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Riverlea NewsSeptember 2010

Reflections on Riverlea

Mary Jo Cusack photo.
Mary Jo Cusack, Mayor

Council. Dan Noonan resigned from Council as of August 16, 2010. We appreciate and wish to thank Dan for all of the work he has done for the Village. He was a major force in setting up a records retention plan and a public records policy. He was always ready to grill hamburgers and hot dogs for any Riverlea events. We hope he will continue to be active in the Village.

At the August 16 meeting, Council agreed to ask Don Griffith if he would serve on Council. Don has graciously agreed, and we look forward to his contributions. Don has been serving on the Planning Commission.

Thefts. There have been three car break ins and a laptop computer stolen from a home. Please lock all doors. If possible, please lock car doors and park them in a locked garage. Please be aware of any strangers in the neighborhood. We recommend that you program the Worthington police number (614-885-4463) in your cell phones and carry them with you as you walk through the Village. The police have been patrolling the Village.

Also, please ask door-to-door solicitors to see a copy of their Riverlea permit, not Worthington's. If they do not have a Riverlea permit signed by Clerk-Treasurer Pam Colwell or your Mayor, call the police. Try to remember colors and types of clothing, hair and eye colors, and any distinguishing features of such solicitors.

Streets. A special thanks to Street Commissioner Bill Charles for working out the Resident Information Sheet setting forth the specifics of the street work and to Clerk-Treasurer Pam Colwell for delivering it to each of you. It will be so exciting to have the streets looking better.

Flowers. And thanks to Pam Colwell for the beautiful flowers at the entrance markers on Southington and Riverglen. As summer fades into autumn, we will be enjoying still another season.

Street maintenance tentative work schedule:

Overall project start/stop date
September 1 - October 29
Crack sealing
September 1 or as late as Sept. 8
Storm drain/manhole repair
Week of September 13, approximately
Spray polymer asphalt repair
Slurry sealing
Late September to mid-October
SAMI application; slurry seal
Early to mid Oct.; Southington & Riverglen only

For details, see the Resident Information Sheet, the Riverlea web site or contact Bill Charles, Street Commissioner, streetcommissioner@riverleaohio.com. The sheet is also posted in the kiosks.

Highlights from the August 16, 2010 Council meeting

Daniel Noonan submitted his resignation from Council Aug. 16. The Mayor expressed her disappointment about the resignation. The Mayor stated she knows that each member has done what he thought was the right thing to do. Karen McElmurray was sworn in as Marshal, the first female Village Marshal.

Solicitor. He has drafted letters to the property owners with Planning Commission violations. He will review them with the Planning Commissioner and then mail them. Regarding Noonan's resignation, Council has 30 days from today to choose a replacement. If they do not, then the Mayor can appoint someone.

Street Commissioner. Street maintenance will begin in mid September and should be completed by mid October. Burgess & Niple completed the draft of the report on the sewer inspections. Most of the sewers look better than expected.

Proposed SWACO increase. Ron Mills, Executive Director of SWACO gave a presentation regarding the reasons for an increase. The rate will increase about $3 per household in 2011 and another $3 in 2012. The money will help fix current problems and continue for future development. Many communities are joining consortiums for waste collection. As a group they can save money because they are bigger. McHugh liked the suggestion of a consortium for waste collection to save money. We should at least investigate it, even though Local Waste Services has been doing a great job for the Village. Council wants the Mayor to vote yes on the rate increase.

Purchase of community bulletin board $1,500 for the Circle. The Communications Committee thought a bulletin board with additional information such as recreation notices, minutes posting, school activities, etc., would help connect the residents who did not use the internet. This would be in addition to the kiosks, which are used for public notices. A double-sided board would cost $1,500. McHugh suggested that since the current kiosks are getting old and may need replacing in the near future, it may be better to replace one each year with a larger kiosk. This would allow the Village to stretch the replacement costs over five or more years. Council agreed. The biggest kiosk could go at the Circle.

