In Council Chambers @ 7:00 P.M.Monday, May 16, 2011
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 7:04 P.M. by Council President Judith Hempfling.
Judith Hempfling, Lori Askeland, Karen Wintrow, John Booth and Rick Walkey were in attendance. Village Manager Mark Cundiff was also present, as was Chief of Police John Grote.
Wintrow announced a meeting this Thursday regarding the Efficiency Smart Program for businesses. The program will run from 5:30-7:30 at the former Morgan Middle School Building. Representatives from both AMP and Vectren’s VEIC program will be in attendance.
REVIEW OF THE MINUTES
Minutes of April 5, 2011 Council Retreat. Walkey MOVED and Askeland SECONDED a MOTION TO ACCEPT THE MINUTES AS READ. The MOTION PASSED 5-0.
Minutes of May 2, 2011 Regular Council Meeting. Walkey MOVED and Askeland SECONDED a MOTION TO ACCEPT THE MINUTES AS AMENDED. The MOTION PASSED 5-0.
REVIEW OF THE AGENDA
There were no changes made.
PETITIONS & COMMUNICATIONS
Askeland summarized letters from citizens; all communications received are listed below.
The Clerk will receive and file:
Nancy Peters re: Opposition to AMP Natural Gas Plant Option
Charlie and Nancy Peters re: Statement Opposing AMP Natural Gas Plant Option
AMP re: High River Levels at Smithland Dam
Kris Collins re: Municipal Parking Lot
June Allison re: Mayor’s Monthly Report
Sharon Potter re: Monthly Financial Statement
Coolidge Wall re: Morris Bean
Chris Widener re: Response to Hempfling Letter
YS Library re: June Programs
OMCA Legislative Updates
Nan Whaley re: Miami Valley Cycling Summit
Colin Altman re: Fire Station Update
Dinsmore Advisor’s Letter
Wintrow asked Cundiff if he has heard anything definitive regarding possible phase-out of the Killowatt hour. Cundiff responded that he will be attending a legislative day informational meeting on Tuesday, and will follow up on the matter.
Hempfling noted that there is pending legislation which will repeal Local Government funds by 25% this year, and 50% next year, for a total reduction of 75% in the next 14 months. Repeal of estate tax is also on the table.
Emergency Reading and Public Hearing of Ordinance 2011-12 Internet Café Regulation. Booth MOVED and Askeland SECONDED a MOTION TO APPROVE.
Cundiff explained that Village Solicitor John Chambers has brought attention to a new business venture that is currently springing up around Ohio called “Computerized Internet Sweepstakes Cafés”. Mr. Chambers believes it makes sense to regulate this use now before one decides to locate in the Village. He sees this as important enough that he has drafted this legislation with emergency language.
The proposed legislation would create a new Chapter 850 in the Business Regulation and Taxation Code of the Codified Ordinances. There will then be a companion ordinance amending the zoning code to permit these businesses in certain zoning districts, and under what conditions.
Planning Commission took this matter up at their last meeting, and will consider wording of the companion ordinance at their June meeting.
Askeland commented that she would like the ordinance to have two readings because she still has some questions. She stated that Chris Till has done some research on these entities, and has spoken to some officials in Springfield Township, where five of these businesses have opened.
Among the concerns Till has brought to her attention, Askeland stated, the most significant is that of apparent sanction on the part of the Ohio Attorney General. There is anti-gambling legislation on the books at both the State and Village levels, but this apparently cannot be applied to this particular type of business.
Askeland commented that she would love to have more extensive information regarding this phenomenon, and speculated that these businesses seem to locate in economically depressed areas where potential customers do not have access to their own computers for the purpose of gambling.
Till’s concern, Askeland noted, is that this legislation appears to give any potential internet café a blueprint for opening in the Village. Askeland commented that she gets the impression that legislation of the sort under consideration is the only recourse, and she would like to confirm that with John Chambers before acting on the legislation. “There seems to be a philosophical contradiction,” she stated, in that there is anti-gambling legislation on the books, yet we are presenting a blueprint describing the process for opening one legally in Yellow Springs.
Askeland speculated that such businesses may be unavoidable currently, given their acceptance at the state level, and that Chambers is attempting to get the Village out in front of the matter.
Askeland stated that Planning Commission discussed the matter at their May meeting, and had decided to restrict Internet Cafes to the General Business District under a conditional use restriction. There will be a list of conditions specific to these businesses forthcoming from Planning Commission.
At Hempfling’s request, Cundiff described the General Business District as the south end of town along Xenia Avenue.
There followed a brief discussion regarding whether or not to adopt the ordinance immediately.
Booth commented that normally, if there is to be only one reading of an ordinance, there is a statement to that effect in the final section.
Hempfling opened the floor for a Public Hearing.
Joan Edwards asked where such a business would locate.
Askeland stated that they would simply need to find an available space.
Hempfling CALLED THE VOTE, and the MOTION PASSED 5-0 on a ROLL CALL VOTE.
