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 Kirk M. McHugh, Michael D. Blanchard, Jeffery A. Colwell, Scott K. Gordon, Jenny D. Jones, Eric A. MacGilvray, and Jacalyn Slemmer. Also present were Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk-Treasurer, L. Leah Reibel, Solicitor, Karen McElmurray, Marshal, and William P. Charles, Street Commissioner. At 7:04 pm the Mayor called the meeting to order.
The minutes of the regular Council meeting of September 15, 2014 were not read since each member had received a copy. MacGilvray moved and Slemmer seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (6-0).
The minutes of the special Council meeting of August 18, 2014 were not read since each member had received a copy. Jones moved and Colwell seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5, Blanchard, Colwell, Gordon, Jones, and MacGilvray; Abstain, 1, Slemmer; No, 0. The motion passed (5-1-0).
Report of the Clerk-Treasurer
Colwell moved and Jones seconded the motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial reports for September 2014 as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (6-0).
Report of the Mayor
The Mayor had no report.
Report of the Solicitor
The Solicitor reported that the village had a public records request from a company inquiring if the village had any cellular towers or contracts with wireless carriers. She had confirmed with the Street Commissioner that it does not.
The Solicitor reported that there were several contracts for the Council to approve. The contract with the Worthington Police Department contained a 2% increase due to a raise for the officers.
Report of the Street Commissioner
The Commissioner reported that the two hydrants in need of repair had been repaired.
The Commissioner reported Decker Construction had completed their work on a driveway at Southington at Crescent that needed further repairs. Decker is still planning on doing the work on the curb at Olentangy & Melbourne later this month.
The Commissioner reported that he was compiling information for residents on what to do and who to contact in case of a problem. He will work with the Web Manager to get this information on the web site.
The Commissioner stated that he had purchased some “No Dumping” markers for the storm drains to signify that they are storm drains and not sanitary sewers.
The Commissioner reported that the storm water audit had been completed and he had sent the results to the Council members. The permit that was audited was issued in 2009 and is due to expire this year. The main areas of concern in the audit findings were public education and outreach and public involvement and participation. The village is supposed to have a focus group of residents who meet and decide on plans and policies to educate and involve residents in areas related to storm water management. The Commissioner said that his wife would be willing to help spearhead the effort to create the focus groups and plans.
Another item to be updated is the storm water management plan itself. The current plan was created in 2004 and it does not address the items previously mentioned, such as education, outreach, and involvement. The Commissioner is going to begin working on redrafting this plan to include the necessary items.
Report of the Planning Commissioner
The Planning Commissioner was not in attendance. There was no Planning Commission meeting in October.
Report of the Marshal
There was no report as the Marshal had not received the report from the Police.
Report of the Web Manager
There was no report as the Web Manager was not in attendance.
Report of the Newsletter Editor
was no report from the Newsletter Editor.
Comments from Residents on Agenda Items
There were no comments on agenda items
Committee on Infrastructure
The Chair of the Committee distributed a draft of a memo outlining the villages' options and the committee's recommendations for updating the streets, curbs, and water lines in the future. He mentioned that in researching plans for funding the project, the committee discovered that the SCIP program will only give grants for improvements on streets, curbs, and storm sewers, meaning that the village would need to apply for a loan for the improvements on the water lines at least. This loan would be at least $2M, which over 30 years, would come out to about $65k in interest per year. This amount represents about a third of the entire operating budget for the village, meaning that the village would need to increase revenue to fund this. The village would need to have this funding in place before applying for a loan.
The committee met with bond counsel to explore options for raising this additional revenue and came up with three choices: an assessment on homeowners, a property tax increase, or an income tax. Each option has its pros and cons, which were outlined in the memo. Another issue would be whether or not to make a potential income tax reciprocal or not with the other area communities. If the tax is made reciprocal, the village would run the risk of lower income from the tax as well as greater volatility with the income due to shifts in the resident mix of localities worked in and their reciprocity agreements. In addition to the need to raise money to fund the infrastructure project, the Mayor noted that the village will need to raise additional revenue for village operations in the face of declining revenues from state and local sources in recent years. It may make sense to combine this with the request for additional revenue for the infrastructure projects. Jones inquired whether the Infrastructure Committee had explored the option of approaching Worthington about annexation again. The committee Chair reported that they had not explored this, and that doing so may be even more expensive for residents than the options on the table now. In addition, he had questions about Worthington being willing to address the topic again so soon after being voted down by Riverlea residents. The Mayor stated that the deal the village would have received from annexation would have been worse for the village than the options on the table currently.
Council expressed frustration that in the past, open forums to discuss items such as annexation and raising revenue have been sparsely attended and that there is not much resident input on such matters. Jones expressed the possibility or discussing such issues at village events such as the Easter egg hunt or summer picnic. The Solicitor stated that this method may cause issues with the open meeting laws. Ms. Jones stated that as Newsletter Editor, she would work with the Chair of the Infrastructure Committee to draft an article breaking down the options to place in the Riverlea Quarterly. The Mayor requested that the Clerk Treasurer bring a five year trend of the operating budget of the village to the next Council meeting so that the Council can see the decreases over this period. Council is going to decide whether or not to place a levy on the ballot to raise revenue for operating expenses and potentially for the infrastructure improvements
Committee on Communications
The Chair of the Committee reported that there is a delay in getting the Quarterly out, and that she is waiting for articles to include.
Committee on Ordinances
There was no report from the Chair of the Committee.
Ordinance 04-2014 Ordinance No. 04-2014, Annual Appropriation Ordinance (Village) for 2015 was introduced by Jones. It was given the first reading.
Resolution 2014-14 Resolution 2014-14, A Resolution Authorizing the Mayor of the Village of Riverlea, Ohio to Contract with the City of Worthington, Ohio and the Worthington Police Department to Provide Police Services in the Village was introduced by Slemmer. Jones moved and Colwell seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0). Slemmer moved and Gordon seconded the motion to adopt this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0).
Resolution 2014-15 Resolution 2014-15, A Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to Enter into a Contract with the City of Columbus for Legal Representation in Certain Criminal and Traffic Cases was introduced by Slemmer. Jones moved and Colwell seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0). Jones moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to adopt this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0).
Resolution 2014-16 Resolution 2014-16, A Resolution to Provide Legal Counsel for the Village of Riverlea was introduced by Slemmer. Blanchard moved and Jones seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0). Gordon moved and Colwell seconded the motion to adopt this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (6-0).
Cars parked in Yard The Mayor reported that he had a complaint from a resident about cars parked in a resident's yard. He mentioned that he had not seen anything. He asked the Marshal to monitor for this and notify the homeowner if she sees it.
Dead Trees in Ravine The Mayor reported that he had a request from a resident to take the wood from the dead ash trees in the ravine if the village cuts them down. This would save the village some money in disposal. Blanchard raised a concern about liability for the logs waiting to be claimed and how long they would wait before being claimed. Blanchard suggested that the logs be deposited directly in the resident's yard to remove these concerns. The Mayor will call and get an estimate on the cost to cut down these trees.
MacGilvray Sabbatical Eric MacGilvray will be out of the country on sabbatical from January through July of 2015. Council's options would be for him to resign and the Council would appoint someone to take his seat or offer him a leave of absence with his seat remaining open until he returns. He stated that if he resigns, he would likely run again in November in the event of an open seat. The concern over the option to offer MacGilvray a leave of absence is that it would only leave one member over a quorum. Council agreed to offer MacGilvray a leave of absence. Council would need to vote to excuse his absence at each meeting.
MacGilvray moved and Jones seconded the motion to authorize the following expenditures: