The Council of the Village of Riverlea met on the above date at the Thomas Worthington High School, Worthington. The following Council members were present: Mayor Eric A. MacGilvray, Marc Benevento, Michael D. Blanchard, Scott K. Gordon, Chad A. Lowe, Josh Schoenberger, and Jacalyn Slemmer. Also present were Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk-Treasurer, L. Leah Reibel, Solicitor, Carolee Noonan, Planning Commissioner, Jody Croley Jones, Web Manager, and William P. Charles, Street Commissioner. At 7:01 pm the Mayor called the meeting to order.
The Clerk-Treasurer swore Eric A. MacGilvray in as the Mayor of the Village.
New Council Members
The Mayor stated that he had heard from three people who were willing to fill the open positions on Village Council. The Mayor appointed Marc Benevento to fill the remainder of his Council term that he had vacated to assume the position of Mayor. This term expires in December 2017. The Mayor also appointed Chad A. Lowe and Scott K. Gordon to full four-year Council terms, which expire in December 2019. The following vote was recorded on these appointments: Yes: 3 – Blanchard, Schoenberger, Slemmer; No: 0. The motion was approved unanimously (3-0). The Clerk-Treasurer swore Benevento, Gordon, & Lowe in as members of the Village Council.
The Mayor stated that though he approved of the new members of Council, he would prefer if in the future, prospective members file for election and earn membership through a vote of the residents.
Slemmer nominated Scott Gordon as President Pro Tempore of Council and Schoenberger seconded the motion. The motion was approved (6-0).
The minutes of the regular Council meeting of December 21, 2015 were not read since each member had received a copy. Blanchard moved and Schoenberger seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yes: 2 – Blanchard, Gordon; No: 0; Abstain: 4 – Benevento, Lowe, Schoenberger, and Slemmer. The motion carried (2-0-4).
Report of the Clerk-Treasurer
Gordon moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial reports for December 2015 as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yes: 4 – Blanchard, Gordon, Schoenberger, Slemmer; No: 0; Abstain: 2 – Benevento, Lowe. The motion carried (4-0-2).
Report of the Mayor
The Mayor updated the Council as to the situation with the infrastructure project. He has had several meetings recently relating to the project and outlined a rough timeline for the project.
The first step will be to submit a grant proposal for funding assistance to OPWC by the September 2016 deadline. Council will need to decide on the mix between grants and loans to be requested. He stated that even if the project were to be funded by a zero interest loan vs. including grants, this would roll back about 1/3 of the increase approved by voters in November. He stated that it could be advantageous in terms of requesting a grant to include the addition of sidewalks along with the roads, but this may not be something the village wishes to address. If added, a sidewalk would likely be on one side of either Riverglen or Southington. Slemmer inquired as to whether this addition would increase costs and the Mayor responded that it would indeed substantially increase these costs, but that it would also increase the score, so the Village would need to carefully decide how to proceed with this option.
In May 2017 there is another round of OPWC funding, which is only open to small governments. There is a greater likelihood of receiving this funding, but the funding would be at a smaller amount. The Village would only be eligible to pursue this funding if it was unsuccessful in the first round of funding.
In the spring and summer of 2017, the Village would explore other sources of funding, such as the State Infrastructure Bank, the Ohio Water Development Authority, and a private bond issue.
The Village would then bid the work to contractors in late 2017 and award the contract in January 2018.
Work would then begin in spring/summer of 2018, with the work to be completed in phases throughout the Village over a few years.
Gordon inquired as to whether the location of the sidewalk was important in the scoring and the Solicitor stated that it was preferable that it be placed in locations that children use to walk to school or to a bus stop.
The Mayor stated that, especially in light of the upcoming activities in the Village, the communications within the Village should be improved. To this end, he wishes to reconstitute the Communications Committee and have a proposal by summer as how to proceed with this. This committee should be made up of Council members as well as residents.
The Mayor stated that there have been discussions lately about the overcrowding problem at Evening Street Elementary School, to which the Village is districted. A recent report commissioned by the Worthington School District revealed that this problem is going to get worse in the coming years and needs to be dealt with. The District is currently studying options of how to alleviate this problem and one of the options being considered is redistricting which neighborhoods feed to certain schools, which may affect the Village. The District is going to decide on a course of action in early February and if redistricting is indeed selected as an option, the Mayor stated that the Village should have a presence in any decision-making process at that point. This would include both resident inclusion in the discussions as well as official involvement by the Council, in terms of resolutions and lobbying.
The Mayor stated that he had a candidate who had been interested in the Social Chair position, but backed out. He asked that the members keep looking for anyone who may be willing to fill this position.
Report of the Solicitor
The Solicitor reported that she had been working with the Clerk-Treasurer and Mayor on several organizational issues, including the preparation of several resolutions that would be voted on later in the meeting.
Report of the Street Commissioner
The Street Commissioner reported that the street signs did not get replaced by the time the ground had frozen near the end of the year, so he would work to install these once the weather improved and the ground thawed.
The Street Commissioner stated that there was a water line break reported but that the Water Department did not find an issue. There may have been an issue with the sump pump of a resident backing up.
The Street Commissioner reported that Burgess & Niple had requested an increase to their authorized funds for work on the sewer outfall repair project. This increase was in the amount of $8,200, bringing their total requested reimbursement to $19,200. This increase is based on additional work being performed, in that construction lasted twice as long as the original estimated four week period, the bidding process took longer than planned, and there was unexpected legal work dealing with consent from the resident.
Blanchard inquired as to whether this increase would cover Burgess & Niple’s costs through the end of the project, as the lawn & landscaping repair work would not be completed until the weather warmed up. The Street Commissioner stated that they did not request any additional increases. He did state that the resident may request additional funding assistance from the village in replacing landscaping that was removed as a result of the project. Gordon stated that many projects have cost overruns, but that the roughly 75% increase in requested funds was abnormally high. The Street Commissioner reported that Burgess & Niple had to do more work than expected on the project as the result of the changes. Schoenberger inquired as to whether Burgess & Niple had an itemized list of the increases. The Street Commissioner replied that they most likely did. The Mayor asked if the OPWC would be paying any more due to these changes and the Street Commissioner responded that the OPWC reimbursement was a fixed amount and would likely not change. Schoenberger moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to table the approval and request more detail on the increase from Burgess & Niple. The motion was approved unanimously (6-0).
Report of the Planning Commissioner
The Planning Commissioner reported that the Committee had conditionally approved a Certificate of Appropriateness at 141 W Southington. The owner is adding an addition at the rear of the house and the plans for this addition place it at six feet from the property line, which is closer than the required limit of ten feet. The COA was approved upon the condition that either the plans be altered to bring it no more than ten feet from the property line or that a survey be produced that shows that the addition does not fall outside this limit.
Report of the Marshal
There was no report from the Marshal. The Mayor requested that for future meetings, this report be rolled into the report of the Mayor.
Report of the Web Manager
The Web Manager reported that she had tried an experiment of sending out newsletter information via email and that the rate of openings of these emails of 67% was greater than the average local government rate of 40%. She felt that using this method to distribute information to residents was worth trying again in the future. She also stated that she had only received one bounce back from this distribution. She stated that she had this distribution list in Google Docs and that it had about 150 members.
The Web Manager requested that the new Council members set up new email addresses for official Village business, given that the contents of these email accounts become public records.
Comments from Residents on Agenda Items
There were no comments from residents.
Committee on Infrastructure
The Mayor appointed Benevento and Lowe as members of the Infrastructure Committee.
Resolution 2016-01 Resolution 2016-01, A Resolution to Adopt Rules of Council for 2016 and to Provide for Certain Other Organizational Matters was introduced by Schoenberger. Slemmer moved and Gordon seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution in order to have the rules in place for the 2016 meetings. The motion passed unanimously (6-0). Slemmer moved and Schoenberger seconded the motion to adopt this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0).
Resolution 2016-02 Resolution 2016-02, A Resolution to Confirm the Appointment of Jody Croley Jones as Web Manager was introduced by Schoenberger. Slemmer moved and Schoenberger seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution in order to fill the position and have information posted on the web. The motion passed unanimously (6-0). Schoenberger moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to adopt this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0). The Web Manager requested that the job description and resolution be adjusted to reflect updated duties. The Mayor stated that the Committee on Communications could look at updating the job description.
Resolution 2016-03, Resolution 2016-03, A Resolution to Confirm the Appointment of William Charles as Street Commissioner was introduced by Slemmer and given its first reading.
Resolution 2016-04 Resolution 2016-04, A Resolution Authorizing the Clerk-Treasurer to Execute Necessary Paperwork to Have Mayor Eric MacGilvray Join the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, and to Declare an Emergency was introduced by Slemmer. Schoenberger moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution in order to name MacGilvray to the Commission. The motion passed unanimously (6-0). Slemmer moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to adopt this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0).
The Mayor appointed Carolee Noonan as the Planning Commissioner for 2016.
Resolution 2016-05 Resolution 2016-05, A Resolution to Appoint Paul Unrue as a Member of the Planning Commission and to Declare an Emergency was introduced by Schoenberger. Blanchard moved and Slemmer seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution in order to have Unrue on the Commission for the February meeting. The motion passed unanimously (6-0). Slemmer moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to adopt this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0).
The Mayor reiterated his desire to reconstitute the Communications Committee and appointed Gordon and Schoenberger to this Committee. The Web Manager also had stated that she would be a part of this Committee. The Mayor asked the Councilmembers to ask residents if they wanted to serve on the Communications Committee, and asked the Web Manager to post the openings on the website.
Local Waste Services Contract
The Solicitor stated that she would work with Local Waste Services to receive a proposed contract for 2016 containing their desired rate increase. The previous request for a rate increase was based only on an email to the Mayor.
Blanchard moved and Schoenberger seconded the motion to authorize the following expenditures: