VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE
September 16, 2009
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:32pm)
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Barsky, McGowan, O’Keefe, Tegtmeyer, Vice Mayor Herman, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Holycross, and Law Director Crites.
Councilmember Barsky made a motion to excuse Councilmember Mershon. Second by Vice Mayor Herman. Motion carried (6-0).
The minutes reflect that Councilmember Mershon arrived at 7:34pm.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Councilmember Tegtmeyer moved to approve the agenda. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion carried (7-0).
CITIZEN COMMENTS (7:35 pm)
Hugh Price, 2356 Vista Court, Newark, addressed Council on behalf of the Granville Joint Recreation District. Mr. Price reported to Council that the newly formed Joint Recreation District would be placing a 1-mil levy on the November ballot. This new levy would replace the existing Granville Township 1-mil levy. As the new Joint Recreation District was aligned with the school district, the new millage was expected to bring in an additional $110,000 annually. Residents, who were currently levied, would continue to pay $2.48 per $100,000 home value. Residents, who were outside the Granville Recreation Commission district, would pay $30.63 per $100,000 home value. Mr. Price advised Council that the Joint Recreation District would continue to keep Council apprised.
Michelle Lerner, 234 North Pearl Street, requested that the Village consider hiring an arborist or tree specialist to provide assistance with the tree trimming this fall and in working with AEP.
As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comment’s at 7:38pm
Mayor Hartfield introduced Doris McCarter the Director of the Service Monitoring and Enforcement department of the PUCO and Lowell Miller, Utility Specialist 2.
Mr. Miller presented a PowerPoint presentation to Council outlining the role the PUCO has regarding tree clearance. Mr. Miller advised that the PUCO mission, regarding tree clearance, was to insure all residential and business consumers access to adequate, safe, and reliable utility service at fair prices, while facilitating an environment that provides significant choices.
Mr. Lowell indicated that in recent years, the PUCO had been in Granville due to address the 2004 ice storm and the wind damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008. He indicated that the PUCO had four field investigators that look for issues involving trees throughout the state. That information was forwarded to the various utility providers. The Ohio Revised Code authorized the PUCO under Section 4901 to promote safe, reliable service to consumers and the public and to provide minimum standards for uniform and reasonable practices. The tree clearance policy was outlined under Section 4901:1-10-02 (the S rules) that allows the PUCO the authority to insure that the utilities have tree clearance policies.
Mr. Miller indicated that another aspect of the Code Section 4901:1-10-11, referred to as Rule 11, requires the utilities to report their 8% worst circuits. The PUCO was required to monitor and enforce remediation for that 8% worst performing circuits. The PUCO required each utility to provide an Action Plan to outline how that circuit will be removed from the worst performing list.
Mr. Miller also discussed Section 4901:1-10-27, which required the PUCO to insure that each electric company establish, provide, maintain policies, procedures and schedules for the inspection, maintenance, repair and replacement of distribution circuits and equipment. Mr. Lowell indicated that policies and schedules must be provided for seven specific areas. Each utility provides their procedures and plan for PUCO review and determine if the plans were sufficient. Due to a revision in the rules, each utility had to provide all new plans and procedures on September 14, 2009, which will be reviewed within the next forty-five days.
Mayor Hartfield introduced AEP representative Ronald Winrod, Manager of Distribution Systems in the Newark District.
Mr. Winrod indicated that AEP was willing to work with both the Village and individual residents to insure the upcoming tree line clearance program runs smoothly. Mr. Winrod indicated that there were three separate circuits that provide electricity to the Granville area: the Granville Granville circuit, the South Granville Rural circuit, and the Granville Commercial circuit. All tree trimming for the Granville Granville circuit had been completed. Mr. Winrod indicated that trimming for the South Granville Rural and Granville Commercial circuits would begin in about six weeks. Both of these circuits were in the 8% worst performing circuits. Mr. Winrod provided Council with information regarding those circuits’ performance. He indicated that 65% of the total outage minutes in the Commercial circuit were tree related, while 40% of the total outage minutes on the Rural circuit were tree related. Mr. Winrod indicated that the majority of the outages on these circuits were tree related. He indicated that AEP intended to tree back the growth that had occurred since 2004, the last trimming cycle. Mr. Winrod indicated that general line clearance was ten feet, but depending on the tree species, clearance could be fifteen to twenty feet of clearance. AEP trims trees to allow for future growth. He indicated that it will take AEP five to six years to get back to a four year trimming cycle.
Mr. Winrod indicated that AEP policy was to contact any municipality or private property owner prior to beginning any trimming process. Residents are contacted by door hanger or personally. AEP also implements a phone blast system that contacts local residents to advising them of upcoming tree trimming.
Councilmember Barsky asked if AEP had record of the areas (specific addresses) where the tree related outrages occurred. Are they typically the same tree or multiple trees? Mr. Winrod indicated that AEP had specific addresses where outages occurred. He also indicated that the outages were not generally due to the same tree.
Councilmember Barsky asked about the trimming of the trees along South Main Street. Mr. Winrod indicated that those trees were trimmed due to a work order to replace four poles due to clearance issues for communication cables.
Vice Mayor Herman thanked both the PUCO and AEP for their willingness to come to this Council meeting. Vice Mayor Herman asked Mr. Winrod what caused the tree-related outages. Mr. Winrod indicated that these events were tree caused either by branches falling onto lines to a large tree falling on a line. Vice Mayor Herman asked if failures were caused by outdated equipment and if the equipment were updated would the trees need to be trimmed so severely. Mr. Winrod indicated that there was certainly outages resulting from overloaded and older equipment; however, the outages resulting in the 65% and 40% outages were not caused by equipment failure. The trimming was needed for wire clearance, not an issue related to equipment. AEP will be fixing the 35% of outage problems caused by equipment, but that would still not remove that circuit from the 8% list.
Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked what caused the 60% outages on the Rural circuit. Mr. Winrod indicated those outages were caused by equipment failure, vehicle accidents and animal disruption.
Vice Mayor Herman asked Mr. Miller about the number of field inspectors for the PUCO. He asked if four inspectors was an adequate number of inspectors. Ms. McCarter indicated that the inspector’s job was to evaluate and assess the State. She indicated that inspectors were able to visit everywhere in the State every three years. Vice Mayor Herman asked that last time someone completed an assessment in Granville. Mr. Lowell indicated that he had completed an assessment of Granville on occasions. He was also here during the ice storm and was here to meet with Mr. Bellman three weeks ago. Vice Mayor Herman asked if in the inspections, had anyone ever advised a utility that they over trimmed. Mr. Lowell indicated that he had never advised anyone on an over trim.
Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if the PUCO offered an opportunity for public comment regarding the utility plans of action regarding tree clearance. Ms. McCarter explained that the 8% plans of action from the utility companies provide an explanation for why the outages occurred and how the company would remediate those issues. Public input was never a part of the process. Communities were generally happy to resolve outage issues. The PUCO works to maintain service quality and assure standards. On occasion, the PUCO has work with communities to resolve very specific issues, but not on a communitywide basis. Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that she would like to see a more proactive approach to maintain and improve utility service and maintain the trees. She asked if there was a way to achieve this goal.
Councilmember Barsky commented that this discussion had taken place several times in the past with the Village wanting to be proactive, but nothing happened. She indicated that the issue had been stonewalled with no progress made. The issue has not been resolved. Councilmember Barsky asked if Council could receive a record of the distribution of outages with minutes per outage. Mr. Winrod indicated that he would put something together.
Vice Mayor Herman asked the PUCO what criteria was used to determine the standards to approve action plans such as what was adequate, uniform or standard. Mr. Miller indicated that these standards were based on state as well as national industry guidelines. Ms. McCarter indicated that the PUCO’s role was to maintain service. Vice Mayor Herman asked “At what cost? Where is the balance?” Mr. Lowell indicated that the industry determined that a four-year trim rotation was the most cost effective standard. A two-year trim would impact the trees less, but would cost the utility company more money, which would be recovered by increased costs to the consumer.
Mayor Hartfield asked if the method of trimming using a ten-foot minimum trim and the severe trimming shown in the information provided by AEP had always been the standard. Mr. Winrod indicated that the method now used dated back to 2000 or 2001. Councilmember Barsky asked why that method was used. A lineman in the audience responded that the trimming method allowed the bucket trucks improved access to the lines and poles. Mr. Winrod added this method was also used to maintain the cost. Mayor Hartfield asked if the municipalities could trim the trees in addition to AEP’s trim. Service Director Hopkins responded that by law, the Village tree trimmers were not allowed within ten feet of a live wire based on OSHA standards.
Councilmember Barsky asked what compromises or options were available to the Village. Were there options other than burying lines underground? Are there other communities that experience this same issue. Mr. Winrod indicated that there were hurdles to overcome in spot picking locations to burying utility lines including engineering issues, cost issues and potential damage to tree root systems. AEP could provide cost estimation information. Councilmember Barsky indicated that she would prefer an independent consultant to determine potential costs and possible solutions as utility companies nationwide have not done things that should have been done through the years.
Councilmember Mershon indicated that wanted to disassociate himself from Councilmember Barsky’s comments. He indicated his appreciation for the AEP and the PUCO’s appearance at the Council meeting. Councilmember Mershon indicated that there seemed to be long-term and short-term issues. In the short-term, the Village should identify any specific issues regarding trees and discuss those issues with AEP. Regarding long-term issues, Council needed to develop a consensus as to how the Village should proceed regarding burying lines and planting trees. Vice Mayor Herman indicated that tonight’s process was moving toward that goal by determining the parameters.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked about Ms. Lerner’s suggestion of using an arborist. Service Director Hopkins indicated that both AEP and Asplundh have ISA arborist on site. Those individuals will agree that the worst thing to do to a tree to top a tree. The best suggestion was to start over, remove the trees and plant the right trees in the right spot. He indicated that the trees on South Main Street were tall growing oaks that should never have been planted. They manner in which those trees were just trimmed was the same as they were trimmed in 2004. Mr. Winrod agreed and indicated that suggestion would also be the most economical.
Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that the Village was not sure what we wanted. She suggested that perhaps the Village, AEP and the PUCO could develop a thoughtful plan of action using appropriate data on a block-by-block approach. Vice Mayor Herman asked if the PUCO would be willing to help develop a more balanced approach to tree trimming. Ms. McCarter indicated her willingness to participate. She indicated that the PUCO worked with AEP on a specific issue in Worthington regarding a grove on ancient oaks. Mayor Hartfield asked if AEP had some type of format they used in the past. Mr. Winrod indicated that most likely, a committee was formed and AEP was at the table.
Mr. Miller indicated that AEP had made attempts to mitigate trimming and service issues in Granville by installing taller poles and Hendrix cable. Mr. Winrod indicated that there were other issues involved in servicing Hendrix cable including extended repair time and more severe trimming during servicing. He also indicated that the difference in trimming a tree around Hendrix cable was two feet.
Mayor Hartfield asked if there was still time for discussion between now and the next trimming cycle. Mr. Winrod indicated that trimming would begin around the end of October. The time to discuss serious solutions would be for the next cutting cycle. Vice Mayor Herman indicated that the purpose of the discussion would not cause any change. Ms. McCarter indicated that the discussions with Worthington were multi-month discussions.
An audience member asked why Council did not pursue this issue four years ago when it was discussed. Councilmember O’Keefe responded that Council was learning.
Councilmember Mershon asked if burying power lines protected the Village against outages caused elsewhere in the system. Mr. Winrod indicated that lines could go down throughout the system causing outages even with buries lines.
Councilmember Mershon suggested that work needed to be done at the Village level to determine if lines should be buried, which lines, how the Village would pay for that service, formalize a tree replacement plan and/or planting plan. Councilmember Barsky indicated that the Tree & Landscape Commission had been planting smaller trees under lines as trees have needed replacement. Councilmember Barsky commented that all of the data needs to be in one place including the outages, where they occurred, the number of minutes, the trees involved and type of tree. Councilmember Barsky stated that she anticipated that AEP would come in and cut the trees again this time without an organized plan. She hoped that AEP would not cut past the 2004 cut line.
Mayor Hartfield asked if staff could contact the other communities to determine how they were able to work with AEP. Mr. Winrod indicated that he would prepare a map showing tree related outages for 2008. Councilmember Mershon suggested that residents or Councilmember contact with any issues involving specific trees to be trimmed this winter.
Mr. Dan Bellman asked if AEP if they had a tree-trimming plan to show how each tree will be trimmed in the Village. Mr. Winrod indicated that there would not be an individualized tree-trim plan. Asplundh uses general trimming guidelines based on their experience, the type of tree and its rate of growth based on AEP standards.
Mr. Cauchon asked the per mile basis tree-trimming cost. Mr. Winrod indicated that the cost to trim Granville’s two circuits was $300,000. It would cost about $50,000,000 to burying all of Granville’s power lines, about $1,000,000 per mile.
Mr. Cauchon asked if AEP could certify Village staff to trim trees in the Village. Mr. Winrod indicated that AEP would entertain the idea. Mr. Wernet asked if the Village could hire Asplundh to trim the trees on the off years. Mr. Winrod answered in the affirmative. Service Director Hopkins indicated that even with Village staff trimming, the trees would still need to be topped, which would be just as devastating to the trees. It would also require full-time trimming crews to maintain all of the trees.
AEP representative suggested that the committee look at tree impact to the three main feeder lines first when addressing this issue.
Councilmember McGowan if trees were identified that needed to be removed would staff make sure those trees were taken out. Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative.
Mayor Hartfield thanked everyone for their participation.
There was no old business.
Resolution No. 09-49, A Resolution Accepting the Amounts and Rates as Determined by the Budget Commission and Authorizing the Necessary Tax Levies and Certifying Them to the County Auditor was introduced and moved for approval by Vice Mayor Herman. Second by Councilmember McGowan.
Mayor Hartfield confirmed that this legislation was part of an annual housekeeping process. Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative.
Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked if the rates changed at any time in the recent past and if Council can effect a rate change. Manager Holycross indicated that the rates had not changed for several years and the language in the tax rate statute determined how those tax dollars were dispersed. Councilmember Mershon indicated that the appropriate from the tax could change if an entity gave up their portion. The only way to effect a rate change would be to change the millage.
Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-49. Motion carried (7-0). Resolution No. 09-49 was adopted.
Resolution No. 09-50, A Resolution Authorizing the Village Manager to Prepare and Submit an Application to Participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Program and to Execute Contracts as Required was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Councilmember McGowan.
Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-50. Motion carried (7-0). Resolution No. 09-50 was adopted.
Resolution No. 09-51, A Resolution Authorizing the Village Manager to Prepare and Submit an Application to Participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Program and to Execute Contracts as Required was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Councilmember McGowan.
Vote to approve Resolution No. 09-51. Motion carried (7-0). Resolution No. 09-51 was adopted.
Ordinance No. 17-09, An Ordinance to Permit the Demolition of a Single-Story Detached Structure at 332 North Granger Street was introduced and a public hearing recommended for October 7, 2009 by Councilmember O’Keefe. Second by Vice Mayor Herman
Mayor Hartfield scheduled a public hearing for Ordinance No. 17-09 for October 7, 2009.
Councilmember Mershon asked if this ordinance was the first ordinance requiring a bond. Manager Holycross indicated that it was not the first, that a bond was also required for Facklers Country Gardens’ demolition.
REVIEW OF MINUTES
Regularly Scheduled Meeting of September 2, 2009
Councilmember Tegtmeyer made a motion to approve the September 2, 2009 minutes as amended. Second by Councilmember Mershon. Motion carried 7-0.
MAYOR’S COURT REPORT – August
The Mayor’s Court Report for the month of August was presented for review.
Councilmember Barsky moved to accept the August Mayor’s Court report. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion carried 7-0.
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 – August
The Manager’s Report for the month of August was presented for review.
Councilmember Tegtmeyer asked what the 6.5% total for the year represented on the income tax report. Manager Holycross indicated that the percentage was incorrect. The percentage was to reflect the difference in the total annual revenue from the previous year, which was not 6.5%. Councilmember Mershon asked if staff was projecting a 6.5% increase in Village revenue. Manager Holycross indicated that the bar chart accurately reflected the anticipated annual revenue. Manger Holycross indicated he would check the formula regarding the 6.5% computation.
Councilmember McGowan moved to accept the August Monthly Manager’s Report Second by Councilmember Mershon. Motion carried 7-0.
Mayor Hartfield instructed the report be filed with the Clerk. A copy of said report will be included as part of these minutes
Economic, Finance, Personnel Committee (EFP) – (Hartfield, Herman, Tegtmeyer)
Mayor Hartfield indicated that the minutes from the last EFP Committee meeting were included in Council’s packet. The Committee heard a presentation from the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce seeking support for the formation of a welcome center. The EFP Committee would be meeting again to discuss the issue further as soon as an updated business plan was submitted by the Chamber.
Councilmember Tegtmeyer reported that Assistant Manager Roberts had asked the Committee for a recommendation regarding the funding of non-profits in 2010 and financial support for the biannual Great Granville Picnic, which would not receive financial support from private sponsors as in past years. Councilmember Mershon indicated that he would not support any financial support for non-profits that did not provide a deliverable service or function that the Village would normally provide. Councilmember O’Keefe stated that if Council would be providing financial assistance to non-profits in 2010, applications from non-profits should be reviewed and considered prior to the budget process.
Councilmember Mershon asked the status of the collective bargaining contracts. Mayor Hartfield indicated that the Committee had no new information.
Councilmember Tegtmeyer also indicated that the Committee discussed providing wireless internet service to the community. Manager Holycross indicated that staff was in the process meeting with service providers to review the feasibility.
Granville Foundation – (Tegtmeyer)
Light, Safety, Sts/Sidewalks, Utility Committee (LSSU) – (Herman, McGowan, O’Keefe)
Councilmember O’Keefe reported that there would be a public forum on Wednesday, September 23rd at 7:00pm in Council Chambers to discuss the leash law and animals at-large.
Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)
Councilmember O’Keefe reported that there were several applications approving window and door replacements. The application for a garage demolition and replacement was also approved. Mayor Hartfield asked if the adjoining neighbors were happy with the new garage design for that application. Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that the neighbors were happy with the new design and expressed their support for the project. Councilmember O’Keefe reported that a new historical marker would be added to the lower campus of Denison University in front of Burke Hall to recognize the Female College. Ross’ Granville Market was also approved to build a garage in the back parking lot area.
Planning & Zoning Committee – (Barsky, Hartfield, O’Keefe)
Recreation Commission – (McGowan)
Councilmember McGowan reported that Rec Commission fall programming was underway and the Rec Commission was in support of the 1-mil levy proposed for the fall ballot for the Joint Recreation District.
Tree & Landscape Commission (Barsky)
Councilmember Barsky reported that minutes from the last meetings were included in Council’s packet. The Tree & Landscape Commission expressed concerns regarding the proposed tree trimming by AEP for the last eight years.
Union Cemetery (Mershon)
Councilmember Mershon reported that the Ohio Paranormal Society would be spending a night in the Union Cemetery.
OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS
Councilmember Barsky advised Council that the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee had scheduled a public hearing to review the updated comprehensive plan for Tuesday, October 27th at 7:00pm at the Granville Intermediate School.
Councilmember O’Keefe commented that she would like to review information regarding November ballot Issue 2 from the opposing viewpoint after reading information provided to Council from the Ohio Farm Bureau.
Councilmember McGowan moved to adjourn the meeting. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. Motion carried 7-0. Meeting adjourned.