Emergency Reading and Public Hearing of Ordinance 2011-13 Approving the Editing and Inclusion of Certain Ordinances and Resolutions as parts of the Various Component Codes of the Codified Ordinances; Approving, Adopting and Enacting New Matter in the Updated and Revised Codified Ordinances; Repealing Ordinances and Resolutions in Conflict Therewith; Publishing the Enactment of New Matter; and Declaring an Emergency. Wintrow MOVED and Booth SECONDED a MOTION to APPROVE.
The Clerk explained that this legislation approves the codification of new ordinances, and approves incorporation of any new information necessary to update existing ordinances.
There was a discussion raised by Wintrow regarding whether the Clerk had noticed this ordinance as a public hearing, and whether a final vote could in fact be called. (Note: in checking with the Village Solicitor after the fact, it was ascertained that if notice of the reading is made public within 10 days following the reading and passage of the ordinance, it is considered to have been properly noticed. This means that it is not necessary to indicate that there will be a public hearing in the event that an emergency reading is noticed before its reading.)
Hempfling CALLED THE VOTE, and the MOTION PASSED 5-0 on a ROLL CALL VOTE.
Emergency Reading and Public Hearing of Ordinance 2011-14 Authorizing a Water Tap Outside the Village Limits in Exchange for a Release of Claims and Declaring an Emergency. Wintrow MOVED and Walkey SECONDED a MOTION to APPROVE.
Cundiff explained that the matter had been discussed previously in an Executive Session. Request for a tap in on the part of Mark and Dorothy Roosevelt would automatically make them party to the Struewing lawsuit. To avoid this, the Roosevelt’s have agreed to sign a quit claim. Cundiff noted also that the well on that property has repeatedly had problems with coli form bacteria, strengthening the case for offering the Roosevelts a tap in.
Cundiff stated that the Roosevelt’s will pay the required amount for the tap-in, and will purchase water from the Village at the rate for service outside the Village. Cundiff declined to discuss the matter in any great detail, given that there is pending litigation.
Wintrow asked if there would be a second reading of the ordinance.
There was some confusion as to whether the ordinance could pass on a first reading without being noticed as a public hearing. Council decided to hold a Public Hearing, and to check with the Solicitor. (Note; as above, if published within ten days of passage, an emergency ordinance is properly noticed. It is not necessary to notice a Public Hearing in the case of an emergency piece of legislation.)
Christine Roberts spoke in favor of permitting tap-ins in general. She opined that the Village has a robust water supply, and needs more customers. She stated that she does not understand why the Village would not allow tap-ins, and suggested the Village charge more for customers outside of the Village.
Cundiff responded that the water usage fees are higher for persons outside of the utility boundary.
Wintrow stated that communities do not generally provide utilities to customers outside of the service boundary. Such provision, Wintrow stated, does nothing to increase the tax base, and therefore does nothing to benefit the providing community. While individual situations are considered, particularly where there is an issue of well-contamination, Wintrow noted, the standard is to require annexation in order to benefit from municipal utilities. By controlling utilities, Wintrow explained, a community can better control sprawl.
Hempfling agreed, stating that the policy disallowing tap-ins except as an exception is long-standing, and exists for the benefit of the community.
Hempfling CALLED THE VOTE. The MOTION PASSED 5-0 ON A ROLL CALL VOTE.
Resolution 2011-25 Supporting a State-Wide Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing. Booth MOVED and Walkey SECONDED a MOTION TO APPROVE.
Hempfling introduced the issue, stating that fracking has become an issue of national significance, and stating her appreciation for Vickie Hennessey in particular for raising concern about fracking as a matter of local significance.
Walkey noted that the Environmental Commission in general, and Hennessey in particular have been active in raising awareness about the potential dangers of hydraulic fracturing. Walkey stated that he has concerns with the second to last “whereas”, given that some 30% of the natural gas produced in the US is as a result of fracking. “That is by definition a material contribution,” Walkey stated.
Walkey MOVED to REMOVE the SECOND “WHEREAS”. Askeland SECONDED.
There was no discussion or comment from Citizens on the MOTION. Hempfling CALLED the VOTE, and the MOTION PASSED 5-0 on a VOICE VOTE.
Wintrow commented that to the best of her knowledge, there is no fracking occurring in the area. She stated that she has spoken with a geologist who is not opposed to natural gas exploration, but who believes that Ohio needs to impose more extensive regulation on the practice of hydraulic fracturing.
Wintrow stated her belief that there need to be better safeguards in place, expressing discomfort with the stance that natural gas obtained by any method is a poor choice. Wintrow noted that she is supportive of the fracking moratorium resolution, but that she does believe natural gas is a viable choice in many instances.
Hempfling CALLED THE VOTE. The MOTION PASSED 5-0 ON A VOICE VOTE.
There were no Citizen Concerns.
Energy Board Presentation re: Membership in AMP’s Combined Cycle Natural Gas Facility
Jerry Papania, Energy Board Chair. Papania summarized the EB’s memo to Council as follows.
The EB understands that approximately 30% of the natural gas produced in the U.S. is shale gas extracted by means of hydraulic fracturing. It is recognized that opportunities for undesirable environmental consequences present themselves in the form of:
Escape of methane gas into the atmosphere. A recent study has indicated that the impact of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (both fugitive and combustion) associated with shale gas may be up to 20% greater than the GHG emissions associated with coal-fired generation.
Contamination of ground water supplies by drilling fluids and methane gas
Difficulty in treatment of drilling fluid-contaminated wastewater
These issues have and continue to gain attention on the local, state and federal level. While the practice of hydraulic fracturing has been around for decades it has been off the public’s radar until recently.
Papania continues, stating that there are myriad well-documented environmental consequences associated with coal as a power source as well. He enumerated those, by way of making a comparison:
Higher levels of air contaminants such as sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and mercury (Hg) than natural gas combustion
Production and storage of coal ash
Mountain Top Removal
Air emissions and petroleum energy use resulting from railroad and truck transport of coal from mine to electric generating stations
A significant amount of cooling and make-up water is required for boiler and steam turbine operation.
Health costs related to coal combustion are estimated nationwide to be in the range of $0.03/kWh produced. This amounts to an external or indirect cost of 30% of the current electric utility rate paid by YS residents.
It is the EB’s understanding that the cost of power generated at the Fremont facility will be competitive with other available electrical power supply sources including coal-fired generating stations. Should that not be the case it is the EB’s understanding that AMP will seek out and deliver power at competitive pricing.
While membership in the AMP Fremont Facility can certainly help to fill the Village’s long-term power needs a downside to membership is the 30 year length of contract. It is likely that the energy landscape will continue to change at a more rapid pace and that the availability and cost competitiveness of renewable-based power will continue to improve. A 30 year commitment to the Fremont facility could possibly limit the Village’s ability to participate in future renewable energy offerings.
Council thanked the Energy Board for a balanced and informative report.
Wintrow commented that most contracts are between 30 and 50 years to enable the provider to recoup their costs and make the power costs affordable.
Cundiff agreed, stating that one of the reasons that costs are low for the Fremont contract is that the plant was nearly complete when it was purchased by AMP. This, he said, is another reason that the contract is for 30 rather than 30+ years.
In response to Wintrow’s question regarding a timeline, Cundiff stated that he would like a decision tonight as to whether to prepare legislation for a vote at the first meeting in June. AMP’s deadline is June 15, Cundiff said, which means that the legislation would have to be read as an emergency at the June 6th meeting.
Cundiff explained that this contract will fill the intermediate power needs of the Village’s power portfolio. He reminded Council that the consultant for Western Area Service Group, Sawvel and Associates, recommended that the Village not participate in the Fremont contract, because they view the Village’s in-river Hydro contract as fulfilling the Village’s need for intermediate power. AMP sees the in-river project as fulfilling the Village’s need for base, rather than intermediate power, which leaves a need for intermediate power.
Wintrow asked if Cundiff could provide information on all of the Village’s energy contracts so that Council can compare lengths of contracts and rates. Cundiff agreed to do so.
T.J. Turner, a materials scientist at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, stated that he has gathered information about hydraulic fracturing after being approached by an oil and gas company regarding leasing his land. “We just don’t yet know what the long-term impact to the environment will be,” Turner commented. He noted that the EPA is still conducting studies, and has not yet released findings. 30% of natural gas is derived from fracking, according to Turner, and we may be having an impact created by our own demand which drives that percentage higher. He urged Council to consider the impact before signing a long-term contract.
Christine Roberts urged Council against signing a 30-year contract, stating that natural gas is a “big dirty problem”. Roberts asked Turner to back her up, and Turner stated that there are studies showing that the release of methane in the process of fracking is dirtier than coal-burning.
Roberts further commented that there is a need for energy storage, and that if a method was developed for the storage of wind power, it would revolutionize the industry.
Vicky Hennessey showed a graph which she used to argue that if there is not a change in extraction methodology, by the year 2020, 50% of natural gas will come from fracking. Hennessey complimented Council on passing the Fracking Moratorium Resolution, and asked them to continue to weigh decisions involving natural gas carefully.
Hempfling brought the discussion back to Council. She commented that the 30-year contract is her greatest concern, since it will tie the Village down. She stated that she would prefer to have flexibility in the portfolio.
Askeland stated that she wanted to have more information on what types of power the Village currently has, and what other options may become available if storage of energy comes on line.
Wintrow commented that between coal and natural gas, she sees natural gas as the lesser of evils. She expressed that she does not see elimination of dependence upon fossil fuels as a realistic option in the foreseeable future, and that she would support moving forward with the Fremont project for those reasons. However, she stated, if I am the only person likely to vote in favor of the project, I don’t think time and money should be spent in having the Solicitor go over the contract. I do think we are being
unrealistic if we don’t think we will be using fossil fuels into the future, she stated, but I agree that it must be done in a safe and environmentally responsible way.
Booth commented that he would like to see the entire portfolio so that he has a sense of the bigger picture, stating that he is still open to the idea of natural gas.
Walkey thanked T.J. for his input, noting that these are ongoing topics of Environmental Commission and Energy Board, and that “it’s a matter of the lesser of two evils.” Energy Board supports natural gas over coal, for reasons stated in their report, Walkey asserted, and he MOVED to BRING THE ORDINANCE TO THE NEXT COUNCIL MEETING. Wintrow SECONDED. Hempfling CALLED THE VOTE, and the MOTION PASSED 5-0 on a VOICE VOTE.
Hempfling invited citizen input regarding this matter at the June 6th Council meeting. She also asked that Cundiff provide copies of the study done by Sawvel and Associates recommending against the Fremont project.
Papania addressed Council, stating that by the year 2015, 60% of the Village’s power will come from renewable sources, and, if the contract for the Fremont project is signed, about 30% from the combined cycle gas plant.
Water/Sewer Rate Discussion. Cundiff explained the topic, stating that a Village resident who is an avid gardener came to a Council meeting late last summer asking that Council consider granting some type of irrigation deduction from sewer bills. With last year’s hot, dry summer, anyone who irrigated their lawns or gardens had larger than normal utility bills. The sewer portion of the utility bill is based on the amount of water that is used, because water use is metered, while the sewer is not. The rationale for granting a deduction to the sewer bill is that this water is not entering the sanitary sewer system.
Staff surveyed other Ohio communities to determine whether they offer any type of program to those citizens who irrigate their lawns/gardens. We received responses from 20 communities. The survey shows that these communities handle this issue in one of four ways: 1) Do not offer any type of irrigation deduction; 2) Allow residents to purchase a second water tap for irrigation purchases; 3) Allow residents to purchase a deduct meter to be installed on their outside tap and this water usage is deducted, or not used to calculate the sewer bill; or 4) Use the average winter water use amounts to calculate summer sewer bills.
Cundiff then weighed the options as follows:
No Irrigation Deduction: This approach is used by two (10%) of the responding communities. One community indicated that they don’t offer any irrigation deduction in order to promote water conservation. The other indicated they used to offer the option of irrigation or deduct meters, but stopped over 10 years ago. The pros and cons of this approach are:
Pros:Promotes Water Conservation
Does Not Increase Staff Workload
No Impact on Sewer Fund Revenue
Cons:Offers No Relief to Those Who Irrigate
Irrigation Meters: This approach is used by 13 (65% of total, 72% of those offering some type of option) of the responding communities. Five of these communities offer this option along with one or more of the other options (deduct meters or winter averaging). This option would allow residents to pay for another water tap and meter for irrigation. The amount of water used from this meter would not be used when calculating the sewer bill for the property. The cost of this tap is $325. The resident would likely recover this initial cost in sewer bill savings within a few years. These additional meters would create additional work for Staff, particularly for the Meter Reader.
Pros:Offers Relief to Irrigators
Only Impacts Residents Who Irrigate
Cons:Slight Loss of Sewer Fund Revenue
Increases Staff Workload
Does Not Promote Water Conservation
Deduct Meters: This approach is used by four (20% of total, 22% of those offering some type of option) of the responding communities. Two of these communities offer this option along with one or more of the other options. This option allows residents to purchase a deduct meter and install it on their outside tap. A quick on-line search showed that this type of meter could be purchased for less than $100 (including shipping). The payback from this option would likely be less than a year. The Village would need to identify what brand of meters would be acceptable. The resident would need to read this meter and bring the reading to Utility Billing when paying their bill. The water use shown on the meter would be deducted from the sewer bill. This option would create more administrative work for the Utility Billing staff.
Pros:Offers Relief to Irrigators
Only Impacts Residents Who Irrigate
Less Expensive Than Irrigation Meter
Cons:Slight Loss of Sewer Fund Revenue
Increases Staff Workload
Does Not Promote Water Conservation
Resident Must Read Meter and Report Readings to Utility Billing
Winter Average: This approach is used by five (25% of total, 28% of those offering some type of option) of the responding communities. Two of these communities offer this option along with one or more of the other options. This option bases all resident’s sewer bills in the summer on winter water usage. The communities apply a multiplier of 1.25 to 1.75 to the winter water use average, and then use that number to calculate the summer sewer charges. This would require a change in our billing software. However, after this change is completed there would not be any additional extra staff time required. This change would impact all residents, and it is possible that some residents might have higher bills in the summer if their summer water use was lower than their winter use (and the monthly average for Nov.-Feb in 2010 was higher than that for March-Oct. 2010). Those persons irrigating would not have to pay for any type of special meter.
Pros:Offers Relief to Irrigators
Less Expensive for Irrigators than an Irrigation or Deduct Meter
After Initial Software Change, Minor Impact on Staff Workload
Cons:Slight Loss of Sewer Fund Revenue
Impacts All Residents, Perhaps Some Negatively
No Incentive to Conserve Water in Summer
To gauge the fiscal impact of these options on the Sewer Fund, an analysis of the 2010 water use records was performed. The months of November through February had a monthly average of 22,917 gallons. The months of March through October has a monthly average of 21,054 gallons. The average Sewer Fee for the summer months was higher than the winter month’s average. If we had applied the average winter water use during the summer months, it would have resulted in $30,000 less in revenue to the Sewer Fund. The loss of revenue if the Village does allow irrigation or deduct meters would be less because not everyone would have their fees adjusted.
There are four options available. One does nothing to assist those residents who wish to irrigate their lawns or gardens, two do assist the irrigators but require some investment from them and would reduce Sewer Fund revenues, and one assists the irrigators but could increase other resident’s sewer bills and would reduce Sewer Fund revenues.
Cundiff noted that his recommendation would be to use the deduct meter, since this would not penalize any resident who does not wish to participate, and the low cost of the deduct meter would likely be recouped relatively quickly for those choosing to participate.In response to questions from Council members, Cundiff stated that the reason for the higher water usage in the summer months was puzzling, but may be the result of summer vacations or water-fed heating systems.
Askeland stated that while she has sympathy for those who garden or water young trees, she believes in water conservation, and doesn’t believe that those who have swimming pools or water their grass should benefit. “I haven’t heard a big outcry about this,” she commented. Askeland continued, pointing out that the sewer fund is not robust, and this could impact it further. “I’m feeling ambivalent about all of these options,” she said.
Walkey stated that he believes persons should pay for what they use, and that the deduct meter seems the fairest way to determine what water is returned to the WWTP and should be billed as sewer. He would only support the winter average method if there were a way for citizens to opt either in or out of that method.
Walkey stated that he doesn’t like the fact that water rates are based upon sewer usage, and that there is no incentive, in a flat-rate system for conserving. He stated that he supports separating the two charges.
Cundiff suggested that Council could pass the legislation and try it out for a year to see how well it is working.
In answer to a question from Hempfling regarding the amount of staff time needed, Cundiff explained that a resident would need to purchase a deduct meter, and would bring the meter in to be read at the end of the gardening season.
Wintrow commented that if the Village is willing to employ a deduct meter system, it should be the responsibility of the homeowner to purchase and install the deduct meter.
Cundiff noted that the Village would recommend the types of meters to purchase and where they can be purchased.
Booth expressed support for the deduct meter option.
Askeland acknowledged that the deduct meter seemed fair.
Walkey commented that the real reason to promote conservation in this area where water is in ample supply, is to save on electricity, since electricity is required to pump the water.
Citizen Joan Edwards spoke, stating that she has tried “for 30 years” to get this issue considered by Council. She commented that her lot is configured such that she is unable to run water out from a rain barrel, and she has many trees and plantings she waters. She thanked Council for considering the matter.
Walkey MOVED to BRING A RESOLUTION PERMITTING CITIZENS TO USE DEDUCT METERS ON THEIR PROPERTY. Booth SECONDED. Hempfling CALLED THE VOTE, and the
MOTION PASSED 4-1, with Askeland voting in opposition.
Discussion followed, with Askeland opposing the use of a deduct meter for individuals who have swimming pools. Cundiff offered to research further with those communities who now use deduct metering.
Swimming for All Presentation (Ali Thomas). Thomas introduced the matter by relating her quest to obtain funding for a child to have a pool pass last year, after learning that his family could not afford the pass. There is a system in place, but Thomas saw a need for that system to be more robust. Thomas described briefly Yellow Springs’ 40 year history of assuring that children have the opportunity to swim. Thomas then gave a brief history of the 40-year tradition of assuring that Yellow Springs children have access to the pool.
Thomas believes the Gaunt Park Pool should be accessible to all Villagers regardless of their economic means. Finding extra income to pay for swimming pool passes is a challenge for low-income individuals and families. In the past, various individuals and entities have come forward to fill this need – Marianne Bebko, the police department, and Greene Metropolitan Housing are a few. For the last two years, the Youth Center has raised money with car washes and concession sales. The need still exists, Thomas related, driving her to team up with STARFISH, Inc. to take up the project.
According to Thomas, twenty-five people received pool passes in 2010 due to the work of Youth Center -- 3 single adults with disabilities, 5 children and 5 families. The total came to $1,250. There was not enough money to help two families. However, this program was not advertised. Eligible individuals and families may not have known of its existence. Greene Metropolitan Housing ran a similar program in 2005 and 2006. The first year was funded by YS Community Foundation. The second year YSCF and Greene Met shared the funding responsibility.
Thomas commented that the pool is a place where differences “melt away,” and people interact with one another without inhibition or social barriers. It is a great way to get kids and families outside and socializing, according to Thomas.