Discussion of Section 151.07(A)(8), Riverlea zoning code. Council has discussed that the code needed changes due to complaints about the Planning Commission. Since the Planning Commission follows the code in their decisions, Council needs to look at revising the code. The Clerk provided this section as an example of what causes problems at Planning Commission meetings. The Solicitor is willing to work with Council in any way they want. He recommended they share their specific concerns with the Planning Commissioner. When asked about revising other ordinances outside zoning, he stated he would work with members to produce an ordinance to amend a section or give a past history on an ordinance.

Since Don Griffith was next in line for votes when he ran for Council, Council wanted to offer him the open position. The Mayor will contact Griffith to see if he is interested. If so, he will be appointed at the next regular Council meeting. If he is not interested, Council will hold a special meeting to find a replacement of Noonan.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm

On the Levy

Eric MacGilvray, Member of Council
Riverlea will have a property tax levy on the ballot on November 2. Below are answers to some common questions. Please feel free to contact me or one of your other elected officials if you have any further questions.
  1. Why is a levy on the ballot?
    Riverlea voters passed a 4.5-mill operating levy in 2005 which expires this year. This levy generates about $83,000/year for the Village, which is more than a third of our annual revenue. It is essential to maintaining services such as police protection, snow and trash removal, street and sewer maintenance, etc.
  2. Why has the amount of the levy been increased? Council voted unanimously in July to propose increasing the operating levy from 4.5 to 5.0 mills. If passed by voters, the new levy would generate about $117,000/year, or about $34,000/year more than the existing levy.

    We decided to do this for the simple reason that revenues have declined and expenses have increased since the 2005 levy was passed. The Village has run an operating deficit for 2 of the last 3 years, and is projected to be in deficit for 2011. We've been able to cover these shortfalls because the Village has a substantial amount of cash on hand, but this is obviously not a sustainable situation.

    Revenue side. Our investment income (from savings accounts and CDs) has dropped by about $25,000/year with the general drop in interest rates. In addition the Village has received more than $35,000/year on average from the Ohio estate tax over the past several years as Village residents have passed away. This is not a stable source of revenue, and there's a good chance that the estate tax will be repealed or reduced by the state legislature, especially if state government is in Republican hands next year.

    Expense side. We've incurred substantial engineering and maintenance costs in recent years because of our aging infrastructure, and we anticipate an increase in the cost of police protection (the largest line item in our budget) in the near future.

  3. What will this levy cost me if it passes?
    Outside millage levies are designed to yield a constant amount of revenue, which means that the effective mill rate goes down as property values increase. The 4.5-mill levy that was passed in 2005 is now generating revenue at an effective rate of about 3.6 mills, so a 5-mill levy would cost residents about $140 more/year (just under $12/month) per $100,000 of market value.
  4. Will this levy pay for the street repairs?
    Yes and no. All of the streets in Riverlea will be resurfaced over the next several weeks, and this expense (about $200,000) is being paid for out of our regular operating budget. The new street surface is expected to get us through the next 5-10 years, and the levy would help to pay for it. However, the much larger project involving repair and replacement of the water mains, street beds, curbs and gutters, etc., is still a few years out and will be funded separately through a bond issue, special assessment, and/or state loans and grants.

Welcome to the Village

2010 Trash Collection Schedule

Regular Riverlea collection day is Monday. Local Waste Services observes six holidays. If the holiday falls on Monday, collection is the next day of that week. The holiday schedule follows:

2010 Trash Collection Day

New Years Day
Memorial Day
July 4
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day
Monday, 1-4-2010
Tuesday, 5-25-2010 (Note Day Change)
Monday, 7-5-2010
Tuesday, 9-7-2010 (Note Day Change)
Monday, 11-29-2010
Monday, 12-27-2010

Mark your 2010 calendar for our Village Council Meetings

All scheduled 2010 Village Council meeting dates and locations are available on the Council Meeting Schedule

See Residents Home page for more calendar items

Villagers may place classified ads. Professional services ads are not accepted. Ads must be of reasonable length; they are edited as needed to fit the space. Letters should be no more than about 200 words and must be signed. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Please submit electronically or by mail to News Editor, 263 Melbourne, or RiverleaNews@riverleaohio.com
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