VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE
March 16, 2011
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:32pm)
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Barsky, Lerner, Mershon, McGowan, O’Keefe, Vice Mayor Herman, Mayor Hartfield, Law Director Crites and Acting Village Manager Terry.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Councilmember McGowan moved to approve the agenda. Second by Councilmember Barsky. Motion carried to amend the agenda (7-0).
CITIZEN COMMENTS (7:34pm)
Jeff Oster, 4049 Goose Lane, advised Council that the March 23rd Economic Development 101 meeting was postponed until summer due to staff changes in the Licking County Economic Development department. He indicated that he would keep Council advised of the date when the event was rescheduled.
As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed the Citizen Comments at 7:35pm.
There was no old business.
Resolution No. 11-17, A Resolution to Award the Contract for the 2011 Street Improvement Projects to The Shelly Company, as per Specifications, and to Authorize the Village Manager to Enter into an Agreement Therefor was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan. Second by Councilmember Barsky.
Acting Manager Terry indicated the Shelly Company bid came in substantially lower than the engineer’s estimate of $562,072.
Councilmember Barsky questioned the range of the bids. Acting Manager Terry indicated that some of the contractors were more aggressive in going after work and the larger firms had a greater ability to bid lower. Mayor Hartfield indicated that the KoKosing bid was very close to the Shelly bid. Both of those contractors were very large and able to provide a lower bid. She also indicated that the Village solicits bids early in the season.
Councilmember Mershon asked for a reminder of the roads to be milled and paved. Acting Manager Terry indicated the roadways were Glyn Tawel Drive (Bryn Du Drive to Merywen Circle), Bedwyn Bach Lane, Merywen Circle, Westgate Drive, West College Street (Thresher Street to end) and Thresher Street.
Vice Mayor Herman commented that the street improvement projects were big ticket items in the Village budget. The difference between what the estimated project costs and the actual bid amounts were significantly different over the past several years. Vice Mayor Herman questioned if Engineer Turner could provide an explanation as to why his estimates were so vastly higher than the bid amounts. A more accurate estimate would better help Council determine a more accurate budget. Councilmember Mershon also questioned why there was such a difference. Councilmember McGowan commented that as the Village solicits bids so early in the year that could garner more competitive bids.
Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 11-17. Motion carried (7-0). Resolution No. 11-17 was approved.
Resolution No. 11-18, A Resolution in Support of the Proposed Changes to the Newark-Granville Road Pathway Due to the Planned Construction of the New SR 16 and Cherry Valley Road Intersection was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky. Second by Councilmember McGowan.
Acting Manager Terry indicated that this resolution of support was needed in order for ODOT to complete Section 4F of the project requirements and as part of the environmental study. This resolution would approve the removal of a four hundred sixteen foot section of the existing pathway which would be moved back from its current location by ten feet. It would also approve the addition of an additional one hundred foot section that would connect the existing pathway to the proposed crosswalk intersection. Acting Manager Terry indicated that ODOT had several meetings with the public and specifically with the affected property owners to discuss and explain the impact of these changes. She also indicated that while the existing pathway was being removed, a new temporary path would be constructed for resident’s use. Acting Manager Terry reminded Council that this project was still only in the study and design stage only.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked if the intersection would be a signalized intersection and not a round-about. Acting Manager Terry indicated the intersection would be signalized.
Councilmember Lerner asked if the existing house would be taken by ODOT as part of the project. Acting Manager Terry indicated that ODOT had not yet made that decision as to whether the whole house or just part of the property would be taken. ODOT contacted that property owner and discussed the issue.
Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 11-18. Motion carried (7-0). Resolution No. 11-18 was approved.
REVIEW OF MINUTES
Regularly Scheduled Meeting of March 2, 2011
Councilmember Barsky made a motion to approve the March 2, 2011 minutes as amended. Second by Councilmember Lerner. Motion carried 7-0.
Special Scheduled Meeting of March 12, 2011
Councilmember Mershon made a motion to approve the March 12, 2011 minutes. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. Motion carried 7-0.
MAYOR’S COURT REPORT – February
The Mayor’s Court Report for the month of February was presented for review.
Councilmember McGowan moved to accept the February Mayor’s Court report. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. 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 – February
The Manager’s Report for the month of February was presented for review.
Councilmember Barsky questioned in the increase in the number of unsecured building calls for the police department. Clerk Prasher indicated that Chief Mason had spoken with new Superintendent Brown and Officer Dawson had spoken with the building supervisors regarding this issue.
Councilmember McGowan moved to accept the February 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) – (All Councilmembers)
Granville Foundation – (Mershon)
Councilmember Mershon reported that the Foundation had awarded their grants for 2011.
Lights, Safety, Streets/Sidewalks, Utility Committee (LSSU) – (Hartfield, Herman, McGowan)
Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)
Councilmember O’Keefe reported that the owner of the art gallery on North Prospect Street requested help from the Commission in directing business to her location. She indicated that the existing directional signs were not effective. She indicated that the Commission had not permitted her to utilize a sidewalk sign at the corner of North Prospect Street and East Broadway when she originally moved into the building. The Commission agreed to permit a temporary sidewalk sign while they further research the issue. The Commission also had a work session to review the proposed zoning code amendments regarding change of use and fee schedule changes.