Thomas commented that the abundance of natural swimming and wading areas in the area offer a hazard to people who cannot swim. Thomas cited this as one of the reasons for the existence of the Gaunt Park pool, and cautioned that drowning is the second leading cause of death in children under age 14.
For this year’s program, Thomas plans to get the word out to eligible families and individuals by putting notices in both the Yellow Springs News and the YS Blog.
Thomas hopes that the program will fund individuals and families in Yellow Springs who fall below 50% of the median income in Greene County. Thomas feels strongly that the program needs to fund families and not just children. While older children may go to the pool alone, their younger siblings would necessarily be left at home.
Thomas noted that she and Denise Swinger of Starfish are seeking funding from YS Community Foundation, from the YS Police Department, which has purchased pool passes for children in the past. Thomas said that she is also putting the word out to friends and acquaintances for donations.
The group is asking Village Council to consider discounting the passes, suggesting that they be discounted by at least 25%. However, it appears that the Village sold passes for the Greene Met program in 2005 and 2006 at a 52% of their cost, which Thomas hopes the Village will consider. This would not represent a cost to the village, she argued, and it probably would not represent a loss of income as many of these individuals and families would not be able to buy passes and would simply not go to the pool. It would mean a higher level of use for the facility.
Thomas stated that the group would like the process for establishing eligibility to be both sensitive and non-intrusive. Villagers would be asked to sign a statement testifying that they fall within 50% of the median income for Greene County according to HUD guidelines. Villagers would also be asked for between $5.00 and $10.00 as a contribution towards the cost. The group reserves the right to ask for proof of residency and proof of income.
Hempfling stated her support for the project, noting that it was a Council goal to increase access to this Village amenity. Hempfling noted particularly the aspect of the project that enables all members of a family to visit the pool, rather than just children, and the importance of swimming to safety.
Thomas noted that many children would not be permitted to swim if they could not be accompanied by a parent, and this enables that to happen.
Askeland stated her support for the proposal, and MOVED THAT THE VILLAGE FUND 50% OF THE COST OF THE PASSES. Booth SECONDED.
Wintrow stated her support for the program, and asked Cundiff if there was a way that persons purchasing passes could be asked if they would like to contribute to this fund, noting that swimmers are perhaps more likely to support others who wish to swim.
Thomas interjected that Tina Fox is asking pass purchasers if they wish to contribute.
Cundiff’s suggestion that the group hold a 24-hour swim fundraiser was met with great enthusiasm.
Walkey stated his support for the program, and asserted that any resident of Yellow Springs supports the pool through taxes. “I could not keep anyone out of the pool, even if they didn’t have two nickels to get in,” he stated, “They’re already paying for it.”
Thomas noted that it is her desire to fundraise on a year-round basis, and to create a robust, ongoing program.
Hempfling CALLED A VOTE ON THE MOTION. THE MOTION PASSED 5-0 ON A VOICE VOTE. The matter will be continued in the form of an emergency amendment to the existing pool fee ordinance at the June 6th meeting.
Technical Review Committee Membership Discussion. Cundiff introduced the discussion, noting that the RFP/RFQ for the Zoning Code Update proposed to create a Technical Review Committee (TRC) to assist in the selection of a consultant and act as a “Steering Committee” working with the consultant throughout the project.
The TRC was proposed to consist of two members of the Planning Commission, two members of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), two Village residents appointed by Village Council, and Village Staff. From the Planning Commission, Matt Reed and Tim Tobey have volunteered to serve on the TRC.
The BZA was unable to come to a decision on two members: Steve Conn has volunteered for one of the positions.
The Clerk filled in that Ted Donnell has offered to serve on the TRC at the outset and again after a candidate is selected. She stated that Donnell did not wish to be involved in the selection process due to potential familiarity with applying firms or candidates. She reminded the group that Steve Conn is out of the area for much of the summer, and would need to be able to attend at least a preliminary meeting before leaving so that he could review materials electronically.
Wintrow observed that staff would be involved in reading selection materials, and that she did not view it as detrimental to operate with one less person for that portion of the process.
Hempfling shared that she had spoken with Askeland and Wintrow as to who should be nominated as community members.
Askeland spoke with Chris Till, who is an alternate on the Planning Commission. She described him as highly engaged and informed, and put forth his name for the TRC. Askeland noted that she would be willing to serve, but that would weigh the TRC heavily towards Planning Commission members.
Hempfling nominated Marianne MacQueen, Director of Home, Inc., observing that discussions can become male-dominated, and that her perspective might be useful.
Askeland volunteered to step back from the TRC if Council feels that the committee is becoming too heavily weighted towards Planning Commission.
Hempfling stated that she would like a Council member to remain on the TRC.
Walkey expressed concern regarding Conn’s availability, and questioned the legality of including him electronically.
Cundiff pointed out that, realistically, the initial selection of finalists would take through the end of the summer, at which point Conn would be back. The entire process might take as long as nine months, Cundiff noted.
Hempfling noted that the number of TRC members is open to change, to which Cundiff commented that he would prefer a smaller group which could operate with a degree of flexibility.
Askeland MOVED to APPOINT Matt Reed, Tim Tobey, Steve Conn, Ted Donnell, Chris Till, Marianne MacQueen and herself, Lori Askeland, to the Technical Review Committee for the Zoning Code Update. Booth SECONDED THE MOTION. Hempfling CALLED THE VOTE, and the MOTION PASSED 5-0 on a VOICE VOTE.
Discussion of Website Content. Hempfling led this discussion, stating that this is a preliminary look at managing what materials are placed on the website. Hempfling noted that Council has been diligent in its efforts to achieve transparency, and is now reviewing realistically how much can be placed on the site from boards and commissions which are primarily reliant upon volunteer efforts to produce minutes, agendas, and meeting materials.
Hempfling observed that once public expectation is raised to expect certain information from the website, it can be “an onerous task” to ensure that all such materials are available on the website in a timely manner. She asked that staff make a recommendation regarding what information should be generally available.
Hempfling stated that although it is not a requirement to place the Council packet on the website, they will continue to do so, as it has proven a valuable tool. Hempfling said that once staff have made recommendations, and these recommendations have been run past the Village Solicitor, a motion will be made to enact the suggested changes.
In answer to a question from Wintrow, the Clerk stated that currently both Human Relations Commission and Community Access Panel maintain their own sites, which link back to the Village site. The Clerk stated that she would like the Village site to hold responsibility for board and commission minutes, if in fact those are to be maintained on the website.
Wintrow asked if minutes would in fact be maintained, and Askeland stated that she did not see the need for minutes to be posted. Wintrow concurred, reminding Council that all minutes are included in Council packets, which will be on the Village site.
Wintrow reiterated that any documents of importance will be in Council packet.
Walkey inquired as to how long Council packets will be maintained on the site.
The Clerk asserted that that could be determined in Records Retention Commission.
In response to a question from Wintrow, the Clerk stated that the Village currently has several years worth of minutes on searchable discs, which enables someone seeking specific information a real advantage. She stated that it is her goal to have all the Village minutes accessible in this way in the next year.
In answer to a question from Walkey, the Clerk explained that once public expectation is established, a change in what is provided electronically to the public must be formalized by motion or resolution. This does not change what is available to the public, she asserted, it simply changes how the public can access what is available to them.
There followed a general discussion regarding how long information should remain available on a website, and what other communities do with their sites.
Council agreed that Council, Planning Commission and BZA minutes should be available on the Village site, but that no other minutes should be posted on line.
Council also agreed that the Visioning area of the site should be “cleaned up”, with all but the final Visioning document removed.
Wintrow commented that there is a perception with some in the Village that Council is intentionally keeping documents from citizens because not all board and commission minutes were available on the website. She commented further that both HRC and CAP have minutes on their sites, and wondered if the Solicitor should weigh in on that situation.
Hempfling asked that HRC and CAP be asked for their input in the matter, and that they be informed as to when the discussion would resume.
Cundiff reported on the following:
Solar Farm – John Chambers reports that all the issues with the language of the solar agreements have been worked out. The next step is to obtain a survey of the land SolarVision will be occupying. Cundiff has met with the farmer who leases that land to explain the situation.
Wintrow asked if it was realistic to expect that SolarVision would be using the land before the crop was harvested.
Cundiff responded that Mike Dickman of SolarVision cautioned him against permitting planting, stating that he would hate to damage the crops if they did get the go-ahead to begin construction before a harvest.
Cundiff noted that the lessee would need to be reimbursed for any expenditures incurred for planting preparation to this point.
Cable TV Issue –The Village’s local Cable Access was replaced with Springfield’s for a day or two this past week. There was a trunk failure and when this occurs a substitute line-up is temporarily provided so that customers still have service. The Manager contacted Time Warner’s Government Relations Manager and the issue was resolved.
CBE Update – The Village’s OPWC grant application for funds for the construction of the left-turn lane was approved. This will allow for the construction to take place alongside construction of the public improvements within the CBE.
Parks and Recreation Master Plan – Planning Commission discussed taking on the responsibility of developing a Parks and Recreation Master Plan from the 1998 Draft Plan at their meeting on Monday. The Commission all agreed that this process would likely take a lot of time, possibly as much as two years. One member—Tim Tobey-- volunteered to start the process and see how much he could complete.
Askeland noted that Planning Commission’s involvement at this point is tentative, given the enormity of the task and their commitment to the zoning code rewrite.
Coat Fund – There was a lasagna dinner sponsored by the Yellow Springs Methodist Church Women to benefit the Yellow Springs Police Coat Fund held at the end of April. This event raised $750. The vending machines in the Bryan Center are also raising approximately $90/week for the Coat Fund.
Bike Patrol – Using FOJ funds, the Police Department recently purchased two new police patrol bicycles from Village Cyclery. This past week, four officers were in “Bike School” where they learned how to operate the bikes safely.
OMEA Legislative Day –On Tuesday, the Manager will attend this event which begins at 3 pm at the Riffe Center in downtown Columbus. Prior to that, he will be at a meeting for participants in AMP Hydro Projects at AMP’s Headquarters (also in Columbus) which begins at 11 am.
Fluoridation – In accordance with the Ordinance passed by Council, fluoridation of the public water supply ceased on May 1st.
Tree Trimming – Staff is preparing bid specifications for the annual tree trimming program. In light of the damage to the electrical distribution system and outages caused by the February ice storm, the Manager would like to have a discussion at a June Council meeting regarding trimming policy.
Bryan Center Janitorial Service –Village employees have been performing basic janitorial tasks at the Bryan Center since January of this year. The Building Monitors have taken on most of the responsibility, particularly the mopping of the floors and cleaning of restrooms. However, with the opening of the pool, these employees will have less time to perform these duties. The Manager asks that this be scheduled as a discussion item for a June Council meeting.
Cundiff noted that Dave Conley will be short one person for mowing for the summer, and has the opportunity to purchase a larger size mower which would partially make up for the loss of one person. The cost of the mower is about $25.00 over the pre-approved limit. Cundiff asked Council if they would approve the additional$25.00 expenditure. The funds would come out of the Parks and Recreation fund. All agreed to the expenditure.
Cundiff noted that there is a house in the 100 block of East Davis Street which has been condemned for some time. Ed Amrhein has been working with the owner to resolve the issue, and two weeks ago informed the owner that the Village would hire a contractor to demolish the structure, and costs would be assessed back to the owner’s taxes. The vehicle on the property, Cundiff observed, can stay, since one junk car is permitted. The boat also in the yard is permitted as long as it does not harbor standing water. Demolition should be started within the next one to two weeks.
Wintrow asked what might be done to improve the lot. Cundiff responded that unless one of four noxious weeds are found, the Village cannot mow the property until after July first.
The Clerk reports that codified ordinance updates are progressing well—Babette has completed updates to 5 of the books, and has 6 remaining. Codified Ordinances are now up on the American Legal site, and Servlet will be creating a link from the Yellow Springs site.
The Clerk will be out of the office this Thursday and Friday.
Hempfling stated her thanks to the community on behalf of Council for supporting the Levy.
Environmental Commission – Walkey reported that the EC has been working on the fracking resolution. All neighborhood garden spots have been filled. The commission is still seeking members.
Planning Commission/Bike Com – Askeland reported that these items were covered earlier in the meeting.
Village Mediation – Walkey reported the Lisa Kreeger has submitted her resignation, and the group will begin a search for a replacement soon.
Human Relations Commission – Booth noted that HRC has changed their meeting dates to the first Thursday of the month. Booth noted that HRC is only losing two students from their Youth Facilitator group due to graduation. They plan to hold a workshop for new members before school starts this fall so that the group is “replenished” by up to 40 new students.
HRC is working with MTFR on their Neighborhood Representative program so that senior citizens are identified and supported in case of any natural disaster.
Booth noted that Joan Chappelle will be providing a letter to the YS News informing citizens about what information can come to HRC, and how information can be shared, given that the group does not have executive session capability. Booth stated that the group wants to be able to continue to make Chief Grote aware of any citizen concerns regarding the police department.
Energy Board— Walkey reported that Larry Gerthoffer will be working on the lighting in Council Chambers to create better conditions for filming. The EB is continuing work with University of Dayton on the Residential Retrofit Program, which is largely a software program which needs some adaptation.
Community Resources –Hempfling noted that CR held a retreat, and has since set up three permanent committees for marketing, finance, and infrastructure. These committees will meet on a monthly basis.
Library Commission – Walkey noted that there was not meeting this month.
Greene County Regional Planning – No meeting.
Community Access Panel – Wintrow noted that CAP has had a number of equipment failures lately. She suggested that there is money in the budget, and she hopes the problems are resolved soon.
Chamber of Commerce – Wintrow mentioned this group’s upcoming event at the start of Council meeting.
MVRPC – Wintrow said that she missed the last MVRPC meeting.
Economic Sustainability Commission—Hempfling reported that the ESC is continuing work on their sustainability plan.
Visioning Stewardship Committee— Not yet meeting.
Tree Pruning Parameters
Emergency Ordinances for Second Reading
Fremont Natural Gas Contract
Swimming For All Legislation
Deduct Meter Legislation
Solid Waste Contract
Village Manager’s Review
Liquor Permit Renewals (Chief Grote)
Bryan Center Janitorial Service
There was no Executive Session.
At 10:18pm, Booth MOVED and Askeland SECONDED a MOTION TO ADJOURN. The MOTION PASSED 5-0 on a VOICE VOTE.
Please note: These notes are not verbatim. A DVD copy of the minutes is available for viewing in the Clerk of Council’s office between 9 and 3 Monday through Friday.
Judith Hempfling, President Attest: Judy Kintner, Clerk