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Riverlea NewsSeptember 2011

Reflections on Riverlea

Mary Jo Cusack photo.
Mary Jo Cusack, Mayor

Annexation forum. There will be another annexation forum after the September 19 Council meeting. Questions will be answered and information provided as to terms of any annexation. This is an important issue. If we annex to Worthington and do not like it, we will be unable to change back to Riverlea. And there will be no officials from Riverlea to approach for anything you would like to change. Please come to the meeting and find out what is involved so that you can be sure you are voting for what you really want.

Ordinances. Please note our sign and clear streets ordinances and comply with them. The ordinances have been enacted over the years to keep Riverlea beautiful, not to interfere with people's wishes. If you drive through Dublin, you will note very few signs in residential areas and no dirt, building materials, or garbage in the street. Riverlea is such a beautiful village that we should try to keep it looking its best. This enhances the value of all homes. Riverlea has been like that in the past and it is hoped we can keep it that way in the future. The flowers at the entrance markers are beautiful. Pam Colwell spends a good deal of time and energy keeping our entrances looking this way. Each of us can do our part by keeping our homes and the surrounding area looking lovely too. While we may not be able to garden as well as Pam, we can keep our places without garbage in the street, signs and other distractions. Hope all of you have a happy fall season.

In Memory Of

Penny Call, of Worthington, born November 30, 1942, passed away August 26, 2011. She was an outstanding realtor to many area home buyers and sellers. When a resident of Riverlea, she was on Riverlea Council for eight years. Survivors include son, Chris (Katy) Call; daughter, Bobby (Derrin) Ritchie; grandchildren and many friends including her best friend, Riverlea resident Linda (Ted) Beegle. A service was held September 1, 2011 at Worthington Presbyterian Church. Contributions may be made to Penny's Memorial Fund at any local Huntington Bank.

"Walk to School" resumes

Are you interested in your elementary school age children walking to school one morning a week? We would like to re-invigorate the "Walk to school" initiative this fall and need to determine if the interest from our residents is there. If you would like to participate, please send an email bhamor@riverleaohio.com. Initially we would like to do it once a week on Wed. mornings during the fall.

Draft highlights from the Aug. 15 Council regular meeting

Mayor. Asked the Marshal to contact residents whose signs violate the sign ordinance. There were problems with the house being built on Crescent. Mud continues to run down the street. The Riverlea condominiums would like the Village to replace their old No Outlet sign. Council noted that this was probably on private property and likely their responsibility.

Marshal. Reported 229 checks with no citations or warnings.

Street Commissioner. Reported a quote from American Pavements for slurry seal repair of areas on Riverglen, Falmouth, Southington, and Crescent Court for $2300. They will also complete a section on Olentangy Blvd. Lift station maintenance has been completed. A new pump was installed. An old pump has been sent to be repaired at a cost of $370; it will be a spare.

Worthington annexation. Hamor expressed his concern that the Mayor’s column in the August Riverlea News was not impartial; he disagreed with some of her comments. The newsletter has been good about reporting the facts without bias. He wanted the residents to able make up their own minds about the annexation. The Mayor pointed out Reflections is her column and she is free to express her opinions in it. Gordon said we are at the point now where people will start to take positions. Village officials have a right to voice their opinions and to take positions. Hamor agreed to write his opinion for the next newsletter.

Council discussed the need to let people know what the costs to the residents will be with annexation and without annexation. The biggest downside of annexation is the loss of direct control of what happens in the future. We would have control, but only as residents of Worthington. Once we are annexed, there is no going back. It is important to get as much factual information out to the residents as possible so they can make the best decision. The Solicitor suggested that Council may want to decide what the next steps will be for the streets and infrastructure if the Village does not annex to Worthington in case they are asked by residents.

Council agreed to hold an open forum after the September 19 Council meeting and then determine whether an additional forum will be needed. MacGilvray suggested the possibility of having a joint meeting with Worthington to discuss this. The Solicitor asked Council if they wanted to include more than the conditions of annexation when they are mailed to voters in late September. Council will consider this. Adjournment at 8:10 pm.