Councilmember McGowan suggested that it was up to the merchant to generate business. She could possible advertise events or submit articles to the Granville Sentinel to promote shows and events.
Planning & Zoning Committee – (Barsky, Hartfield, O’Keefe)
Granville Recreation District – (Lerner)
Councilmember Lerner reported that the District was finishing with their assessment survey. She indicated that Council members should have been contacted by someone who requested their participation in this process.
Tree & Landscape Commission (Lerner)
Councilmember Lerner reported that the Commission was preparing for the Tree City USA annual meeting in April that the Village was hosting.
Union Cemetery (Barsky)
OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS
Council Goals & Objectives
Councilmember McGowan indicated, that after reviewing the rankings of these goals and objectives, finishing the Comprehensive Plan seemed to be a high priority.
Councilmember Mershon and Barsky requested that staff provide the individual rankings of each councilmember and provide possible recommendations to reach these goals and objectives.
RITA – Income Tax
Acting Manager Terry indicated that staff received additional information from Lori Gischel, Director of the RITA Worthington Office, regarding the Village contracting with RITA for tax services. RITA provided information regarding the costs and percentages of their salaries, benefits and OPERS contributions. She also provided information regarding other community’s investments with RITA. Finance Director Kraner provided information to Council regarding the advantages of contracting with RITA as well as any disadvantages. She indicated that while there were a number of benefits including RITA’s ability to access IRS information and provide online filing; there were also several disadvantages. Finance Director Kraner indicated that the presence of a Tax Commissioner provided for a back-up person with financial background for the Finance Director’s position. She also questioned the impact of not having a Tax Commissioner available to provide customer service to residents. The Tax Commissioner was available to answer questions as well as help with tax filing. The Finance Director indicated that the cost of contracting with RITA currently would be similar to the current expense of the Tax Commissioner position. However, as Village revenue increases, so will RITA’s costs. Acting Manager Terry reported that it was staff’s recommendation to not contract with RITA at this time.
Vice Mayor Herman indicated that he was not satisfied with RITA’s “not pertinent” response regarding the lack of information provided regarding the impact of contracting with RITA and collections. If RITA was not willing to indicate whether their services would be beneficial, he was hesitant to make a change. Currently, RITA’s costs in salaries and benefits were sixty-one percent (61%) and that percentage could increase.
Councilmember Mershon commented that when the Village had discussions previously about contracting with RITA the costs were $10K to $12K higher than the Village’s expenses. However, differences in costs were no longer relevant. He also indicated that RITA would provide services that the Village could not. Councilmember Mershon indicated that during the past year there were issues regarding the actions of the tax department with complaints regarding state statutes and limitations. He indicated that RITA may be able to provide services more cheaply than the Village.
Mayor Hartfield indicated that the costs were comparable; however, the support that the current Tax Commissioner position provides for the Finance Director position as back-up personnel had not been factored into the costs. She indicated that she was unsure how residents would react to contacting RITA personnel in Worthington. She would be in support of looking at RITA again in the future.
Councilmember Barsky indicated that she was not in support of making a change this year as RITA did not provide any evidence that Village revenues would be increased by contracting with their service.
Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that Finance Directory Kraner had indicated earlier that she was looking into areas where tax revenues could be reassessed. She indicated that she trusted Finance Kraner’s opinion.
Acting Manager Terry indicated that she would advise RITA that the Village was not currently interested in contracting with RITA, but would be willing to revisit the issue as a later date.
Acting Manager Terry provided Council with diagrams of the two different meter types. She indicated that Water Superintendent Fruth preferred that the Village adopt auxiliary meters. She indicated that the cost of a meter would be approximately $350, which included a radio reader. The homeowner would pay the cost of installation. Acting Manager Terry also provided Council with the information prepared by the previous manager regarding the potential revenue loss for the sewer fund amounting to $25,700. Superintendent Fruth expressed his concerns about allowing meters and how it could impact water conservation and how the additional man hours to read the additional meters and inspect the installation would impact his department. He also indicated that it could possibly increase water usage due to the reduced cost of water. Superintendent Fruth indicated that if Council decided to permit additional meters, he suggested that a policy to regulate water usage during draught events should be developed. Acting Manager Terry indicated that staff’s recommendation was to continue to prohibit auxiliary/deduct meters; however, if Council approved the use of these meters staff would recommend instituting a monthly minimum fee for water, a meter reading fee, and an inspection fee.
Councilmember Lerner indicated that she felt it was not fair to make people pay for services they did not use. She commented that if the sewer fund was depleted or if permitting additional meters would hurt the sewer fund, then sewer rates should be raised. Vice Mayor Herman responded that he was not in favor of permitting additional meters if that would cause sewer rates to increase making the many pay for the wants of individuals.
Councilmember Mershon stated that the issues raised regarding conservation were not accurate. He questioned that by permitting lawn watering using an additional meter the aquifer would be used up. Councilmember Mershon indicated that the current wastewater plant and water plants had good capacity. The Village currently plants and waters flowers throughout the Village. He indicated that he looked at this issue from a fairness stand point. The public has provided their comments in the form of petitions indicating that they want this service. The Village should focus on accuracy of water and wastewater usage. The sewer fund should not be subsidized by billing for services not used by the residents. If the sewer rates need to be increased, then Council should raise those rates. Councilmember McGowan agreed that if sewer rates should be raise, then Council should raise the rates. Granville should offer auxiliary/deduct meters like other communities.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked how much residents would save by installing an additional meter.
Councilmember Barsky commented that individuals pay for many services that they do not use such as funding for schools. She indicated that the needs of the Village may need to be taken into consideration above those of the individual. She suggested if residents do not want to pay for things for the good of the whole, perhaps other communities offer the type of services they would prefer. She indicated that this discussion may reflect a difference in philosophies.
Mayor Hartfield indicated that she had a different opinion regarding the conservation issue from Councilmember Mershon. She felt it was Council’s duty to make sure that the Village does not encourage the expenditure of our aquifer or push our utility plants to their capacity.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked if staff knew what things needed to be updated in the water and wastewater plants. Acting Manager Terry indicated that the wastewater treatment plant needed $6 million in updates while the water plant needed $1.5 million in updates.
Councilmember Mershon suggested that the Village permit an additional meter system with any added costs identified and charged to those users and not charge residents for services they were not utilizing. He requested additional input on the most economic means to implement an additional meter system. Vice Mayor Herman suggested that Council hold a public hearing to seek additional resident input.
Councilmember McGowan requested that the Law Director draft legislation for Council to review. Councilmember Mershon concurred. Law Director Crites indicated that he would prepare such legislation as an ordinance.
Acting Manager Terry indicated that the Village received requests from several Township residents who were interested in serving on the Tree Trimming Committee. Staff contacted the Granville Township Trustees to ask about their interest in participating with this Committee. The Trustees indicated that they would be interested in collaborating with the Village regarding this issue.
Councilmember O’Keefe advised Council that she had almost completed the rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan. As soon as it was completed, she would contact the chair of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and have a meeting called.
Acting Manager Terry reported to Council that ODOT denied the Village’s application for a Transportation Enhancement grant for the Burg Street Pathway after ODOT heard that Council was no longer interested in the project as presented to ODOT.
Councilmember McGowan thanked Service Director Hopkins and the service department for the great job they did taking care of the ice and snow winter this past winter.
Councilmember Barsky moved that Council’s April 6th meeting begin at 7:00pm to accommodate Chief Hussey’s presentation. Second by Vice Mayor Herman. Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve the motion. Motion carried (7-0). The motion to begin the April 6th Council meeting at 7:00pm was approved.
Councilmember McGowan moved to enter into Executive Session, pursuant to ORC 121.22(G)(1) – “to consider the appointment, employment or compensation of a public employee or official.” Second by Councilmember Barsky.
Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 7-0. Time in: 9:02pm.
Councilmember McGowan moved to return to regular session. Second by Councilmember Barsky.
Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Lerner – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 7-0. Time in: 9:14pm.
Council returned to regular session.
Mayor Hartfield indicated that Council decided to appoint Paul Feldman as Acting Village Manager, which would be established by ordinance.
Law Director Crites indicated that Council, by Village Charter, was permitted to enact an ordinance into immediate effect in order to meet an emergency in the operation of the municipal government for the immediate preservation of the public peace, safety, health, morals or welfare of the Village. Law Director read Ordinance No. 06-2011, an ordinance appointing Paul Feldman Acting Village Manager establishing the salary of the Acting Village Manager and declaring an emergency. Mr. Feldman would be compensated a salary of $6,500 per month with an automobile allowance of $500 per month and OPERS contributions to an annuity as prescribed by law.
Councilmember Mershon moved for the approval of the Emergency clause. Second by Vice Mayor Herman.
Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve the emergency clause for Ordinance No. 06-11: Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes Ordinance No. 06-2011 passed (7-0).
Councilmember Mershon moved to introduce and approve Ordinance No. 06-11, an ordinance appointing Paul Feldman Acting Village Manager establishing the salary of the Acting Village Manager, declaring an emergency.
Councilmember McGowan confirmed that Mr. Feldman would not be receiving health care benefits from the Village. Law Director Crites responded in the affirmative.
Councilmember McGowan indicated that Mr. Feldman had twenty-seven years of experience with the Village of Worthington and had an extensive background in government affairs.
Mayor Hartfield thanked Mr. Feldman for his willingness to take the position and welcomed him to the community.
Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 06-11, declaring an emergency : Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Herman – yes; Hartfield – yes. Ordinance No. 06-2011 passed (7-0).
Councilmember McGowan moved to adjourn the meeting. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. Motion carried (7-0). Meeting adjourned.