pathway connecting the bridge through the park to a pathway along River Road. Dr. Weigand indicated that some pathway might be included in the bridge estimate, but very little. The Granville Joint Recreation District would be responsible for pathway development inside the park. Councilmember O’Keefe asked if the JRD had committed their involvement. Dr. Weigand indicated that they had helped with the initial costs, but JRD funds were committed to park development. 

 Councilmember Barsky asked if grant dollars were being sought. Dr. Weigand indicated that grant application would be made after the completion of the cost estimate. He indicated that grant dollars would be difficult to obtain due to time constraints. 

 Vice Mayor Herman asked why Rotary selected this project. Dr. Weigand indicated that the choice was between this project and a project for seniors at Bryn Du. The Club selected this project as it could potentially help a greater number of residents. 

 Councilmember Mershon asked if the bridge would be located within Village limits. Manager Holycross indicated that the bridge would be located within Village limits on Granville Township property. Councilmember Mershon asked who would be responsible for maintaining the bridge. Dr. Weigand indicated that the bridge would be constructed of composite materials reducing maintenance costs. Councilmember Mershon suggested that as Village residents pay Township costs, perhaps the financial split should not be 50-50. 

 Councilmember O’Keefe questioned who would use the bridge. Dr. Weigand indicated that he had received antedotal information indicating both little and a lot of use. He personally preferred constructing a more conservative costing bridge to determine usage. A larger bridge could always be built in the future, if needed. Dr. Weigand added that the addition of this bridge could provide alternate access to the park and eventually connect the River Road area to the South Main Street area, as recommended by the Pathway Advisory Committee. 

 Mayor Hartfield asked when Dr. Weigand would need a response from Council. Dr. Weigand indicated that he would be making a similar presentation to the Township Trustees in January. He indicated that the end of January would be sufficient. 

 PUBLIC HEARING (8:10pm)

Ordinance No. 13-09, An Ordinance to Amend Section 505.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville to Establish a Leash Law 

 Gloria Hoover, 213 East College Street, spoke in support of a Village wide leash law as presented in this ordinance. Ms. Hoover felt a community wide leash law would encourage a sense of public safety and security for the general welfare of all residents. It would also help maintain Granville's sense of friendliness. Ms. Hoover cited several statistics. The Licking County Treasurer reported that there were 2,820 parcels within Granville Township and one third of those households had dogs. These statistics demonstrated that there were a large number of dogs in the area. She asked that Council think of people first and dogs second. Ms. Hoover provided Council with a copy of a poem entitled "Dog Fancy - Mind Your Manners, Walk This Way." Ms. Hoover requested that Council vote in support of Ordinance No. 13-09 as introduced. 

 Mary Ann Malcutt, 526 West Broadway, also spoke in support of the leash law for the safety of both people and dogs. Ms. Malcutt questioned if dogs could be in complete control by an owner while off leash. Ms. Malcuit indicated that many residents already assumed that a leash law existed, so voting for this ordinance would not have as strong an impact. Ms. Malcutt requested Council to be proactive in passing this ordinance. 

 Bob Malcutt, 526 West Broadway, indicated his support for this original ordinance for general public safety. 

 Diane Jones, 3354 Battee Road, also spoke in support of the proposed ordinance. Ms. Jones operates carriage rides within the Village and had her horse attacked by leashed dogs where their owner were not in control of their animals. Mayor Hartfield questioned Ms. Jones regarding the incident. Ms. Jones indicated that one incident was a dog escaping a yard through and open gate, while another incident was a dog on a leash that ran from its owner. Ms. Jones asked Council to support the ordinance as a matter of public safety. 

 Ordinance No. 20-09, An Ordinance to Make Appropriations for Current Expenses and Other Expenditures of the Village of Granville, State of Ohio, During the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2010 

 No comments.

Ordinance No. 21-09, An Ordinance to Amend Ordinance No. 17-08 Providing for Adjustments to the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 and Revising Sums for Operating Expenses 

 No Comments 

 Mayor Hartfield closed the public hearing at 8:28pm. 

OLD BUSINESS 

 Ordinance No. 13-09, An Ordinance to Amend Section 505.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville to Establish a Leash Law was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember O'Keefe. Second by Councilmember Barsky. 

