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 Mary Jo Cusack, Scott K. Gordon, Briggs W. Hamor, Eric A. MacGilvray, Kirk M. McHugh and Daniel W. Noonan. Jon L. Ankrom was absent. Also present were Pamela M. Colwell, Clerk-Treasurer, Steven W. Mershon, Solicitor, and Kent Shimeall, Marshal. Guests of Council are listed on the attached sheet. At 7:00 pm the Mayor called the meeting to order.
The minutes of the regular Council meeting of April 19, 2010 were not read since each member had received a copy. Noonan noted that he was concerned that the Mayor’s comments on the cut-through were stated as fact whereas he thought they were her opinion. On page 2 item 4 he did not believe the City of Worthington has said they did not want the cut-through to go through. The Mayor said they did and she would provide verification. He also noted that the statement ‘Worthington can put up a fence that would block the cut-through’ and item 6 regarding a pathway would prevent the use of garages were the Mayor’s opinion. Gordon pointed out that these were under the Mayor’s comments and whether or not they were fact or opinion they still reflected what was said at the meeting. Noonan agreed but wanted the record to show that he thought some of these may be the Mayor’s opinion. Noonan moved and MacGilvray seconded a motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Report of the Clerk-Treasurer
MacGilvray moved and Hamor seconded a motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial report for April 2010, as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Report of the Mayor
The Mayor reported that OSU Airport has been told by the FAA that they still need to respond to questions. The External Relations Manager hired to deal with the complaints has been terminated.
There are a number of Planning Commission issues that need to be addressed. Since the Planning Commissioner is not at this meeting, she will wait on some of the issues until he is present to discuss them. The major issue is 5803 Dover Court where the rear garage was not built according to approved plans and the owner is going to sell. The last Council voted to go to court on it. This should be resolved before the house is sold.
The Solicitor explained that the Planning Commission approved plans for a new garage on the condition that the existing double garage door was changed to a single garage door. There are also issues of the west face of the garage not complying with the Certificate of Appropriateness. The previous Council wanted the owner, Mike Blanchard, to return to the Planning Commission for approval of the changes or they would go to court to seek compliance. At that time Blanchard said he was not finished with the construction. The Solicitor said he advised the Mayor it might be better to wait until the new Council is in office before pursuing compliance because there may be changes in attitude due to the different makeup of Council. He now asked Council for their views.
Council said they needed all of the facts before they could make any decision. Council would like Blanchard to go back before the Planning Commission for approval first. If that is not successful, then they could discuss what needs to be done next. They requested specifics be included in their next packet.
The Mayor attended the MORPC luncheon and they offered a Healthy Foods booklet she thought people would be interested in. Council asked for a link to the information or an order form. There is a link to MORPC on our web site.
There are building issues that need to be addressed, which the Marshal will include in his report.
She was on the panel for the Worthington Community Relations Committee and talked to them about the Village joining Worthington in their Hi Neighbor event. Worthington said they would be delighted with this. Council agreed.
Her meeting with Matt Greeson, Worthington City Manager, covered a lot of different ideas, such as making South Street safer. He said he would get back with her regarding them.
She has also been attending meetings on the watershed. A canoe ride on the river was discussed at the last meeting and Janet Brown (5091 Olentangy Blvd.) invited everyone to use her place to get to the river and stated that there was plenty of parking on Olentangy Boulevard. The Mayor said it was her understanding that the neighbors did not want this. Maybe it would be a good idea to get the people on the river together again to see if their views have changed.
Report of the Solicitor
The Solicitor reported that he was asked if the Village had the authority to negotiate to buy a house and the answer is yes. However, he is looking for a way the Village can sell the property other than public bidding. He will provide a written report on that.
He was asked to prepare a resolution to express intent to not use eminent domain and he has done so.
Report of the Planning Commissioner
There was no report.
Report of the Marshal
The Marshal had three conversations with the builder on Pioneers Court regarding lack of fencing around the excavating hole and street debris and mud. The builder refused to comply with the fencing because he said it would interfere with construction. The builder says the street is cleaned up each day, even though it is not. The Marshal says the builder is not willing to co-operate. Council discussed options such as contacting the Franklin County Building Inspector but was told they would not do anything. The hole has been covered up, so the Marshal will contact the builder again about getting the street cleaned up.
The resident with the POD on Olentangy Blvd. was not aware of the Village ordinance. She was referred to the Planning Commissioner to go before the Planning Commission for approval to keep the POD over 30 days.
Council discussed about possible ways to get the code information in front of residents so they do not violate ordinances due to lack of knowledge. It was suggested that the Good Neighbor brochure be updated to include more ordinances and to compile a list of information concerning ordinances for residents building or remodeling.
The property at 147 W. Southington Ave. needs to be cleaned up. The Solicitor will send them a letter.
The Marshal is resigning at the end of May because he is moving.
Report of the Street Commissioner
There was no report
Report of the Newsletter Editor
The Editor would like copy for the Newsletter by June 5th. She suggested that Council provide something for the Newsletter.
Report of the Web Manager
There was no report.
Report of Parks and Recreation
There was no report.
Report of Stimulus Funds
MacGilvray met with MORPC regarding funding options for street, water and sewer repairs. He has provided a memo regarding this meeting in more detail.
There are no Federal stimulus funds at the village level. There is some State funding available as grants and zero or low interest loans but we will be competing with all other municipalities in Franklin County. We would have a better chance with the Small Government Commission for municipalities with a population under 5000.
We should continue to document evidence of infrastructure failure, resident complaints, and meetings to inform residents about the project.
He recommends a team consisting of the Street Commissioner, an engineer from Burgess & Niple and a member of Council to work on this per the Street Evaluation Improvement Program timeline
MacGilvray’s Report on Cut-Through Discussions with MIG Properties and the Butlers
He contacted the attorney for MIG Properties (142 W. Riverglen Dr.) to discuss a possible cut-through resolution and he was told that they saw no reason to meet since there was nothing to negotiate because the property was for sale. MacGilvray asked the Solicitor if purchasing the property was an option.
He met with the Butlers (156 W. Riverglen Dr.) to discuss the cut-through. They were friendly and gave him an account of the harassment and confrontational behavior they have been enduring, of which he was surprised and saddened to hear. They were still not interested in having a cut-through on their property.
Eminent domain is buying property when the owner does not wish to sell. He would not want to do this. However, the 142 W. Riverglen property is for sale. One option could be a matter of negotiating a fair price to buy it, put in a pathway and then sell the property with the hope of recovering most of the purchase price.
Hamor's Report on Cut-Through Acquisition Expenses
His research was limited and cursory. The appraiser he spoke with said to double everything if you pursue two properties. We would need to decide on one property to negotiate with. The appraiser thought the bottom line number to start would be $50,000 and it would only go up from there. That would be if everything went smoothly and was not contested. This does not include eminent domain. Eminent domain costs would be much greater.
Lt. James Mosic Report on Safe Routes to School
With the recent concerns about the cut-through closure, he discovered a program called Safe Routes to School administered by the Federal Highway Administration. Its main goal is to improve health, safety and transportation by encouraging walking and bicycling to school. There are a lot of advantages to the program.
Children face the greatest risks by those who drop them off and pick them up from school. Worthington Police will be enforcing the law this fall at schools where parents ignore no parking zones, stop in the middle of traffic to drop of children etc. In the Village when the Police cite people for speeding and not stopping at stop signs, they are residents, not outsiders. They need to start being role models by observing all of the traffic laws.
With this program the community examines and addresses safety issues. We can involve the parents and the children. Safety instruction can be provided.
Worthington is not currently doing this but he will be contacting them. He would like a neighborhood meeting first to gather input. Noonan and Hamor volunteered to start working on this.
Comments from Residents on Agenda Items
Ann Teach spoke about her concern regarding the Bischoff petition for the cut-through. She said private property should be respected and the streets should be the number one priority for money.
Dan Sinclair believes the cut-through is a safety issue and said he has issues with the cut-through process. He feels that not all of the options have been looked at and he wants a more thorough investigation of each option. He does not want anything taken off the table before this is done, including eminent domain.
RESOLUTION NO. 2010-17
Gordon introduced Resolution No. 2010-17, A Resolution to Express the Intent of Village Council Regarding a Certain Appropriation Proposal. He said eminent domain is not feasible and would not prevail, so it is better to take that option off the table. He feels the Bischoff petition is flawed, does not necessarily reflect what the residents want and has no merit. Hamor agreed that the petition was flawed but he did not agree with the complete dismissal of it. There are some people who do believe this is the right course of action. Gordon agreed that there are some but not enough to pursue legal action. MacGilvray finds this resolution an odd action to be taking since it is contrary to the sentiment of the last meeting. In his view this resolution is premature. If we take away the option of eminent domain, we are less likely to find the best solution and cost for this issue. Noonan personally found the resolution to be objectionable because it originated from the Mayor and not Council. He did not feel procedures were followed. Hamor agreed. He also feels the residents know the costs involved. Gordon disagreed with Noonan saying he discussed it outside of this meeting and introduced this resolution so we could have a plan of action in place in order to reach some resolution on this issue. There will be three readings before any action it is taken on it. It will give us the opportunity to discuss the merits of eminent domain. Gordon said the procedure is having one-on-one discussions with members of Council and then introducing a resolution or ordinance for public discussion. Noonan added that his objection was because at the last meeting some members of Council were asked to investigate some of the cut-through options but the resolution was prepared before they gave their report. The resolution jumps the gun and does not look good to the public even though there may be nothing wrong with it.
McHugh suggested an alternative would be to work with Worthington to improve the sidewalks along High Street for safety. Approach the commercial property owners about their sidewalks and the safety of children. Maybe have crossing guards or see if residents are willing to contribute their money to this. It is a pain to take the long way around but if they can do that safely then it resolves the conflict. We need to make a decision and move on.
Payment of Bills
McHugh moved and Noonan seconded the motion to authorize the expenditures of the following:
July 4th picnic
Burgess & Niple
$553.45 and $705.24
Gayle Gottlieb (Easter egg hunt)
The motion was approved unanimously (5-0)
Tree trimming on ravine The Clerk-Treasurer stated that since these funds were unrestricted the auditor may not let us put them into a restricted fund, especially if we could keep an accounting of the money without the use of a separate fund. So the money for water and sewer repairs will not be put into a separate fund, but will be allocated each year to cover unexpected repairs.
Moving funds from general fund to allocated fund.
The Clerk-Treasurer stated that since these funds were unrestricted the auditor may not let us put them into a restricted fund, especially if we could keep an accounting of the money without the use of a separate fund. So the money for water and sewer repairs will not be put into a separate fund, but will be allocated each year to cover unexpected repairs.
Comments from Residents on Non-Agenda Items
There were no comments on non-agenda items.
Next Meeting Announcement
The next regular meeting will be Monday, June 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm at the Thomas Worthington High School, Room 185.
There being no further business, MacGilvray moved and Noonan seconded a motion to adjourn. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).