Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes December 21, 2011

Village of Granville

Council Minutes

December 21, 2011

 

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

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

ROLL CALL

Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Johnson, Lerner, McGowan, Montgomery, O’Keefe, Vice Mayor Barsky, Mayor Hartfield, Law Director Crites and Village Manager Stilwell.  

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Councilmember McGowan moved to approve the agenda as presented.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Motion passed.                           

CITIZEN COMMENTS (7:32pm)

As no one appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comments at 7:33pm. 

PRESENTATION

Oath of Office

Mayor Hartfield gave the Oath of Office to three new reserve officers – Christopher J. Westenbarger, Ben M. Newman and Tyler A. Benca.  She welcomed them to the Village staff. 

Tree-Trimming Committee Update

Jurgen Pape, Chair of the Tree-Trimming Committee, provided Council with an update of the Committee’s progress.  The Committee has met several times and suggested modifying their original tasks slightly. The Tree and Landscape Commission already was responsible for identifying specific trees for removal or protection and maintained a program to replace appropriate trees with low future maintenance in mind.  AEP was required to deliver reliable electric service which initiated trimming trees and branches away from power lines to avoid outages resulting in complaints by residents. Village residents have expressed concerns about tree trimming severity and frequency. 

The Tree-Trimming Committee contacted representatives from AEP, PUCO, OSU electrical engineering, and Denison University. AEP appeared flexible and eager to work with the Village.

The Tree-Trimming Committee established that neither the PUCO nor the tree trimming consultants set trimming standard. AEP was solely responsible for setting the standards.  Only certified utility arborists were allowed to trim within ten feet of electric lines. Tree trimming standards were guided by electrical safety codes that were uniform throughout the country 

The next tree trimming was scheduled to occur in 2013 to 2014.  The Tree-Trimming Committee was expected to develop its recommendations prior to that time.

Potential recommendations to date include:

  1. Granville would trim trees halfway between AEP’s cycle.  Costs would need to be determined.
  2. Use of taller utility poles to reduce lower branch trimming while hiding lines above.
  3. Have a Granville certified utility arborist review tree trimming, but not set pruning standards.  Possibly recommend removing unsightly or unsafe trees completely.  In particularly sensitive areas.  Lines could be rerouted, poles added or linesplaced underground.
  4. Have AEP notify property owners prior to trimming.
  5. More sharing of utility poles.
  6. Develop a moratorium of understanding between the various parties involved and define responsibilities.
  7. Develop potential costs.
  8. Develop a flyer including contacts, which could be made available in printed form or posted on the Granville website. 

Councilmember Montgomery asked who currently sets the tree-trimming standards and could those standards be amended.  Mr. Pape indicated that those standards were professional electrical standards used throughout the country and probably could not be changed. 

Bryn Du Commission Annual Report

Candi Moore, Chair of the Bryn Du Commission, provided Council with the Bryn Du Commission’s Annual Report.  She indicated that it had been a very successful year.  The facility had a wonderful rental rate during the past year and was utilized even through the winter months with the sporting groups.  Ms. Moore indicated that the following projects were completed during 2011:

  • paving of the rear parking lot was completed,
  • renovation of the restrooms on the second floor,
  • the Veterans Memorial was completed and dedicated,
  • work continued on reviving the formal gardens,
  • repairs to the chimney were completed,
  • the Commission worked to increase partnerships with outside entities,
  • a docent program was added to provide tours of the facility,
  • “Experience Granville” was a new event added to showcase local businesses and non-profits 

Ms. Moore indicated that in 2012 the Commission would be looking at converting the old tennis courts into game courts or a community garden.  Discussions and public input regarding this issue would be sought in 2012.  Ms. Moore thanked Council for their continued support.  She also indicated that Executive Director Bruce Cramer was in the audience and available for questions.  

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if improvements to the Carriage House were any nearer fruition.  Ms. Moore indicated that the current plans for that building were as a community center with funding still being sought.    

PUBLIC HEARING 

Ordinance No. 39-11, An Ordinance Declaring the Pass Through Between St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Granville Historical Society be Converted from a Vehicular/Pedestrian Way to a Pedestrian Only Pass Through 

As no one appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed the Public Hearing at 7:56pm. 

OLD BUSINESS

Ordinance No. 39-11, An Ordinance Declaring the Pass Through Between St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Granville Historical Society be Converted from a Vehicular/Pedestrian Way to a Pedestrian Only Pass Through was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky.

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if the development agreement was completed.  Manager Stilwell indicated that the agreement development process had not yet begun.  The Village has been investigating where utility services were located.  The Village would meet with the Granville Historical Society and St. Luke’s Church to begin the process of developing an agreement.

Councilmember Johnson expressed concerns about the fact that there was no mention in the legislation about maintaining a dedicated access for the Village.  He asked if costs sustained by the Village were included in the budget.  Manager Stilwell indicated that the development agreement would address the issue of Village access to the Village’s parking lot.  Regarding costs associated with this project, Manager Stilwell indicated that there had been minimal costs with Bird and Bull involving stormwater issues.  Any additional costs involving this project will be negotiated as part of the development agreement.

Councilmember Montgomery asked how design input would be solicited from residents.  Manager Stilwell indicated that discussion would happen between the Granville Historical Society, St. Luke’s and the architects.  Once a general design and costs were established, then the Village would hold a public forum to gather comments and suggestions. 

Councilmember Barsky suggested that the fire department be included in the process to ensure that the alleyway is accessible for fire equipment.

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 39-2011:  Johnson (yes); Lerner (yes); McGowan (yes); Montgomery (yes); O’Keefe (yes); Vice Mayor Barsky (yes); Mayor Hartfield (yes).  Motion passed 7-0.  Ordinance No. 39-2011 was approved. 

NEW BUSINESS 

Resolution No. 11-61, A Resolution Authorizing the Village Manager to Enter into a Contract for 2012 with D. Michael Crites and His Law Firm for Services as Law Director and Mayor’s Court Prosecuting Attorney was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky.

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe asked about the change in the contract for 2012.  Manager Stilwell indicated that previously the contract had been a flat rate for services.  The new contract would be based on time and materials.  There was also a clarification made in the conflict of interest clause.

Councilmember McGowan asked if there was a change in the rates and if the cost of legal services would be less in 2012.  Law Director Crites indicated that the hourly rate had remained the same.  Manager Stilwell indicated that he anticipated that the total cost for legal services would be down in 2012. 

Councilmember Johnson asked if the flat rate cost for the Licking County Prosecutor’s services was a less expensive and more functional agreement.  Law Director Crites indicated that the cost for these services was evaluated four or five years ago.  A comparison was made between the costs to pay the Prosecutor compared to the cost of paying for someone from the Law Director’s office to travel to Newark for these cases.  Negotiating a contract with Licking County was determined to be the most cost effective means to handle prosecutorial services. 

Councilmember McGowan asked if the Village knew the number of hours billed by the Licking County Prosecutor.  Law Director Crites indicated that a rate summary was requested for 2012 to quantify those numbers. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked the number of cases sent to municipal court.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that the number varied.  Many cases were sent to municipal court, but not all cases resulted in trials. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 11-61.  Motion carried 7-0.  Resolution No. 11-61 was approved.

Resolution No. 11-62, A Resolution Authorizing the Village Manager to Enter into a Contract for 2012 with Douglas Sassen and the Newark City Law Director’s Office for Services as Municipal Court Prosecuting Attorney was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

No discussion. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 11-62.  Motion carried 7-0.  Resolution No. 11-62 was approved.

Resolution No. 11-63, A Resolution Authorizing the Village Manager to Enter into a Contract with the Licking County Board of Commissioners for Reimbursement of Legal Counsel for Indigent Defendants for the Village of Granville, Licking County, Ohio was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky.

Discussion:

Councilmember Montgomery asked if the state of Ohio provided monies to Licking County who acted as the administrator to handle funds used toward indigent defendants.  Law Director Crites indicated that Licking County used a court appointed system based on a fee schedule when a defendant was deemed to be indigent.  The Licking County Auditor seeks reimbursement for these services and the Village contracts with the County. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 11-63.  Motion carried 7-0.  Resolution No. 11-63 was approved. 

