Christmas. The sudden drop in temperature has been made less difficult because of the beautiful Christmas decorations throughout the Village. Thank you to Kirk McHugh, who contributed the lovely wreaths at the Riverlea entrances, and Pam Colwell, who put them up.
Tax levy. A belated thank you to Briggs Hamor and Eric MacGilvray for the time spent studying our levy and presenting it to everyone in an understandable manner.
Cell phones and 911. The Columbus Dispatch printed a lengthy editorial in regard to the shootings on Broadmeadows Boulevard and the 911 call made Thanksgiving morning which could not be traced since it came from a cell phone. Again, please remember that cell phone calls to 911 are not always as easy to trace as those coming from a land line. If you need to call 911, please use a land line if possible. If not, be sure to tell the operator you are in Riverlea and served by the Worthington Police and Fire.
Did you know that Riverlea has been a part of Worthington since the 1804 Scioto Company partitioned farm lots 24 and 25 to Zophar Topping and Nathan Stewart? During the War of 1812, a 32-acre portion of these two original farm lots located along the Olentangy River was purchased by the Worthington Manufacturing Company. Owned at that time by Moses Maynard and Ezra Griswold, Jr., the Maynard Farm as it was known included present day Riverlea. This tract remained in the Maynard family until after the Civil War, when the Noble family purchased it. The land comprising Riverlea remained in the hands of the Noble family well into the 20th century.
Riverlea development. The actual development of Riverlea proper dates to a 1923 lease of 102.29 acres from Jacob and Clara Artz, who had purchased the land in 1906. This lease was made to the Van DeBoe-Hager Company of Cleveland, Ohio and included the right to plat, subdivide and improve the land. This same company was already developing several other areas in and around Columbus including Beechwold and Sharon Heights. The first section to be developed by Van DeBoe-Hager was Addition No. 11, which included the northeast corner along High Street at Riverglen Drive and then west to Crescent Court. This initial section was quickly expanded and a plat for 249 lots from High Street to the Olentangy River was approved on June 4, 1924.
Attempting to impose a standard of quality, this original 249-lot plat contained a variety of covenants restricting builders to single-family homes with no detached garages or barns. Seems like little has changed in the past 85 years! Homes were expensive by 1920s standards ranging from $6,000 to $12,000 depending upon lot location. There were also covenants providing community ownership of streets and two parks on Riverglen Drive - the Circle and the Ravine. Thus, Riverlea was born and a great experiment in American democracy was begun - a village actually owned and run by its residents.
(Taken in part from an article published in the Western Intelligencer by Jennie McCormick, Historian, Worthington Historical Society)
Increasing street bonds to ensure compliance for zoning/ building issues was discussed. Most residents post cash for the street bond. However, they can obtain a bond through some insurance companies but the Village would have to sue to get any money. Some Council members were in favor of the increase so the Village would be able to enforce compliance or cover the costs of damages from non-compliance. More information on the bonds is needed. Council discussed whether bonds would assist the Village to obtain compliance. The Solicitor will look into this and provide some suggestions in changes to ordinances.
Hamor will buy two flag poles for the front entrances - one for each entrance. The new flagpoles will be attached higher on the posts to avoid having the flags torn by the lanterns. The Mayor thanked Becky Bisenius and Chad Saucedo for purchasing two new flags for the front entrances.
Lt. Mosic told the Mayor about crimereports.com that might interest the residents.
Planning Commission. No report. The Planning Commission was supposed to meet in November but only two members came to the meeting. To assist a resident in getting her new driveway completed in a timely manner, the Commissioner approved the Certificate of Appropriateness for a paver driveway. Council discussed the issue of trying to expedite maintenance requests. The Solicitor would like to identify what authority the Planning Commissioner has so we do not have a problem when he says no. Also, Council would have the opportunity to decide what requires an application and what does not.
Marshal. Reported 276 patrol checks with no citations or written warnings. Discussed the sign ordinance. Signs in the Village's right-of-way can be removed by the Marshal but not the signs on a resident's property. The Marshal should talk to the resident and follow with a letter. The Marshal will call the Solicitor to discuss the particulars of a case so he can provide advice. He suggested that Council may want to review the sign ordinance to see if they want to make it less restrictive.
Street Commissioner reported on the lift station overflow. Grease accumulation around the pumps made it impossible for the pumps to operate. Radico responded promptly and the EPA showed up while they were taking care of the problem. The problem was fixed and the EPA was satisfied.
Consultant Jim Dippel reported that the street maintenance was completed except for a low spot on Olentangy, which will be patched soon but the sealing won't be done until spring. Clerk-Treasurer will withhold $2,500 from the American Pavement invoice until it is fixed. The sewer inspection report has been completed. This is just part of the SSES (Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Study). This is the manhole inspections and sewer televising. The final SSES will be completed in two years.
Ravine trees. Council decided to wait to do any tree work. They authorized up to $4,000 to remove dead trees and clean up the trees in the ravine/circle.
Annexation to Worthington discussion. There are three possible scenarios:
The Mayor reminded residents that Sharon Township could be dissolved if Riverlea is no longer a municipality. The Solicitor stated that without a commercial tax base, most cities do not want to annex residential areas that add to the services they need to provide. We still need to spend a few million dollars to redo the streets and curbs. The two-foot easement would no longer exist and roads could be connected to come through Riverlea. The Mayor proposed that Gordon and McHugh go with her to meet with the Worthington City Manager, Matt Greeson. McHugh thought it would be best to include a resident at this meeting. Gordon disagreed; he stated this was a fact finding meeting and did not favor having a resident at the meeting. He and McHugh will attend the meeting with the Mayor.
Timing. Depending on the timing of upcoming elections, it could take about a year to a year and a half to get this to the voters after Riverlea Council was presented with a proper petition. Expert evaluation would be needed and beneficial but could be costly. We need to be able to tell residents the steps and costs involved when evaluating annexation, including the advantages and disadvantages. We need to find out if Worthington has any interest first. If they say no, then there is no use continuing.
Christmas wreaths. McHugh will donate three wreaths this year for the entrances. The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm.
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