Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes August 18, 2010

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

August 18, 2010

 

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, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Holycross and Law Director Crites. 

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to excuse Vice Mayor Herman.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion carried (6-0). 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Councilmember McGowan moved to approve the agenda.  Second by Councilmember Barsky. Motion carried (6-0).   

CITIZEN COMMENTS (7:32pm)  

Dennis Cauchon, 327 East Broadway, indicated that he would not bore Council with details, but a lot of what the Village Planner said was factually wrong during her discussion of the pathway for the Mill District property.  He indicated that what the Planner stated about the 1994 Bike Path Plan says no such thing.  The Pathway Advisory Committee said no such thing.  All bike paths were not in the right-of-way in the Village with the Newark-Granville Road pathway being out of the right-of-way.  He indicated that the Newark-Granville Road bike path works because the nicest part of it was more than one hundred feet from the road.  The Denison section of the pathway on North Street was out of the right-of-way.  Mr. Cauchon also indicated that the reason the developer was talking about retaining walls was because they were filling in the flood plain.  If they don’t fill the flood plain, they don’t need a retaining wall.  The developer was elevating the property ten feet to build a table for a huge parking lot.  Now they say they have no room for the bike bath because of the sloping property.  Mr. Cauchon said they do not have a right to fill in the flood plain and move it to the front.  It doesn’t work that way.  It is a right for a safe bike path.  I don’t have a problem with them filling in the flood plain.  I’m not thrilled.  But if they want to build a table, then the bike path goes on the table.  They were already over the number of parking spaces that the law allows.  This shows you the problem with the Village Gateway District because it allows sixty percent lot coverage.  It’s pushing the site to more than it allows.  The shared use path falls by the wayside.  The law doesn’t allow it.  It requires that conflicts shall be minimized.  Variances were permitted.  The developer should get rid of some of the parking spaces so the bike path can go through the back.  The whole project was mixed up and falls apart.  The bike path should not be thrown in at the end.  No retaining walls were needed.  Don’t fill in the flood plain.  Mr. Cauchon indicated that he did not have a problem with any of this as long as the shared use path was done safely.  The road should be included as part of the lot coverage.  The law was ambiguous.  If the road gets built, the lot coverage goes to sixty-five to seventy percent in area that has flood issues, in an area that has been rated by the Department of Natural Resources as the most vulnerable to water pollution in Granville or Licking County, as the water table is at eight or nine feet and is porous there.  This is why this area should have been zoned SBD, where lot coverage was just fifty percent.  The bike path should be put in first and then put in the parking and then the buildings.  The Planning Commission will have to deal with the whole site plan.  There is no right to fill in the flood plain.  It is a right to have a safe bike path that shall minimize conflicts.   

Barbara Franks, 121 South Prospect Street, questioned why the additional $30,000 for legal fees and $18,000 for Mayor’s Court was needed.  She asked if all of these fees were going to Law Director Crites and increasing his income from the $100,000 he received in fees last year.  Manager Holycross indicated that the additional funding needed for the legal fee fund was for costs related to labor issue charges, additional charges by Law Director Crites, and legal fees associated with union negotiations that continued into 2010 from 2009.  Village staff had only budgeted $65,000 for legal fees in 2010.  Legal fees for 2008 and 2009 averaged between $80,000 and $95,000.  Legal fees for 2010 were anticipated to be less.  The additional funding needed for Mayor’s Court was a separate fund and needed for increased prosecutorial costs. 

Sharon Sellitto, 215 South Cherry Street, indicated that a resident received a threatening letter from the Village about yard waste that needed to be removed from his yard.  Ms. Sellitto indicated that the yard waste had been cut during a weekend and the resident received a certified letter from the Village about the brush pile on the Monday immediately following that weekend.  She indicated that the resident had not had time to remove the brush, which it was still green, and was threaten through a letter from the Village the day after the bush was cut.  Ms. Sellitto asked if that was how the Village was being run, with threatening letters and ganging up on residents.  Planner Terry indicated that she had received a complaint from another resident regarding the brush pile.  Planner Terry indicated that she responded to the complaint by visiting the yard and taking pictures of the issues alleged in the complaint.  The bush pile was brown.  Planner Terry indicated that she did forward a letter to the resident and requested that the pile be removed.  The letter was indeed sent both by regular and certified mail as outlined by Village Code.  Councilmember Mershon suggested that Village staff should initiate the first contact with residents via telephone as residents would be less offended than a letter.   

As no one additionally appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comments at 7:48pm. 

PUBLIC HEARING (7:49pm) 

Ordinance No. 13-2010, An Ordinance to Amend Section 921.07 of the Codified Ordinances to Adjust Sewer Regulations and Charges

Tony Piehowicz, 296 Bryn Du Drive, questioned why residents had to pay the sewage rate on water used for lawn watering and car washing.  That water, generally, was not processed through the sewage plants.  Residents should be allowed to install a deduct meter and not pay for water not sent to the sewage treatment plant.  Mr. Piehowicz listed several surrounding communities that offered or allowed deduct meters including Dublin, Gahanna, Columbus, and Westerville. He asked that Council consider allowing deduct meters to be installed. 

Dan Bellman, 310 Summit Street, suggested that charging a monthly base rate for water and sewer services was inherently unfair.   Charging a fee for zero usage creates a disparity in overall charges and charges seniors more, who may use less than 1,000 gallons of water per month.  Mr. Bellman felt that it was not fair to charge people for services that were not utilized.  An adjustment should be made for zero water usage or less than 1,000 gallon usage.

Sharon Sellitto, 215 South Cherry Street, felt a rate increase may be needed, but the amount of the increase was excessive. 

Bill Wilken, 474 Glyn Tawel Drive, provided Council with a proposal regarding his concerns about the water and sewer rate increase.  Mr. Wilken indicated that the ratios for the water and sewer expenses had not changed over the past several years so a reason for an increase was not evident.  The expenditures for water and sewer services have grown at a greater rate than the community’s ability to pay measured by taxable income and assess property values.  Mr. Wilken indicated that the efficiency of the system was fifty percent of its operating capacity.  He further indicated that the average daily water usage had been flat since 2005, while sewer usage had declined.  Mr. Wilken also indicated that the expenditures for salary and benefits had increased by an average annual rate of six point four percent since 2006.  The annual percentage of costs for salary and benefits in 2006 was thirty-nine percent of the expenditures, while in 2010 the percentage was forty-three point one percent.  Mr. Wilken commended a freeze in compensation for the next three years.  He recommended adopting a true cost pricing and compensation for usage.  He recommended implementing management reforms that eliminate any justification for sudden drastic rate increases and to conduct a review of the Village’s water and sewer services.  Mr. Wilken suggested privatizing the public utility system in the Village or organize a countywide water and sewer authority. 

Maxine Montgomery, 345 Shannon Lane, requested that Council put a plan in place to avoid inflicting large increases on the residents and local businesses in the future.  She had difficulty understanding why staff waited so long to initiate a rate increase.

Paul Rice, 466 Glyn Tawel Drive, supported the comments made by Mr. Wilken.  He was also in support of deduct meters.  He felt residents should not be charges for water usage that was not process through the wastewater plant. 

Barbara Franks, 121 South Prospect Street, was confused by the request for water and sewer rate increase as Councilmember McGowan tried to give away free water just over one year ago.  Ms. Franks felt the increase in rates was to cover the infrastructure costs to extend water and sewer to the newly annexed area on South Main Street.

Councilmember McGowan indicated that he was using a proposed water credit as a means to give back to the community excess carry over revenue from previous years. 

Ordinance No. 14-2010, An Ordinance to Amend Section 925.18 of the Codified Ordinances to Adjust Water Regulations and Charges 

Donald “Butch” Curtis, 1942 Columbus Road, questioned Council as to why his water rates were double compared to Alexandria and other areas of Granville Township.  He indicated that he paid $6.80 for water, which included a surcharge, while Kendal, Owens Corning and Alexandria residents paid $2.38 less.   

Mayor Hartfield indicated that rates can differ based on when a utility was installed.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that most residents outside of the Village limits pay a surcharge.  He also indicated that water recipients in his area outside the Village limits would be benefitting from a $500,000 capital improvement to update the water lines.  Manager Holycross indicated that the Village Code allowed charges outside of the corporation limits to charge a surcharge, specifically code section 925.99 codified in 1985.  The Village had a separate contract with Alexandria that specifically outlined rates and surcharges.            

Mayor Hartfield indicated that the public hearing for Ordinances No. 13-2010 and 14-2010 would be continued until the next Council meeting on September 1, 2010. 

OLD BUSINESS 

Councilmember Barsky moved to amend the agenda to discuss the issues involving the location of the pathway on the Mill District property.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion carried (6-0).   

Councilmember Barsky expressed her concern about locating the path on the front portion of the property.  She indicated that she understood that there were merits to both locations.  She appreciated that discussion indicating that the pathway location would not have to be an either/or decision.  The decision would be which location should be built first and the costs involved.  Tim Rollins, Metropolitan Partners, indicated that placing the pathway to the back of the property was a premium location in that the construction costs increased to $80,000 to $120,000 for the pathway.  The increased cost was due to the topography of the property and the need for a retaining wall.  

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if the purpose of a path had been addressed.  Was the pathway going to be used as an access to Raccoon Valley Park or to provide access to that development, South Main Street and the River Road area.  Councilmember O’Keefe hoped the development when completed would present a Village type setting in keeping with downtown Granville.  She hoped the development would provide a sense of community.   Mr. Rollins indicated that Metropolitan Partners understood the importance of the pathway to the committee.  They were willing to be flexible with the placement of the pathway.  The development design path had always included a pathway as part of the development.   

Councilmember Mershon indicated that the purpose of the pathway on this property may not be known currently.  He indicated that he understood the safety concerns regarding the access points, if located to the front of the property; however, he felt that there were also safety concerns with a pathway located at the rear of the property.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that he was comfortable allowing the Planning Commission to set the direction regarding the pathway after reviewing the plans and seeking public input.   

Mayor Hartfield stated that she understood the concept of locating the pathway to the rear of the property, but felt that all other Village pathways were located on the fronts of properties and that location helped provide the sense of community that residents were wanting. 

Councilmember Lerner expressed her concern with children crossing the access points on the front pathway.  She expressed more concern about the current Shurtz property corner with a pathway in the front.  Cars leaving River Road could turn into that property and not see oncoming pedestrians.  Councilmember Lerner suggested a compromise of running the pathway along South Main Street to the Shurtz property and then moving the pathway behind the Shurtz building.   

Councilmember McGowan also agreed to permit the Planning Commission to review the development plan and determine the pathway location after seeking public input.  He further stated that pedestrians often develop pathways on their own based on the course of least resistance or convenience.   

Council’s consensus  was to allow the Planning commission to review the site plan and seek public input.  

NEW BUSINESS 

Resolution No. 10-34, A Resolution to Award the Contract for Towing and Impound Services for the Police Department to M & P Towing LLC, and to Authorize the Village Manager to Enter into an Agreement Therefor was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. 

Discussion:

Councilmember Mershon asked the location of the impound facilities.  Was one company’s location closer to the Village than the other.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that she thought the impound locations for both were on Route 40. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if the police department was pleased with the service of the current provider.  Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative.   

Councilmember Mershon asked if the Village had to pay for services.  Manager Holycross indicated that on occasion the Village had to pay for services, but very rarely. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 10-34.   Motion carried (6-0).  Resolution No.

10-34 was approved. 

Resolution No. 10-36, A Resolution to Establish the Annual Compensation Adjustment for the Fiscal year 2010 was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if every position would be eligible for the increase or would increases be different for different individuals.  Manager Holycross indicated that the increases would be two percent for each of the eight employees who were eligible for an increase.  Four employees were already at the top of their position and were not eligible for an increase.  The total cost of the increases for the remainder of the year would be $4,300.

Councilmember McGowan indicated that he was not in support of adjusting non-hourly rates.  He supported a salary freeze.  Councilmember McGowan would like to see EFP Committee discuss salaries for 2011 before passing the next budget. 

Councilmember Barsky asked if this salary increase was consistent with the police department agreement.  Manager Holycross responded in the affirmative. 

Councilmember Lerner indicated that she was not comfortable with providing increases to union employees and none to non-union employees.

Councilmember Mershon moved amend Attachment A to delete pay grade I and add Village Planning Director back into pay grade H.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.

Councilmember Lerner indicated that she agreed with the pay grade bump as the Planner had taken on significant increased job responsibilities.   

Councilmember Mershon indicated that the increased job responsibilities were what had been alleged.  He indicated that there was no one for the Planner to supervise right now.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that the planner position was now handling economic development, when Manager Holycross had indicated that he was responsible for economic development.  He indicated that other individuals had been hired to do grant writing at the top of their pay grade.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that the Village was paying over $100,000 for the planning function when a lot of new building was not happening, which did not seem very efficient.  He would expect the Committee to reassign some of those activities during the budget review process.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that he did not think the increase was appropriate now and the work was not needed.  The current Village Planner was over qualified for the work that the Village requires.  Councilmember Barsky indicated that there has been a lot of work for the planning position.  Planner Terry has been an asset.  Councilmember Barsky indicated that hiring should be done thinking of the future. Hire someone with qualifications for the current position as well as qualifications for future areas of responsibilities.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that the last Planning Commission meeting for signs and a window showed less of a need for zoning services. 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that Planner Terry has expanded the position, improved the quality of the zoning department and made a substantial difference in the continuity of the department. 

Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that the planner had secured grants including the School Travel Plan.  Councilmember Mershon questioned what grants had been secured.  Manager Holycross indicated that Planner Terry had completed and submitted the School Travel Plan and the Rotary Bridge grant.  She most recently secured a Transportation Improvement Project grant of over $800,000. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve the amendment to Resolution No. 10-35:  Barsky – no; Lerner – no; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – no; Hartfield – no.  The amendment to Resolution No. 10-35 failed 2-4. 

Councilmember Barsky indicated that it was hard to believe that Village staff was over paid.  She indicated that Council could certainly look at how wages were set-up. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Resolution No. 10-35:  Lerner – yes; McGowan – no; Mershon – no; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Resolution No. 10-35 passed 4-2. 

Resolution No. 10-36, A Resolution to Appoint a Member to the Planning Commission Representing the Board of the Granville Exempted Village School District was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan. Second by Councilmember Barsky. 

Discussion:

Manager Holycross indicated that Mr. Hawk preferred to go by Steven instead of Robert.   

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 10-33.   Motion carried (6-0).  Resolution No. 10-33 was approved.

Ordinance No. 15-2010, An Ordinance to Amend Ordinance No. 20-09 to provide for Adjustments to the Annual Budget for the Fiscal Year 2010 and to Revise Sums for Operating Expenses for Legal Expenses and Mayor’s Court was introduced and a hearing date recommended for September 1, 2010 by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe

Mayor Hartfield scheduled a public hearing for Ordinance No. 15-2010 for September 1, 2010. 

Council requested that staff provide more information regarding the reason for the increase in funding and the expenses incurred. 

Councilmember Mershon asked for an all-in cost, not just prosecutor costs.  He indicated that everyone coming through Mayor’s Court in the last few weeks were not Village residents.  He wondered if cases should just be sent to Municipal Court.  Law Director Crites asked if Councilmember Mershon was suggesting eliminating Mayor’s Court.  Councilmember Mershon indicated in the affirmative.  Manager Holycross indicated that information would be provided.   

REVIEW OF MINUTES  

Regularly Scheduled Meeting of August 4, 2010 

Councilmember O’Keefe made a motion to approve the August 4, 2010 minutes as amended. Second by Councilmember Barsky. Motion carried 6-0. 

MAYOR’S COURT REPORT – July 

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

Councilmember O’Keefe suggested that these reports be printed double-sided.  Councilmember Barsky suggested not printing the graphs each month.  The purpose of the graphs was for staff to see trends, when items were outside the normal error bars.

Councilmember Mershon asked if the cases processed in Mayor’s Court were only disposed of in the methods listed on the report.  Mayor Hartfield responded in the affirmative.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that twenty to twenty-four percent of the cases being transferred in the month of July.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that the number of cases sent to Municipal Court was due to the Village not holding Mayor’s Court on Friday, July 2nd, due to the July 4th Celebration and July 9th, as the Clerk of Courts was on vacation. Law Director Crites indicated that some of the transfers to Municipal Court were due to the diversion program.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that he was not on a crusade and that Bobbi was one of the best employees here, but he questioned if an additional $18,000 was going to be added to the budget for the year, he wanted to know how the costs were going to work out and possible other options. 

Councilmember McGowan moved to accept the July Mayor’s Court report.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  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 – July 

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

Councilmember McGowan moved to accept the July Monthly Manager’s Report   Second by Councilmember Barsky.  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) – (All Councilmembers)  

No report. 

Granville Foundation – (Mershon)

Councilmember Mershon reported that the Foundation held its annual planning meeting.  It was decided to add one additional meeting during the month of September.  The Foundation will be sending out their solicitation letters in October. 

Lights, Safety, Streets/Sidewalks, Utility Committee (LSSU) (Hartfield, Herman, McGowan)

Manager Holycross indicated that he anticipated scheduling a meeting for the LSSU Committee in September.  Councilmember Mershon asked if the results of the leash law survey would be shared with the LSSU Committee at that time.  Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative.  Manager Holycross reported that three hundred two surveys were completed.

Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)

Councilmember O’Keefe reported that there were sign approvals and a renovation approval.  One of the sign permit approvals involved a sign for the pet supply store on South Main Street.  As it is in the Transportation Corridor Overlay District, which requires a one hundred foot set back, the signage requirements were not appropriate for locations such as this applicant.  The Code may need to be changed to address this type of issue.

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

No report. 

Granville Recreation District – (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that the District was continuing to work on their build-out plan. 

Tree & Landscape Commission (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that the Commission would hear the results of the gypsy moth survey conducted earlier this summer.  She also reported that three trees were removed from Newark-Granville  Road due to fire blight.  Mayor Hartfield asked if the Commission had addressed the issue of the bag worm infestation.  Councilmember Mershon reported that there was an article in Sentinel regarding bag worms.  Councilmember Lerner advised Council that the Tree & Landscape Commission would be hosting the Tree City USA program in 2011.  The Commission may request funding assistance for the event in the future. 

Union Cemetery (Barsky)

No report. 

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS  

Councilmember Lerner asked if Council had made a decision regarding Trick or Treat during their last meeting.  Council indicated that they had not selected a date. 

Councilmember Barsky asked that staff respond to the issues addressed by Mr. Wilken.  Council would like information regarding his number, the impact of negotiations on labor costs, and the cost and implementation of a deduct meter.   

Councilmember Mershon suggested that the LSSU Committee look into the issue of deduct meters.  Councilmember Barsky expressed concern about the base rate charges mentioned by Mr. Bellman.  Could there be a reduced rate for seniors?  Councilmember Mershon responded that it would be hard to tie rates to age.  Councilmember Lerner suggested setting a fee for non-use at a lower rate than the base rate.  Manager Holycross indicated that most systems had a base rate charge as each system had fixed costs to operate the system.  Water and sewer services needed to be available all the time, not just when one particular resident needed service.  Councilmember Barsky indicated that she understood the need for fixed rate charges for the maintenance of the system, which allowed residents the privilege to use the system at will.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that Mr. Bellman had made the same argument seven years before.  Manager Holycross indicated that rates were developed using a flat rate base and referred to the flat rates of other surrounding communities.

ADJOURNMENT (9:25pm)

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

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