Resolution No. 11-64, A Resolution to Appoint Members to the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

Discussion:

Councilmember Johnson suggested that Mr. Kemper would be an excellent candidate for this position.  

Councilmember McGowan moved to appoint Kenneth Kemper to the BZBA for the term ending January 31, 2014 and appoint Larry Burge to the BZBA for the term ending January 31, 2013.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve the amendment to Resolution No. 11-64.  Motion carried 7-0.  Resolution No. 11-64 was amended. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 11-64 as amended.  Motion carried 7-0.  Resolution No. 11-64 was approved. 

Resolution No. 11-65, A Resolution to Appoint a member to the Granville Planning Commission was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe expressed her support for Steve Hawk after observing his service on the Planning Commission as the Commission representative from the Granville Board of Education.  

Councilmember Johnson stated that he felt Doug Eklof would be a good addition to the Commission.  

Councilmember Montgomery expressed his strong support for Jean Hoyt due to her experience and service on the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals.  Councilmember O’Keefe expressed her support for Jean Hoyt over Mr. Eklof due to her experience. 

Councilmember McGowan moved to appoint Steve Hawk to the Planning Commission for the term ending January 31, 2015 and appoint Jean Hoyt to the Planning Commission for the term ending January 31, 2014.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve the amendment to Resolution No. 11-65.  Motion carried 7-0.  Resolution No. 11-65 was amended. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 11-65 as amended.  Motion carried 7-0.  Resolution No. 11-65 was approved. 

Resolution No. 11-66, A Resolution in Opposition of Centralized Tax Collection in the State of Ohio was introduced and moved for approval by Vice Mayor Barsky.  Second by Councilmember Lerner 

Discussion:

Manager Stilwell indicated that the Village currently administers our own income tax collections.  State officials, in an attempt to improve business opportunities in the state, were discussing standardizing the municipal tax collection at a state level.  The state would be responsible for collecting all municipal income taxes and likely standardize credits and collection processes.  Manager Stilwell provided Council with a summary analysis of an estimate of how much money it would cost the Village should income tax collection be removed from municipalities.  The Village can provide both personal and individual services at a rate less than the state collections.  

Councilmember Montgomery asked if the state proceeded with this change would it supersede the Village Charter.  Manger Stilwell responded in the affirmative.  Law Director Crites indicated that state law would prevail over the Village Charter. 

Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that she did not support the state taking over municipal tax collection. 

Vice Mayor Barsky and Mayor Hartfield also indicated that their opposition to state control and the potential loss of four to eight percent revenues that the state could take from existing Village revenues for administering such a program.

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 11-66.  Motion carried 7-0.  Resolution No. 11-66 was approved. 

Ordinance No. 40-11, An Ordinance to Authorize the Village Manager to Enter into a Lease Agreement with the Granville Studio of Visual Arts for the Lease of the Terrace House at Bryn Du, 537 Jones Road, for a Term of Three Years was introduced and a hearing date recommended for January 4, 2012 by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky.

Mayor Hartfield scheduled a public hearing for Ordinance No. 40-2011 for the January 4, 2012 Council meeting.

Councilmember O’Keefe suggested that Council visit the Granville Studio of Visual Arts to see their program and the updates made to the Terrace House.  Ms. Moore invited Council to hold a Council meeting at Bryn Du. 

REVIEW OF MINUTES

Regularly Scheduled Meeting of December 7, 2011

 Vice Mayor Barsky made a motion to approve the December 7, 2011 minutes as amended.  Second by Councilmember Lerner.  Motion carried. 

MAYOR’S COURT REPORT – November 

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

Vice Mayor Barsky moved to accept the November Mayor’s Court report.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Motion carried. 

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 – November 

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

Councilmember Johnson asked if the Manager knew the anticipated increase in tax revenues for this year.  Manager Stilwell indicated that he was still predicting an increase of at least five percent for 2011. 

Councilmember McGowan noted that police manpower was up from fifteen percent to sixteen percent from one year ago.  He questioned the reason for the increase.  Police Chief Mason indicated that the report reflected the addition of additional activities by officers being reported that were not reported previously.  These activities were now being tracked to reflect a more accurate accounting of each officer’s time.  

Councilmember Montgomery asked about how actively the police department utilized the truck scales.  Chief Mason indicated that officers only pulled trucks over that travelled through the Village.  Officers generally did not bring trucks to the scales that were travelling on State Route 16.  Chief Mason added that during 2011 there were serious mechanical failures with the scales.  He indicated that those issues should now be resolved. 

Councilmember O’Keefe moved to accept the November Monthly Manager’s Report   Second by Vice Mayor Barsky.  Motion carried.

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 (Council as a Whole)

No report. 

Granville Foundation (Mershon)

No report. 

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

No report. 

Planning Commission (O’Keefe)

No report. 

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

No report 

Granville Recreation District  (McGowan)

No report. 

Tree & Landscape Commission (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that the Commission had completed the application process for both the Tree City USA and Growth Award applications.  She also indicated that three of the Commission member’s terms expire on January 31st – Don Hostetter, Don Pheneger and Regis Birckbichler.  Regis Birckbichler has indicated that he would not be continuing his service on the Commission.  Councilmember Lerner indicated that Commission members met with the Union Cemetery Board to clarify each group’s role in the maintenance and upkeep of the Old Colony Burial Ground.  The Commission was working with a Denison University intern on updating the tree inventory.     

Union Cemetery (Barsky)

No report.  

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS 

Councilmember O’Keefe reported that the Wellhead Protection Committee and is working with Marathon Oil to insure the safety of their pipeline through the well-field. 

Councilmember Barsky asked if there were any new developments regarding the proposed pipeline through the Wexford Drive area.  Manager Stilwell indicated that there were no new developments, but staff would be following any developments closely. 

Councilmember Barsky reported that the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 7:00pm to finalize the newest final draft revision to the comprehensive plan.  Following this meeting, the Committee hopes to schedule a public hearing to seek resident’s comments. 

Mayor Hartfield reminded Councilmembers to let Clerk Prasher know their preferences for committee appointments. 

Mayor Hartfield advised Council that they received a copy of the Council Rules and were required to update those rules by the February 1, 2012 meeting. 

Mayor Hartfield asked staff if they were aware of the two sink holes in the mid-block, brick crosswalk on Broadway.  Manager Stilwell indicated that he would have the Service Department check and advise. 

Councilmember Lerner advised staff that she liked the new presentation of staff memo and recommendations being connected to the legislation and not a separate section. 

Councilmember Johnson asked if the enhancements for the proposed Cherry Valley Road interchange were bid at a lower cost would the cost savings be passed along to the Village.  Manager Stilwell answered in the affirmative. 

Councilmember Johnson asked how processing charges were handled for the deer management program.  Clerk Prasher advised that the Village had a reduced rate with a local processor for any deer that Village hunters would like to donate to the Licking County Food Pantry.  Hunters were permitted to donate deer to other processing programs as they saw fit. 

OTHER STAFF MATTERS

Manager Stilwell indicated that a retreat for Village Council was scheduled for Saturday, February 11, 2012 from 9:00am to 1:00pm at the Bryn Du Mansion.  He indicated that he was in the process of outlining an agenda that he would provide to Council 

Manager Stilwell reported that he and Vice Mayor Barsky met with state Senator Schaffer.  Councilmember Montgomery asked if the issue of a unified tax collection process was discussed.  Manager Stilwell indicated that it was discussed and the Village’s position was explained to the Senator.  Senator Schaffer indicated that he was not aware of any legislation that was currently being considered. 

EXECUTIVE SESSION 

Vice Mayor Barsky moved to enter into Executive Session, pursuant to ORC 121.22(G)(4) – “to prepare for, conduct, and review negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation of other terms and conditions or their employment.”  Second by Councilmember Lerner. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Montgomery – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Johnson – yes; Vice Mayor Barsky – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 7-0. Time in: 9:45pm.  

Councilmember O’Keefe moved to return to regular session.  Second by Councilmember McGowan. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote:  McGowan – yes; Montgomery – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Johnson – yes; Lerner – yes; Vice Mayor Barsky – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 7-0. Time in: 11:04pm. 

ADJOURNMENT (11:05pm)

Councilmember McGowan made a motion to adjourn.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. Motion carried. 

Employee Payroll / Compensation

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