This and that


Briggs Hamor, Council Member

Following are some statements from the August Newsletter that I would like to comment on:
  1. Financial arrangement: "Riverlea will be assessed for many costs." Our infrastructure needs fall into 4 basic categories: streets, sewers, lift station and water lines. We are currently responsible for maintaining these structures and would continue to be as Riverlea. The streets and sewers will need to be fixed in the near future. The repair of water lines and removal of the lift station may not be necessary. As Riverlea, these expenses would all be incurred solely by our residents. Let’s address the scenario if we were annexed by Worthington.
    • Streets. Based upon the annexation agreement, Riverlea residents will be assessed the cost of repairing our streets, curbs and gutters. The current estimate is $2.0M (Riverlea residents $1.9M and Worthington $100K)
    • Sewers. Worthington will pay for this expense out of their capital fund. The most recent estimate for these repairs is $650,000.
    • Lift station. The general consensus is while the station doesn’t "need" to be removed, it should be once the new gravity hook-up is ready. If it is removed, Worthington will use what is left of our General Fund balance (estimated to be $350,000) to fund the project. If it ends up costing more, Worthington will pay for it from their capital fund.
    • Water lines. Worthington’s engineers have reviewed the break history of our lines and believe they have a significant amount of life left. If they need to be repaired within 5 years of annexation, Riverlea residents will be assessed for the expense. If repairs are necessary after 5 years, they will be funded as Worthington funds all infrastructure expenses, through tax revenue from all Worthington residents.
    • In summary, as Worthington, we will have help for the streets and sewers totaling $750,000 and may not have to pay for any significant water line expenses. To put this in perspective, our annual revenue budget typically hovers between $225K- $300K. Residents that work out of their home may have to do some quick calculating to see if the 2.5% Worthington income tax would supersede the offset of infrastructure expenses.
  2. Lift station: "Although Worthington originally agreed that the lift station would be included in the new pipes put in, they changed that agreement and left it up to their discretion later." The final Commission on Annexation proposal states, "The cost to eliminate the lift station is estimated at $350,000. This work will be funded from the Village’s General Fund balances, which are currently projected to be approximately $355,000..."
    • No misrepresentation or dishonesty occurred between the commissioners. They were engaged in negotiations and considerations are always fluid during these talks. Both groups of representatives did the best they could for their communities in a professional and forthright manner.
  3. Elections: "No one from Riverlea will be able to run for office until 2015." Worthington rules stipulate a citizen must establish residency for 2 years before being eligible to run for public office. Our residents would then be eligible to run for office in any elections after January 14, 2014. The next regular municipal elections are scheduled for November 2015.
  4. Uncertainty of future council decisions: Regarding zoning "It was pointed out that Worthington Council will still have the authority to do this" and regarding the cut-through "There is no guarantee other than current Worthington council saying they have no intention of doing that, but there is nothing that binds future councils."
    • The concern with these statements is they take advantage of the uncertainty, the gray areas. Neither of the comments is wrong. Yet they are misleading in that they imply uncertainty with one outcome and certainty with the other. Simply because the Worthington council has the power to change its collective mind over time does not mean it will. Also, it implies that as staying part of Riverlea our council would never change its views. Obviously, we have no guarantee of this.
We will hold an Open Forum about annexation after our regularly scheduled Village Council meeting on Monday, September 19, at Thomas Worthington HS. Hope to see you there.

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:

2011 'Holiday' Trash Collection Day

New Years Day
Memorial Day
July 4
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day
Monday, 1-3-2011
Tuesday, 5-31-2011 (Note Day Change)
Tuesday, 7-5-2011 (Note Day Change)
Tuesday, 9-6-2011 (Note Day Change)
Monday, 11-28-2011
Tuesday, 12-27-2011(Note Day Change)

Mark your 2011 calendar for our Village Council Meetings

All scheduled 2011 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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