Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes February 18, 2009

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

February 18, 2009

 

CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:29 pm)

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

ROLL CALL

            Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Barsky, McGowan, Mershon, Tegtmeyer, Vice Mayor Herman, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Holycross, and Law Director Crites.

 

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to excuse Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion carried (6-0).

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Councilmember McGowan moved to approve the agenda as presented.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman.  Motion carried (6-0).   

 

CITIZENS COMMENTS (7:30 pm)

 

Eric Rosenberg, 395 North Pearl Street, advised Council of safety issues involving his addition’s drive that exits onto the west side of North Pearl Street across from Spellman Street.  Mr. Rosenberg stated that the Village needs to make improvements to the driveway as it may be Village property.  Mr. Rosenberg questioned the issue of whether the drive was public right-of-way or a private drive.  He indicated that the drive had been very difficult to access this winter. Mr. Rosenberg also indicated that it was difficult and unsafe crossing North Pearl Street as a pedestrian and in a vehicle pulling out of their driveway.  He asked Council what the Village could do in the way of road improvements that could improve both road and pedestrian safety in that area.  He suggested the addition of speed bumps, rumble strips or a crosswalk, as there was no safe access to a sidewalk or crosswalk.  Manager Holycross indicated that he and the Village Planner could look at possible solutions and meet with the neighbors to discuss the issues.

 

Bob Ramsey, 399 North Pearl Street, advised Council that access in and around their driveway was dangerous for everyone. He also stated that crossing the street from the western portion of North Pearl Street was very dangerous.

 

Mayor Hartfield closed the public comments portion of the meeting. (7:36pm)

 

PRESENTATION

 

Don Desapri, President of the Board of Governor’s of the Robbins Hunter Museum, and Ann Lowder, Director, made a presentation on behalf of the Robbins Hunter Museum.  Mr. Desapri indicated that the Board of Governor’s was requesting financial assistance from the Village for the support of the Robbins Hunter Museum.  He requested that the Village provide the Museum with the Village’s percentage of the annual proceeds from the Licking County Bed Tax, amounting to $7,500 in 2008, and assist with snow removal and lawn care.  Mr. Desapri indicated that the Village should consider their request as the Museum was a vital asset to the community, both as a historical site, tourist attraction and cultural asset.  He indicated that the Museum’s mission statement was to:  1) preserve the Avery-Downer House, 2) preserve the collection; 3) preserve the trust; and 4) to conduct educational and cultural exhibits.  Mr. Desapri indicated that the Museum’s main source of income was monies received from the trust amounting to slightly under $30,000 for 2008.  That dollar amount was set by law based on a percentage of the trust’s value, which was set several years ago when the trust fund total was much larger.  With the trust fund total dollars having dropped significantly in 2008, the Museum’s income could be reduced, which would have an adverse affect on Museum programming.  Mr. Desapri also indicated that the Museum has incurred a substantial increase in expenses due to the hiring of a full-time director, as that position was staffed on a volunteer in the past.  Mr. Desapri indicated that the Museum brings tourists as well as local residents into the Village through collaborative programming such as the Antiques Fair, Ice Cream Social, and exhibits like the recent war poster exhibit.  Mr. Desapri stated that the Museum would also be undergoing substantial capital improvements including an update and replacement of the heating/air conditioning systems, the addition of indoor restrooms, addition of an elevator access to the second floor, expansion of second floor exhibit areas, upgrade to the kitchen facility and the rebuilding of the Victoria Woodhull Memorial on the western portion of the Avery-Downer House.

 

Ann Lowder, Director of the Robbins Hunter Museum, indicated that she was the first paid director of the Museum.  She indicated that her directive from the Board was to make the Museum an integral part of downtown Granville.  As part of that directive, a membership campaign program has been initiated, a Women’s Board formed and several collaborations established between Denison University, the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Historical Society.  Ms. Lowder indicated that her goal was to continue to make the Museum relevant to the community.

 

Vice Mayor Herman stated that he felt the Robbins Hunter Museum was an integral, treasured resource of the community.  He asked if the Museum had a strategic plan.  Ms. Lowder indicated that the Museum developed and implemented a strategic plan five years ago.  The plan called for the initiation of collaborative partnerships, which were currently underway and the development of a plan to make the Museum more of a cultural and historic centerpiece of the Village.  Vice Mayor Herman asked if there was any communication between the Museum and other organizations that may be experiencing the same type of issues.  Ms. Lowder indicated that the Museum partners with the Licking County Historical Society and the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums.  Vice Mayor Herman asked where the Museum sees itself in five years.  Ms Lowder indicated that the Museum hopes to open 5,000 additional square feet of exhibit space on the second floor with handicap accessibility, expand meeting areas and add a catering kitchen.

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer complemented the Museum staff and volunteers their success in developing partnerships with other entities and attracting visitors to the Museum and community.  She asked if there were additional partnerships being developed for the near future.  Ms. Lowder indicated that there were no specific partnerships in the works, but the Museum staff was always ready to embrace any opportunities offered.

 

Councilmember Barsky asked if the Museum would be seeking financial assistance on an annual basis.  Ms. Lowder indicated in the affirmative.  Mr. Desapri indicated that the request would be for an ongoing commitment at whatever level Council would be willing to fund.  Councilmember Mershon confirmed with the Village Manager that the bed tax revenues, in the past, have been expended for expenses associated with the holiday decorations.  Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative and that the Bed Tax funds were deposited into the General Fund.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that any funding Council would decide to provide the Museum would not need to be tied to the Bed Tax.

 

Councilmember Mershon suggested that the EFP Committee review all possible tourist related organizations that could benefit from revenue provided by the Village.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that the EFP Committee should discuss how funding requests, like the Museum’s request, could best be allocated.  Mayor Hartfield asked Council how they would like to proceed.

 

Councilmember Mershon suggested that the EFP Committee discuss if funds were available in the budget for this type of request and the amount of dollars that should be budgeted for such requests.  Mayor Hartfield asked the presenters if there was timeline for receiving the funding.  Mr. Desapri indicated that they would like to know by April or May.

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked about the Museum’s upcoming event regarding the Victoria Woodhull memorial.  Ms. Lowder indicated that an April fundraising dinner was planned with additional events to be announced during the next several weeks.

 

Ms. Lowder and Mr. Desapri thanked Council for their consideration. 

 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

Ordinance No. 01-09, An Ordinance to Provide a One-time $75 Credit Against Water Bills for Each Water Meter Belonging to Residents and Businesses Located in the Village of as June 1, 2009.

 

Dan Bellman, 310 Summit Street, indicated his support for the ordinance as an effort to benefit local residents.  Mr. Bellman expressed support for a $250 tax credit instead of the $75 water credit.  He indicated that a tax credit would provide greater relief to the taxpayer.  He recommended that Council take this opportunity and give something back to the community.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Ordinance No. 01-09, An Ordinance to Provide a One-time $75 Credit Against Water Bills for Each Water Meter Belonging to Residents and Businesses Located in the Village of as June 1, 2009.was introduced and moved for adoption by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman. 

 

Discussion:

Councilmember McGowan indicated that he was again putting forth legislation that would benefit local residents and stimulate the local economy.  He suggested similar legislation last year, at this time, of a $100 tax credit and a $100 water credit, which were defeated.  Councilmember McGowan indicated that he felt such an initiative was needed even more this year.  He would like to give taxpayer dollars back to the residents.  Village finances had a $1.4 million carryover from 2008.  The Village recently approved a street improvement contract that came in $250,000 less than anticipated.   The Village budget has the funds available to provide this credit to residents who may be experiencing tough economic times. Councilmember McGowan indicated that he reduced the credit from $100 to $75 to make the ordinance more acceptable to other Council members.  Councilmember McGowan quoted United States Senator Sherrod Brown as saying that “the best way to help the economy was to put more money back into the hands of the taxpayers.”   He also paraphrased President Obama saying that this may not be a perfect solution, there are probably critics, but we need to do something.  Councilmember McGowan would like to see a small portion of the Village’s excess funds be given back to the taxpayer during these tough economic times.

 

Councilmember Barsky and Tegtmeyer indicated that they understood Councilmember McGowan’s position to provide relief for the local taxpayer.  However, they expressed concerns about issues regarding the Village’s future debt and future revenue expectations and if this legislation would provide relief to the individuals who may actually need the relief.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer expressed concern about the financial prudence of moving funds from the General Fund to the Water Fund.  She also indicated that the relief measure proposed by Councilmember McGowan may be warranted, but a water credit may not be the right mechanism to provide that relief.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that the Village’s function was to maintain roads and vital services.  Perhaps the Village could direct funds toward other entities that promote tourism, thereby benefiting local businesses and residents.

 

Vice Mayor Herman questioned whether the credit would actually stimulate the local economy, but the credit would be an expensive gesture that might be appropriate at this time.  Councilmember McGowan indicated that his goal was to have the funds spent locally and expected that residents would understand that goal and act accordingly.

