Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes February 17, 2010

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

February 17, 2010

 

CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:31pm) 

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

Councilmember O’Keefe requested that a discussion of Council’s Goals & Objectives be included on the agenda under Other Council Matters.  Councilmember McGowan moved to approve the agenda as amended. Second by Councilmember Mershon. Motion carried (7-0).    

CITIZEN COMMENTS (7:33 pm) 

Dennis Cauchon, 327 East Broadway, requested that Council should include clearing sidewalks of snow as part of the Village’s responsibilities.  He suggested that local seniors become house bound due to the risk of falling on non-shoveled walkways.  He indicated that many other communities provide this service.  As Granville prides itself on being a walkable community, this service should be provided. 

Mr. Cauchon also commented that the current proposed design of the Burg Street pathway did not work.  The path crosses Burg Street too many times.  The pathway should only be on one side of the street.  The Pathway Advisory Committee and the Burg Street residents should have been involved prior to the production of this design.  The Village should hire a consultant to design the path such as local resident Keith Myers, Principal of MSI, or Dan Burden, Executive Director of Walkable Communities, Inc.  

Councilmember O’Keefe asked Mr. Cauchon if he was requesting that all sidewalks be cleared by the Village.  Mr. Cauchon indicated that the Village could start with the downtown area.  Councilmember McGowan asked Mr. Cauchon if he was aware of other communities that provided this service as it would be an expensive proposition.  Mr. Cauchon indicated that other communities provide this service giving the example of Dover, New Hampshire. 

Dan Bellman, 212 Summit Street, also agreed that as the sidewalks were Village property, the Village should be responsible for removing the snow.  He also suggested that the Village should clear the sidewalks at intersections instead of leaving the snow piles for residents to climb over.  Mr. Bellman complimented that Village on doing a good job of snow removal from the streets.  

Mr. Bellman recommended that the Village extend the sidewalk along the eastern side of North Pearl Street from where it currently stops to New Burg Street.  He indicated that it was difficult and a safety issue for pedestrians to cross North Pearl Street currently when traffic was heavy.  

Mr. Bellman also questioned the letter he received from AEP regarding the removal of the trees this past fall from Main Street.  He indicated that the letter said the Village had originally requested the severe trimming of the trees along South Main Street.  He asked Council if that statement was correct.  Manager Holycross indicated that the statement was incorrect.  AEP came into the Village originally to replace poles and trimmed the trees for that process.  After the trimming was completed and Service Director Terry Hopkins and Tree & Landscape Commission Chair Don Hostetter viewed the trees, the Village requested that AEP remove the trees.  

Dave Getreu, representing the 164 Granville Area Chamber of Commerce members, advised Council that the Chamber was not in support of the increase in dumping fees proposed by the Solid Waste District.  This fee increase represented a hidden tax increase of over 200% to the community.  He requested that the Village Council vote against the proposed increase. 

Ed Martin, 932 Shell Court Newark, presented himself as a republican candidate in the May 4th primary for Licking County Commissioner.   He advised Council that he would be proactive in supporting everyone in Licking County and help to build a more cohesive community.    

Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comment’s at 7:50pm. 

PRESENTATION 

Rob Cathcart spoke to Council regarding the development of a visitor and information center for the community.  He indicated that the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce was acting as the initiating organization to bring together the strategic partnership between the Village, Township, Chamber and Denison University in support of this venture.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that the role and function of the visitor center would be to provide a singular point of access for people to get information about the Village and Township, provide internet accessibility, align with the Comprehensive Plan by helping develop a business friendly environment, promote heritage tourism, and help to focus on the development and preservation of the downtown business area.  Mr. Cathcart provided Council with a list of residents and businesses in support of a visitor and tourism bureau.  He also provided Council with a three-year financial plan showing the funding requested from the various stakeholders. The Chamber leased a location on Broadway that could be shared by this center and the Granville Joint Recreation District.  The Chamber hoped to move into the new facility by March 1st and open the visitors center May 1st.  A Board comprised of stakeholder members would be responsible for the decisions and oversight of the bureau.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that the Chamber had made this presentation to the Denison and the Township Trustees.  Denison was willing to provide in-kind support, while the Trustees were in support, but still considering the issues involving financial support.   Mr. Cathcart also indicated that there could be a financial benefit to the Village through increased tax revenue.  The center could ultimately quantify who makes up the business revenue in the Village.  Mr. Cathcart asked that Council pass a resolution indicating the Village’s support and commitment as a stakeholder in this endeavor to develop a visitor and tourism center. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked how this center would actively promote Granville.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that proposals suggested so far recommended an expanded distribution of the “Granville” magazine, a cooperative advertising program in the “Ohio” magazine, marketing materials placed throughout the state at travel and tourism centers, and develop an email marketing campaign.  Councilmember O’Keefe asked the difference between the services provided by the Chamber and those of a tourism center.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that the Chamber’s role was to promote business development and retention of its members in the Village, while a visitor and tourism center provided information about all aspects of the Village and surrounding community. 

Vice Mayor Herman questioned the hours of operation for the center and how it would be staffed.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that the anticipated hours would be Tuesday through Sunday 9:00 or 10:00am to 7:00 or 8:00pm.  The center would be staffed by volunteers and the paid director.  Councilmember Mershon asked what the hours of the Chamber would be without a welcome center.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that Chamber hours would be Monday through Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm.   

Councilmember O’Keefe asked why a separate entity was needed apart from the Chamber.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that a visitor and tourism center would reach outside of the local community providing information about the Village.  The center would provide a more comprehensive view of the community to visitors, while the Chamber works to promote local business.  Chamber member Dave Getreu added that the Chamber’s function is business development.   

Councilmember O’Keefe asked how the Chamber’s role would differ from the visitor’s center role regarding economic development.   Mr. Cathcart indicated that the Chamber’s focus was on business and its members.  Mr. Cathcart indicated further that the fact that the Chamber or center would have a storefront presence on Broadway would only enhance the Village’s efforts with its economic development plans.   

Councilmember McGowan asked if the visitor center would charge a membership fee.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that some visitor centers had membership fees which allowed businesses to place advertising materials in the center.  The center Board could decide to pursue membership fees as an option to become self-sustaining.

Mayor Hartfield asked how the financial allocations were divided between the stakeholders.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that as the Village would receive the greatest benefit from the center and receives County tourism tax revenues, the Village expenses were greater.  Several Councilmembers requested additional information regarding specific line item costs of the center’s three year budget.  

Seth Patton, Vice President Denison University, indicated that Denison University was willing to provide interns and in-kind services.  He stated that Denison recognized that the University would not receive any direct effect from their support of a visitor and tourism bureau, but the University did acknowledge the value of such an entity to the community and were willing to participate as a stakeholder.  Mr. Patton felt this was also a good opportunity for a town and gown collaboration.   Denison would also be willing to provide some start-up funds, technology support and office equipment.  Mr. Patton further stated that the funds would not be for the Chamber, but for the visitor’s center. 

Councilmember Mershon stated that the Village could contract with an agency to achieve the same or similar goals to provide a less administratively burdensome way to get things done.   

Councilmember Barsky asked when an answer from Council was needed.  Mr. Cathcart responded that the Chamber would like a resolution from Council that evening, although he understood the need for possible additional public comment. 

Mayor Hartfield expressed her support for a visitor’s center, but expressed concerns about the financial aspect.  She indicated that a center would be a boost for the local business community to draw people to local businesses.  

Councilmember McGowan asked if the center could be opened with less funding.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that without the funding requested, the center would not proceed. 

Council concluded the discussion by requesting additional information from Mr. Cathcart and asked staff to draft preliminary legislation in support of the center.  Council specifically requested that the following information be provided: 

  • Staffing schedule and business hours
  • Listing of organization and businesses that would be interested in a center
  • Setting up or organization of an interim task force
  • Revenue model
  • Further breakdown of allocation of funding
  • Definition of how funding would be used
  • Mission statements of both the Chamber and a visitors center 

Mayor Hartfield thanked the Chamber members for their presentation and asked that they provide responses to Council’s questions and concerns.  Mr. Cathcart indicated that the group would be willing to provide that information. 

PUBLIC HEARING (9:02) 

Ordinance No. 01-10, An Ordinance to Permit the Demolition of the Single-Story Cinema House at 122 North Mulberry Street, A Part of Denison University 

As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed the public hearing at 9:03pm. 

OLD BUSINESS 

Ordinance No. 01-10, An Ordinance to Permit the Demolition of the Single-Story Cinema House at 122 North Mulberry Street, A Part of Denison University was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Mershon.  Second by Councilmember Barsky. 

Discussion:

Mayor Hartfield asked if the adjacent residents approved of the application.  Manager Holycross answered in the affirmative.   The residents expressed concern if a parking lot was being proposed.  Councilmember O’Keefe advised that the residents were pleased with the landscaping plan proposed. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote for Ordinance No. 01-10:  Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Motion carried (7-0).  Ordinance No. 1-10 was adopted.  

Denison Vice President Seth Patton asked Council if the surety bond for demolition could be waived.  The $1,000 to $4,000 bond could be purchased, but would be an unnecessary expense for the $40,000 in work to be completed.  Manager Holycross indicated that the surety bond was required as a guarantee that the work was completed.  Law Director Crites indicated that a surety bond was required as part of Section 1162.05, but the language indicates discretion on the part of Council. 

Councilmember Mershon moved to reconsider the adoption of Ordinance No. 01-10.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.   

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to reconsider Ordinance No. 01-10:  McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – no; Lerner – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Motion carried (6-1).  Ordinance No. 1-10 was adopted.  

Councilmember Mershon moved to delete Section 2 of Ordinance No. 01-10 and renumber Section 3 as Section 2.  Second by Councilmember McGowan. 

Discussion:

Councilmember Barsky felt Denison University had an advantage financially to cover a surety bond.  She indicated that residents were required to provide a bond by code.  By waiving the bond for Denison, it would make the law more subjective.  Councilmember Barsky preferred to maintain more consistency. 

Councilmember McGowan explained that he felt Denison, as an institution, could be considered as a separate entity from a residential homeowner.  Denison had also acted as a good neighbor with a history of being a good neighbor.  The risk involved with a residential property owner not completing a project was much different than with Denison.  He supported waiving the surety bond. 

Councilmember Mershon suggested that Council look at the code section language as it was not working.  He indicated that the use of the bond in this context did not work.  Requiring a bond, when someone was tearing down a building and not building something back, was unnecessary.  Bonds could be required when something was needed to be built back. 

Law Director Crites suggested that the language in Section 1162.05 was mandatory.  He indicated that there should be a section two in the ordinance which specifically waived the surety bond.  He suggested language in section two to read “the requirement of surety bond set forth in Section 1162.05 of the Codified Ordinances was hereby waived and leaving Section three in place.” 

Councilmember Mershon moved to amend his motion to waive the requirement for a surety bond set forth in Section 1162.05 of the Codified Ordinances and leave Section 3 as numbered.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on the amendment to Ordinance No. 01-10:  Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – no; Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Motion carried (6-1).  Ordinance No. 1-10 was amended.  

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote on the Ordinance No. 01-10 as amended: O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – no; Lerner – no; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Motion carried (5-2).  Ordinance No. 1-10 was approved as amended.  

NEW BUSINESS 

Resolution No. 10-12, A Resolution to Withhold Support for the Update of the Coshocton-Fairfield-Licking-Perry Solid Waste District Management Plan was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

Discussion:

Mayor Hartfield indicated that Carol Phillips, District Coordinator for the Solid Waste District, was in the audience and available to answer questions. 

Ms. Phillips provided Council information answering questions previously asked by Manager Holycross and a graphic showing the 2010 budget and programs funded.  Ms. Phillips indicated that the solid waste plan every five years.  All local governments review the plan and vote to approve or reject the recommendations.  In order for the plan to be approved, sixth percent of the municipalities must vote in support.   Public hearings were held for this specific plan renewal; however, no one appeared to make comment at any of the hearings.  The solid waste district was required to produce a fifteen year budget with no negative balances.  This year the district will no longer be receiving revenue from Franklin County, which impacted the budget process.  The new budget included a twenty-five cent increase in disposal fee for in district residents from $1.00 to $1.25 per ton and a generation fee of $2.00 per ton. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked about what types of educational programs were provided.  Ms. Phillips indicated that the District contracts with each county’s litter prevention and recycling program to provide educational presentations to all of the district schools are various grade levels and summer youth programs.  Councilmember O’Keefe asked the focus of these programs.  Ms. Phillips advised that the focus was to increase recycling and environmental awareness.  She indicated that there was no data to quantify the effectiveness of these programs. 

Vice Mayor Herman asked the impact to the District should this fee increase not be approved.  Ms. Phillips indicated that programming would be scaled back or reduced staff.  Should the District not meet its goals, the EPA would notify the District that they were not in compliance.  The EPA could eventually take over the management of the District.  Ms. Phillips introduced Tony Furguile, Industrial Representative from Fairfield County.  Mr. Furguile pointed out the costs of recycling for each county and how high that rate was compared to the cost of general disposal. 

Vice Mayor Herman asked if the incentives created in the new plan called for brining in out-of-state waste and why would we want to bring in outside waste.  Ms. Phillips indicated that the reason for taking out-of-state waste was financial.  The landfills were privately owned and can elect to take waste from anyone.  The out-of-state rate and the in-district rate were mandated to be the same rate by the State and no more than $2.00.  The rates proposed maintain a cheaper rate of disposal for in-district over out-of-district.  Ms. Phillips indicated that the District was trying to not be dependent on out-of-service areas for financial base. 

Vice Mayor Herman asked what items were reduced in the 2010 budget.  Ms. Phillips indicated that the 2007 budget was $2.5, 2008 was $2.6 and 2009 was $2.5. 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that there was such a disparity between the in-district and out-of-district configurations that the process did not make sense.  Mayor Hartfield asked about how the rate increase would impact the newly signed refuse contract.  Manager Holycross replied that the Big O contract allowed them to request a rate increase from Council.  The rate increase could be $2.25 per person/per year or $.45 per month. 

Councilmember Barsky indicated that something seemed inherently wrong with this process and needed to be looked at a higher level.  Ms. Phillips agreed.  The goal of the Solid Waste District was to reduce waste and increase recycling; however, these projects were all funded by waste deposited at various landfills.  Vice Mayor Herman indicated that what was the case twenty years ago was not the case today.  This current plan had problems and issues that need to be resolved. 

Councilmember Mershon asked Manager Holycross if the questions he had raised earlier were addressed.  Manager Holycross indicated that some of the questions had been answered by Ms. Phillips that evening; however, there were larger issues that had not been addressed.  He indicated that questions still existed about the analysis used to make the choices for the levels of funding and if additional cuts could have been made. 

Ms. Phillips asked Council for their support for the legislation, but if not, please provide information as to what problems they had with the proposal. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote for Resolution No. 10-12: Barsky – yes; Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Motion failed (0-7).  Resolution No. 10-12 was defeated.  

Ordinance No. 02-10, An Ordinance Granting (Franchise) to Licking rural Electrification, Inc. the Right to Maintain and Operate in the Public Grounds Within the Village of Granville, Lines for the Transmission and Distribution of an Electrical Lighting and Power Distribution System, Through, or Across the Village of Granville was introduced and recommended a public hearing on March 17, 2010 by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. 

Mayor Hartfield scheduled a public hearing for Ordinance No. 02-10 for the March17, 2010 Council meeting. 

REVIEW OF MINUTES  

Regularly Scheduled Meeting of February 3, 2010 

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to approve the February 3, 2010 minutes as amended. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion carried 7-0. 

MAYOR’S COURT REPORT – January 

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

Councilmember Barsky moved to accept the January 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 – January 

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

Mayor Hartfield asked if staff would be looking at revising the estimated income tax revenue to a lesser amount.  Manager Holycross indicated that Finance Director Kraner and Manager Holycross would make a recommendation to Council at the next meeting.  

Mayor Hartfield asked if the truck scales were closed due to repair issues more than they were open.  Manager Holycross indicated that the scales were operational more than they were down; however, the scales were down frequently.  Repairs were generally costly and/or time consuming. 

Councilmember McGowan asked about the status of road salt.  Manager Holycross indicated that the Village had a good supply to get through the rest of winter. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked why the refuse line item was negative.  Manager Holycross indicated that the first few months would be based on an estimate until all waivers were processed.  It also did not account for late payments. 

Councilmember Barsky asked about the sewer fund balance.  Manager Holycross indicated that the fund had a number of encumbrances.  Staff was in the process of looking at adjusting water and sewer rates. 

Councilmember Barsky moved to accept the January Monthly Manager’s Report   Second by Councilmember McGowan.  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 

COMMITTEE REPORTS     

Economic, Finance, Personnel Committee (EFP) – (All Councilmembers)  

Manager Holycross indicated that staff was in the process of putting together information to present to Council. 

Granville Foundation – (Mershon)

No report. 

Light, Safety, Sts/Sidewalks, Utility Committee (LSSU) – (Hartfield, Herman, McGowan)

No report. 

Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)

Councilmember O’Keefe reported that all applications presented were approved.  A letter was submitted by Mark Clapsaddle regarding one application that was submitted and approved without all the necessary information.  He expressed concern about equal treatment of applicants.  Mr. Clapsaddle requested that standardized requirements be required.  Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that the applications should have these standardized requirements.  Councilmember Mershon asked if the existing applications require that information currently.  Manager Holycross indicated that Planner Terry does require that information currently.  The applications currently outline the requirements. 

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

No report. 

Granville Recreation District – (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that the Rec District was enthusiastic about moving into the Chamber store front location.  They were also in the process of reviewing applicants for the Executive Director position. 

Tree & Landscape Commission (Lerner)

No report.  

Union Cemetery (Barsky)

No report. 

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS  

Mayor Hartfield reminded Council that the next public hearing to review the final draft of the Comprehensive Plan would be Monday, March 1st at 7:00pm at the Granville Intermediate School 

Mayor Hartfield also asked for a volunteer to fill the Granville Education Foundation position.  Councilmember Mershon volunteered to fill that position. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked why completing the Comprehensive Plan was not a number one goal and objective.  She indicated her support for bringing Council, Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals together to discuss issues.  Councilmember Mershon responded that the ranking indicated the interest level of other Council members and that Mrs. O’Keefe’s position of liaison was to provide that connection. 

ADJOURNMENT (10:30pm) 

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

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