 Discussion:

Vice Mayor Herman asked why this ordinance was being brought forth before Council instead of the revised ordinance recommended by the Lights, Street/Sidewalks, Safety and Utilities Committee. Mayor Hartfield indicated that the revised ordinance was never introduced to Council. Councilmember Barsky asked if this ordinance was reviewed by the Committee. Councilmember O'Keefe indicated that it was approved by a vote of 2-1. Councilmember Mershon indicated that the revised version resulted from a public meeting that was attended by more staff members than residents. Vice Mayor Herman reiterated that the revised version was recommended and supported by LSSU. 

 Councilmember O'Keefe questioned whether dogs without leashes could really be under an owner's control. She cited a letter provided in Council's packet from a local veterinarian that indicated dogs might not always be under complete control with or without a leash. Dogs could be highly unpredictable. Councilmember O'Keefe also added that several senior citizens had approached her and indicated that they were fearful of dogs, especially those that were unrestrained. She indicated that most dog owners seemed to use leashes, but she would prefer to see leashes be mandated throughout the Village. 

 Vice Mayor Herman moved to amend Ordinance No. 13-09 with the revised Ordinance 13-09 which limited the areas in the Village requiring a leash. (There was no second.) 

 Mayor Hartfield indicated that in reviewing the data from other municipalities, there seemed to be a range in the laws. She also indicated that the reports of dog bites by unrestrained dogs were minimal. Mayor Hartfield indicated that issues involving dogs running at large were already addressed by the existing law. Based on the testimony and information provided, a leash law would not solve the issues raised by Village residents. She would like to find a common ground that could more effectively address all concerns. 

 Councilmember McGowan supported the proposed legislation indicating that the ordinance could be amended to address problems residents would bring forward. 

 Vice Mayor Herman explained that the existing law would not remedy the example problems cited by the residents this evening. The existing law regarding dogs running at-large currently addresses those issues. 

 Vice Mayor Herman asked Councilmembers O'Keefe and McGowan why their opinions had changed from the last LSSU Committee meeting. Councilmember McGowan indicated that he supported the restricted leash law as it was the only suggested option, but he preferred the ordinance that was presented this evening. Councilmember O'Keefe indicated that she was in support of prudence. A community wide leash law would provide a greater sense of safety for all residents and especially those who were fearful of dogs. Vice Mayor Herman felt, the proposed legislation was too restrictive and may not solve the concerns voiced by the residents this evening. He was not in support of this proposed legislation. He wondered how the community and Council would know that the proposed law was effective as the existing statistics showed very few incidents and many of those incidents involved dogs on leashes. 

 Councilmember McGowan hoped that the police department would use discretion and give residents warnings rather than citations. Councilmember Mershon noted that with a leash law, it would be easier for the police department to determine whether a dog was under control if a leash were required. 

 Councilmember Lerner suggested rewriting the ordinance to possible permit areas of the community to be non-leash zones. Councilmember Mershon questioned the manageability of such recommendations, but indicated his support for possibly revising the ordinance. Areas would need to be easily signed. Councilmember Barsky indicated that Council had only heard from individuals who want a leash law. She proposed passing the ordinance and putting the burden on dog owners to let the Manager know what areas should be non-leash, 

 Mayor Hartfield indicated that the public may be confused about which ordinance was under consideration. Perhaps additional public comment during a less hectic time could allow for more public input. 

 Councilmember Barsky moved to table Ordinance 13-09 to allow the Village Manager to access possible areas where leashes would not be required and to allow for additional public input. Second by Councilmember Lerner. 

 Councilmember Mershon saw a problem with allowing the Village Manager to select specific non leash areas regarding how the information would be communicated and should a change be needed it would require amending the ordinance. Councilmember Barsky suggested placing information in the paper to seek public input. 

 Councilmember Mershon questioned if a definition of the length of leashes or electronic leashes should be also included. Councilmember Barsky suggested no leash restrictions. 

 Mayor Hartfield called for a role call vote to table Ordinance 13-09. Barsky - Yes, Lerner - Yes, McGowan - No, Mershon - No, O'Keefe - No, Herman - Yes, Hartfield - Yes. Motion carried (4-3). Ordinance No. 13-09 was tabled. 

 EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

 Councilmember Barsky moved to enter into Executive Session, Pursuant to ORC 121.22(G)(4) – “preparing for, conducting, or reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation of other terms and conditions of their employment.” Second by Vice Mayor Herman 

 Roll call vote: Lerner, McGowan, Mershon, O’Keefe, Barsky, Herman and Hartfield.

Time in: 9:10pm. Motion carried 7-0. 

 Vice Mayor Herman moved to return to regular session. Second by Councilmember Mershon. 

 Roll call vote: McGowan, Mershon, O’Keefe, Barsky, Lerner, Herman and Hartfield.

Time in: 10:35pm. Motion carried 7-0. 

 Ordinance No. 20-09, An Ordinance to Make Appropriations for Current Expenses and Other Expenditures of the Village of Granville, State of Ohio, During the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2010 was introduced and a public hearing suggested for December 16, 2009 by Vice Mayor Herman. Second by Councilmember Barsky. 

 Discussion:

Councilmember O'Keefe questioned on the All Funds, page two, what the 1.3% represented. Manager Holycross indicated that the percentage was a formula error. The percentage should be approximately 2% more funds projected to be used in 2010 over 2009. 

 Councilmember Mershon questioned why the transfers on that same page were not zero. Manager Holycross explained that the transfer shows only as expenditure and would be reflected as a receipt. 

 Councilmember Mershon questioned why the capital outlay had gone from $1.154 to $1.676, an increase of $500,000. Manager Holycross indicated that the bulk of the increase was due to the College Street capital improvements. The increase can also be attributed to the difference in the projected cost for the Wexford Drive capital improvements in 2009 and the actual cost. The improvements were completed at $250,000 less than appropriated. Capital costs that were included in that number were the College Street improvements at $950,000, the purchase of two cruisers, the purchase of a server and PC replacements, and the purchase of two dump trucks, one for the service department and the other for the water department. 

 Mayor Hartfield asked if the Village Manager could provide a summary of the 2010 capital improvements with a comparison to 2009. Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative. 

 Councilmember McGowan asked if the budget could be provided to Council by November 1st each year. He felt he made that request for the past several years. He also questioned why an employee benefit compensation resolution had not been presented to Council. Mayor Hartfield indicated that the reason for the delay in the employee benefit compensation had been discussed. Councilmember Mershon indicated that the receipt of the budget does not allow Council adequate time for review. Mayor Hartfield indicated that an explanation had been provided. 

 Councilmember Mershon questioned why contract services were up by $100,000. Manager Holycross indicated that much of that cost was due to the costs for engineering services for College Street. 

 Councilmember Mershon questioned the 6% increase in the budget for salary increases for contract rates. 

 Mayor Hartfield called for a role call vote to approve Ordinance 20-09. Lerner - Yes, McGowan - No, Mershon - No, O'Keefe - Yes, Barsky - Yes, Herman - Yes, Hartfield - Yes. Motion carried (5-2). Ordinance No. 20-09 was approved. 

 Ordinance No. 21-09, An Ordinance to Amend Ordinance No. 17-08 Providing for Adjustments to the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 and Revising Sums for Operating Expenses was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Councilmember Mershon. 

 Discussion:

Councilmember Barsky questioned if the additional $30,000 would be enough to cover all additional income tax refund requests. Manager Holycross indicated that former Assistant Manager Roberts and Income Tax Commissioner Wright felt confident that after reviewing their current data, this dollar amount would be appropriate. 

 Councilmember O'Keefe asked why people were requesting refunds. Manager Holycross indicated that some residents pay their taxes quarterly and overestimate their total tax debt. In previous years, residents would allow any overage to carry over into the next tax year. The current trend seems to be to request a refund. 

 Mayor Hartfield called for a role call vote to approve Ordinance 21-09. McGowan - Yes, Mershon - Yes, O'Keefe - Yes, Barsky - Yes, Lerner - Yes, Herman - Yes, Hartfield - Yes. Motion carried (7-0). Ordinance No. 21-09 was approved. 

NEW BUSINESS 

 Resolution No. 09-63, A Resolution to Authorize the Village Manager to Execute the Central Ohio health Care Consortium Joint Self-Insurance Agreement on Behalf of the Village of Granville was introduced and moved for approval by Vice Mayor Herman. Second by Councilmember McGowan. 

 Discussion:

Mayor Hartfield asked if there were any changes to this agreement. Manager Holycross indicated that the original agreement signed last year had many amendments. The agreement was updated this year to include those amendments as part of the agreement. 

 Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-63. Motion carried (6-1). Resolution No. 09-63 was adopted. 

 Resolution No. 09-64, A Resolution to Affirm the Decision of the Council of the Village of Granville to Modify the Decision of the Planning Commission Approving Application No. 07-042 With Conditions and Adopting Decision Findings and Conclusions of Fact by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Vice Mayor Herman. 

 Discussion:

Councilmember O'Keefe asked if the issue of occupancy had been resolved as she was told merchandise was sold in the building during the Candlelight Walking Tour. Manager Holycross indicated that the applicant had been notified that use of the building was not permitted until this Resolution was passed and an occupancy permit was secured. 

 Councilmember Barsky confirmed that the building was designated as an accessory use structure and that designation would require that all sales for items located in the barn must be made in the main building. Law Director Crites indicated that Council upheld the barn as an accessory use and subordinate to the main building. Councilmember O'Keefe asked if a cash register was permitted to be used in the barn. Law Director Crites indicated that issues like that cannot be prejudged and would need to be looked at if they occurred. 

 Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-64. Motion carried (7-0). Resolution No. 09-64 was adopted.

REVIEW OF MINUTES 

 Regularly Scheduled Meeting of December 2, 2009 

 Councilmember Barsky made a motion to approve the December 2, 2009 minutes as amended. Second by Councilmember Barsky. Motion carried 7-0.

MAYOR'S COURT REPORT

Councilmember Barsky questioned the number of speed citations forward to the Licking County Municipal Court. Mayor Hartfield indicated that often additional charges may be involved that may cause the case to be moved to Municipal Court. 

 MONTHLY MANAGER'S REPORT

Manager Holycross reported that this month's leaf collection was the largest month ever completed with the least number of man hours. He complemented the Service Department on a job well done. He indicated that Service Director Hopkins made improvements in equipment usage and reorganized manpower staffing. 

 COMMITTEE REPORTS 

 Mayor Hartfield suggested that the Committee reports be omitted for the evening. Council concurred. Mayor Hartfield asked Councilmembers to request Committee positions as assignments would be made in January. She requested that those requests be provided to Manager Holycross or Clerk Prasher. 

 A discussion between Mayor Hartfield and Councilmember Mershon developed regarding increasing committees to four member committees. Mayor Hartfield's position was that committees of four constitute a quorum of Council and could be a decision making body. Committees of four could give the perception of a regular Council meeting were decisions were made. A three person committee can only make recommendations to the whole Council. 

 Councilmember Mershon supported committees of four as they could provide greater input into an issue and to the Manager and were more beneficial. He cited Newark and Canal Winchester as community who have more than three member committees. 

 Mayor Hartfield requested each Councilmember's committee requests. 

 OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS 

 Councilmember Barsky wanted to address citizen concerns regarding the upcoming and ongoing AEP tree trimming. She advised that AEP was currently clear cutting the trees. She requested that Council provide AEP with a resolution that limits the tree trimming to Council's specifications, perhaps no more than was trimmed five years ago. 

 Councilmember Barsky moved that a formal letter be drafted to AEP insisting that no trees be trimmed any further back than trimmed in 2004 and if additional trimming was needed, AEP would need to come to Council to make that request. Second by Councilmember McGowan. 

 Vote to approve the motion. Motion carried (7-0). The motion was adopted. 

 Councilmember Mershon requested that the Council meeting starting time be moved to 7:00pm. Vice Mayor Herman questioned any possible impact on the Law Director. Mayor Hartfield questioned the need to change Council's meeting time. 

 ADJOURNMENT (11:18pm) 

 Councilmember McGowan moved to adjourn the meeting. Second by Councilmember Barsky. Motion carried 7-0. Meeting adjourned.

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