 

Mayor Hartfield asked if Councilmember McGowan had considered a voucher program.  Councilmember McGowan indicated that he was attempting to propose a program that could be easily implemented.  Councilmember Mershon agreed that this water credit would be easy to administer, reached all Village residents and was a more easily identifiable dollar amount.  Councilmember Mershon stated that he agreed with Mr. Bellman that the credit should be, at least,  doubled.  The Village street improvement contract has provided additional revenue that could allow the credit to be doubled and still be within the budget.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that she would prefer a program that was more of an economic stimulus, like a voucher program.  She indicated that she was unsure of how effective the water credit program would be structured this way.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that she was willing to work on alternative ideas.  Vice Mayor Herman stated that the tax credit would be a gesture of support for the community.

 

Councilmember Barsky indicated that she would have liked to have seen more community support for the credit.  The Council has received comments requesting that Council support for the Lifestyle Museum, in addition to the request for funding from the Robbins Hunter Museum and requests from the arts community.  Councilmember Barsky questioned where Council should place the Village’s funding focus.

 

Councilmember Mershon moved to amend Ordinance 01-09 to replace $75 with $150 and replace $225 in Section d and e with $300.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on the amendment to Ordinance No. 01-09:  McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; Tegtmeyer – no; Barsky – no; Herman – no; Hartfield – no.  The amendment to Ordinance No. 01-09 failed 2-4.

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on Ordinance No. 01-09:  Mershon – yes; Tegtmeyer – no; Barsky – no; McGowan – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – no. Ordinance No. 01-09 failed 3-3.

 

Mayor Hartfield recused herself from the meeting.

 

Resolution No. 09-12, A Resolution to Appoint a Member to the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals was moved for adoption by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.

 

Discussion:

Vice Mayor Herman indicated that there were no additional applications received for the BZBA position.

 

Councilmember McGowan moved to appoint Bradley Smith to the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.

 

Councilmember McGowan indicated that Bradley Smith was an exceptional candidate, who would bring a vast amount of knowledge to the Board, and would be an asset to the community.  Vice Mayor Herman indicated that his concerns regarding this candidate had been resolved.  Councilmember Mershon stated that Mr. Smith’s previous experience in working with election and other government committees would be an asset to the Board.

Vice Mayor Herman called for a roll call vote to insert the name of Bradley Smith into Resolution No. 09-12:  Tegtmeyer – yes; Barsky – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; Herman – yes.  Motion passed 5-0.

 

Vice Mayor Herman called for a roll call vote to approve Resolution No. 09-12 to appoint Bradley Smith to the BZBA:  Barsky – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; Tegtmeyer – yes; Herman – yes Resolution No. 09-12 passed 5-0.

 

Mayor Hartfield returned to the meeting.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Resolution No. 09-14, A Resolution of Appreciation for Amber Mitchell was moved for adoption by Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.

 

Discussion:

Mayor Hartfield expressed Council’s appreciation for Ms. Mitchell’s service to the community and indicated that she had been a nice addition to the Board.

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-14. Motion carried 6-0.  Resolution No. 09-14 was approved. 

 

Resolution No. 09-15, A Resolution to Appoint Members to the Pathway Advisory Committee was introduced by Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.

 

Discussion:

Mayor Hartfield indicated that Dennis Cauchon’s name should be added to the list of applicants.

 

Councilmember Mershon recommended that Council appoint all of the residents who expressed interest in serving on the Pathway Committee.  He advised that the Bryn Du Committee worked very well with eighteen or nineteen members.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if there was a reason for the limitation.  Manager Holycross indicated that the only limitation was a concern that the committee would be too large to function efficiently. 

 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that the list of applicants represented a nice cross section of the community.

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer thanked the applicants who provided their information to Council in the manner and time period requested.  Mayor Hartfield thanked all the applicants for their willingness to serve the community.

 

Councilmember Mershon moved to amend Resolution 09-15 by deleting the fourth and fifth “Whereas” paragraphs, amending Section 1 by inserting the names of all of the applicants who indicated an interest to Council in writing or verbally, deleting current Sections 2 and 3, replacing current Section 2 with “The Village Manager is authorized to identify additional participants, and changing current Section 4 to Section 3.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman. 

 

Vote to approve the amendments to Resolution No. 09-15. Motion carried 6-0.  The amendments to Resolution No. 09-15 were approved. 

 

Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-15 as amended. Motion carried 6-0.  Resolution No. 09-15 was approved. 

 

REVIEW OF MINUTES

 

Regularly Scheduled Meeting of February 4, 2009

 

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to approve the minutes as amended.  Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

MAYOR’S COURT REPORT – January

 

The Mayor’s Court Report for the month of January was presented for review.

 

Councilmember McGowan asked about what types of offenses were included in citations written for equipment violations as they quadrupled during the past month.  Manager Holycross indicated that those citations would be written for non-working turn signals, license plate lights, brake lights, etc. 

 

Councilmember Barsky moved to accept the January Mayor’s Court Report.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Mayor Hartfield instructed the report be filed with the Clerk.  A copy of the report will be included as part of these minutes. 

 

MANAGER’S REPORT – January

 

The Manager’s Report for the month of January was presented for review.     

  

Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if the number of Planning Commission applications in January was a decrease from January 2008.  She wondered if a decrease in applications could reflect a snap shot of the economic health of the Village.  Manager Holycross indicated that he would provide that information.

 

Councilmember McGowan questioned how more fuel was used in January, 2009 compared to December 2008, when mileage was less in 2009 than in 2008.  Manager Holycross indicated that he would confirm those numbers also.

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer moved to accept the January Monthly Manager’s Report   Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion carried 6-0.

Mayor Hartfield instructed the report be filed with the Clerk.  A copy of said report will be included as part of these minutes

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS   

 

Economic, Finance, Personnel Committee (EFP) – (Hartfield, Herman, Tegtmeyer) 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that the EFP Committee was waiting for the final evaluation to be returned in order to complete the annual review in the next couple of weeks.  The Committee will also meet to evaluate the budget and funding options regarding requests from local civic groups and organizations.

 

Granville Foundation – (Tegtmeyer)

Councilmember Tegtmeyer reported that the Foundation met on February 17th and appointed four new members to the Board:  Greg Sharkey, Sherri Paprocki, Scott Emery, and Rob Drake, who will be fulfilling Bill Heim’s unexpired term.  Officers elected were President Mary Frazell, Vice President/President Elect Lynn Straker, Treasure Beth Barker, Chair of Finance and Investing Committee Mary Lee Van Meter, and Secretary Pam Satterfield.  The Board also approved grants for 2009 and those approval letters should be going out in the next few weeks.

 

Light, Safety, Sts/Sidewalks, Utility Committee (LSSU) – (Herman, McGowan, O’Keefe)

The LSSU Committee members indicated that they were available to meet, if needed, the last week in February.  Councilmember McGowan advised the Manager Holycross that several reflectors were missing from the bollards in the crosswalk.  Mayor Hartfield advised that several of the directional signs hanging from the traffic lines needed adjustment.

 

Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)

Councilmember Barsky, representing Councilmember O’Keefe at the last GPC meeting, reported that new replacement windows were approve for the school building on North Granger Street.  An application for 224 East Broadway was tabled as the Commission requested the applicant to provide other alternatives to the ones presented.  Dr. Oster had a work session with the Commission to discuss a possible community garden proposed for his rear property on Cherry Valley.

 

Planning & Zoning Committee – (Barsky, Hartfield, O’Keefe)

No Report. 

 

Recreation Commission – (McGowan)

No Report.

 

Tree & Landscape Commission (Barsky)

Councilmember Barsky reported that the Commission was working on spring plantings. She advised that the Village was again designated as a Tree City USA and the recipient of the Growth Award.

 

Union Cemetery (Mershon)

No report.

 

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS

 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that Council had received possible goals and objectives for 2009 in their packets.  Manager Holycross indicated that many of the goals and objectives were new, with many of the goals that had been completed but would be ongoing, removed from the chart. 

 

Councilmember Mershon advised Council that the State would be considering a grant for the Bryn Du Mansion as part of the stimulus package.

 

Councilmember Mershon suggested that looking into providing a single trash hauler should be included on the list.  The Township elected to go with a single trash hauler, which was providing a lower rate for Township residents.  He suggested that Village staff should meet with Township representatives to discuss a similar contract for Village residents.  Vice Mayor Herman agreed with that suggestion, but indicated that a recycling component should be an essential component of any contract.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that a single trash hauler should provide reduced rates to Village residents as the area was more compact.  The Village could also possibly consider subsidizing the recycling component of any contract.  Councilmember Mershon volunteered to spearhead a committee to look into a single trash hauler system for the Village.

 

Vice Mayor Herman asked where the ranking were on the new list of objectives and if a document could be provided that showed which goals were new and which goals had been removed.

 

Councilmember Mershon suggested that staff could provide Council priorities from last year, changes from last year and rankings for staff to review.  Perhaps this year, Council could provide action steps on how to proceed with each item.

 

Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that Council also needed to look at how reserve funds were used and whether those funds were still relevant.

 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that Council would review these suggested goals & objectives at their next meeting.  Councilmember could email staff or the Mayor with suggestions regarding the proposed list or provide additional items to the list.

 

ADJOURNMENT (8:57pm)

 

Councilmember McGowan moved to adjourn the meeting.  Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.  Motion carried 6-0.  Meeting adjourned.

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