VILLAGE OF RIVERLEA
SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING
January 29, 2007
The Council of the Village of Riverlea held a special public meeting on January 29, 2007 at Guernsey Bank, 547 High Street to discuss the 20 year bond issue of $1,300,000 to construct, resurface and repair streets and replace curbs within the Village.
The following Council members were present: Mary Jo Cusack, Mayor; Pamela M. Colwell; Scott K. Gordon; John A. Schaer; Rodney Tettenhorst and Paul J. Zenisek. Also present were Steven W. Mershon, Solicitor; Lois Yoakam, Newsletter Editor; Jerry Turner, President of Bird & Bull; and nine Village residents. The Mayor called the meeting to order at 7:20 p.m.
The Mayor passed out information sheets and gave a summary of why the Council feels the streets and curbs need replacing. She understood the concern about higher taxes and stated that is why Council wanted the residents to have a say in this by voting.
Scott Gordon, President of Council, spoke briefly about the aging infrastructure and the need to do something about it. He said it was an investment in our community. He expressed concern about safety and liability if the streets, curbs, etc. were not kept in good repair.
Jerry Turner was introduced. He stated he was President of Bird & Bull, the consulting engineering firm the Village had engaged for the initial cost estimate. Bird & Bull does this type of work for villages similar to Riverlea throughout central Ohio and has done this since the 1950s. He looked at the curbs, gutters, storm sewers and streets. The costs are based on todays prices and would probably increase 3 5% annually. He recommended doing the curbs and gutters first if we had to divide up the project. Normal curbs are 6 inches high and the Villages curbs are anywhere from 1 to 6 high. He went line by line through the cost estimate to explain the terms. Not included in the estimate is the replacement of the underlayment because that cannot be evaluated until it is dug up. He explained about the time line engineering could take 3 months max, bids could take about 1 month, and construction could take 6 months. He suggested we might save money by seeing if Franklin County would do the work.
Residents asked numerous questions ranging from the need of this project to questions regarding the sewer system. Grant money was discussed and Council was asked to look into it. The Mayor explained that she had already checked with MORPC and they said no but she would also check with ODOT. The Solicitor explained that grant money was difficult to get because everyone was competing for it; the streets need to serve more than just the Villages needs; there has to be a financial need and the Village has a high median income level; and there isnt much money available for grants. The amount of tax increase was discussed and it was suggested that residents look at the Auditors website to see the levy estimate under their property description. Some residents expressed concern about the sewer system. It was explained that the Village is in the process of cleaning and videotaping the sewers and any repairs necessary will be made prior to any street construction. There was discussion about what would happen if the cost is higher or lower than the bond amount. If the cost is below the $1.3 million, the auditor will adjust the cost to residents and residents will only pay the actual amount spent. If the cost is above, Council will have to stop and take another look at this project to see how to proceed. Rod Tettenhorst expressed his objection about going forward with this project because he felt the EPA mandate was more important. There was some discussion about it. The Mayor and Solicitor felt that what is going on with the EPA is in the future and the Village should be able to handle it. One resident pointed out the added value to our homes by having nice curbs and streets. He felt it was worth the $1 per day cost to him. Another resident suggested Council look into getting bike friendly grates for the drains. Council was pleased this was suggested and will see that its done as well as investigating if there are other pedestrian and bike friendly changes that can be made during this construction.
There were no more questions and the Mayor thanked everyone for attending. The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
MARY JO CUSACK, MAYOR
DAN E. OWENS, CLERK OF COUNCILGo to top of page.