Villages of Granville
February 6, 2016
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 9:20am)
Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Finkelman, Johnson, Lerner, McGowan, O'Keefe, Vice Mayor Montgomery, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Stilwell and Law Director King.
Manager Stilwell welcomed everyone to the Council Retreat. Manager Stilwell explained that this meeting would be a work session with no decisions made by Council. Public in attendance was welcome to attend, but would not be able to participate until the end of the meeting to make a public comment. Manager Stilwell indicated that he would report the results of the meeting to Council during the February 17th meeting and to the media.
Manager Stilwell indicated that Council would be looking at the goals set in 2011, 2012 and 2014 to determine if there were items that still needed to be addressed or identify any other important issues.
Mayor Hartfield suggested that Council continue with the retreat process and possibly have another retreat once a new manager was hired.
Manager Stilwell summarized some of the goals that were met from the two previous retreats include:
- Worked with downtown businesses to support expansion or new start-ups including The Pub on Broadway;
- Sidewalk replacement program
- Working on economic development
- Met with Township and Owens Corning (process was slowed in 2015, but should resume in 2016)
- Some increase in residential development, but commercial development was still struggling
- Development rights to golf course were acquired;
- Staff worked to increase public participation in the governmental process, communication with public has been more effective;
- Village finances increased with the improved economy;
- Property maintenance was discussed extensively with the intent to help residents through a private assistance program beginning with a grant request to the Granville Community Foundation;
- The Village worked toward improving processes based on environmental concerns as well as passing legislation for residents to make environmental concession by avoiding polystyrene usage. The Village also began to address solar energy usage;
- Zoning code efficiencies (a specific list of all zoning code changes made since 2007 was provided to Council);
- Professional contracts were reviewed and appropriate changed were made including a new Law Director;
- Village staff worked with Marathon to address wellhead protection safety issues culminating in the additional of a new pipeline valve;
- Research and select costs of Village health insurance.
Mayor Hartfield asked Council if there were any outstanding issues that still needed to be addressed. Manager Stilwell responded that it would be beneficial for applying managers to know what issues Council wanted to resolve. Manager Stilwell led Council in identifying the following as possible goals to work toward over the next two years. (These goals are listed in the order in which they were suggested.)
- Maintain a high caliber of professional staff – competence, accessibility to the community, compensation
- Work with Township to maintain and enhance sustainability
- Improve community outreach
- Focus on good fiscal responsibilities through balanced budgets, planning for future facility needs (lime lagoon, new service department)
- Understand and address current capital improvement needs
- Downtown parking issuesLaw Director King will look at parking requirements for new local businesses in the downtown area
- Continue to make amendments to zoning code
- Encourage environmental measures as part of the zoning code
- Develop environmental standards and practices for municipality
- Enhance pedestrian safety and security plans including the use of solar equipped signage, more speed humps, grooves in roadways, a public service campaign to stop texting while driving
- Support traffic roundabouts in the future
- Collaborate with Township, GRD and school district including use of shared commodities – perhaps meet and exchange ideas
- Look at property maintenance code for historic or abandoned buildings
Manager Stilwell advised that Novak Consulting would be moving forward based on a sixteen-week timeline. The Planner search was currently on hold as no candidates were selected during the first two searches. Councilmember Finkelman suggested that Novak Consulting be asked for possible search suggestions and asked to review the job description.
Manager Stilwell gave a brief update as to the progress on pedestrian enhancements for North Pearl Street and the Village. He indicated that new crossing signals, a plan of improvements for that area and other safety improvements throughout the Village were anticipated to be completed in early spring.
Manager Stilwell provided Council with a list of issues being addressed by staff for the next six months. He also provided Council with an updated growth data report showing Village income, building permits for the Village and Township and Granville School District enrollment numbers.
Granville Township Trustee Kevin Bennett and Fire Chief Jeff Hussey provided Council with a brief overview of the status of the new fire department building process. Trustee Bennett asked Council if they would be willing to work with the Township to look at a variety of shared options that could benefit both the Village and Township including issues such as land swaps, sharing of facilities and other ideas. Council agreed to look at the possibilities. Councilmembers Finkelman and Johnson were appointed to an ad hoc committee to determine what issues were priorities to the Village and how those issues could possibly intersect with Township priorities.
Dennis Cauchon, the only resident in attendance, was offered an opportunity to speak. He applauded the Fire Department on producing a good perspective for a new fire department.