Finance Caucus - December 1st 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014 – 7:30 p.m.
Main Conference Room
Mayfield Village Civic Center

The Finance Caucus Committee meeting was held on Monday, December 1, 2014 in the Main Conference Room at Mayfield Village Civic Center.  Mr. Marquardt called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

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Present: Mr. Marquardt, Mr. Marrie, Dr. Parker, and Mr. Saponaro

Also Present: Mrs. Mills, Mr. Jerome, Mr. Wynne, Chief Edelman, Mr. Metzung, Lieutenant Girbino, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Esborn, Ms. Wolgamuth, and Mrs. Betsa

1. Resolution to advance property taxes

Mr. Wynne reported, this is an annual resolution which needs to be passed to submit to the County notifying them that we want the receipts that come in on our property taxes to be forwarded to us as they come in versus waiting until the end of the collection period.

2. Resolution requesting Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer to Adjust the Amended Official Certificate of Resources for 2014

Mr. Wynne reported, the Official Certificate is the document we submit to the County every year that gives them an estimate of what our receipts are going to be for the year. We modify that at the end of the year based upon any significant variations from what we had originally projected. We will be sending those changes and the Resolution on to the County.

Mr. Marquardt asked, any questions? There were none.

3. Advances and Transfers

Mr. Wynne reported, there will be motions to approve transfers that need to be made at the end of the year that were not in the budget at the beginning of the year.  We will officially make those. 

I have a preliminary calculation.  I think there are only two transfers that are changed since the initial budget.  One is increasing the transfer from the General Fund to the Street Construction Fund by $200,000 to cover additional salt purchases we had to make during the summer that Council approved and also to approve the cost of the Civic Center driveway.  There is a corresponding increase in revenue with the Civic Center driveway with the grant money.  There is a $75,000 increase in the transfer to the Drainage and Infrastructure Fund because of costs we have incurred to study the flooding issues on Beta.

Mr. Marquardt asked, any questions? There were none.

4. Final Appropriations for January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014

Mr. Wynne reported, this will be the legislation for Council to approve the final budget for this year. This weekend in your packets you will get a copy of the budget.  It will show the budget passed back in March and the adjustments that have to be made to items that are approved by Council during the year and then there is a final budget. All those changes will be highlighted with an explanation of the changes.

Mr. Marrie asked, we will need to pass that on the 15th?

Mr. Wynne replied, yes.  It has to be passed by the end of the year.

Mr. Marquardt asked, any other questions? There were none.

5. Temporary Appropriations for January 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015

Mr. Wynne reported, because we don’t finalize the budget until March of every year, we have to pass a temporary budget at the end of this year so that funds are authorized to operate for the first three months of next year until that budget is approved.  That is what this legislation is for.

Mr. Marquardt asked, any questions?  There were none.

6. OneCommunity Contract Renewal

Mr. Esborn stated, the $15,000 per year contract with OneCommunity was part of a five year contract that expires this year.  OneCommunity has informed us that the cost of bandwith has gone down. They have given us 5 options, some of which lower the cost and keep the bandwith the same and some of which raise the level of bandwith keeping the cost the same.  They are shown on the screen here.  I have highlighted option 3. That is the one that Jeff Thomas, Diane and Ron, identified as keeping the cost the same and giving us an increase in bandwith to enable us to do more things and better support subscribers on our network. That is what we recommend for the next three years.

Mr. Marquardt asked, what are you going to do that you are not doing now?

Mr. Esborn replied, if we add more subscribers, that will better support them.  Jeff is always concerned about the level of service over especially the phones.  Having a little bit more bandwith is something he would be more comfortable with.

Mr. Marquardt asked, do you have any kind of data?

Mr. Esborn replied, we do.  When I posed this to Jeff, he said, give me a week to look at the bandwith usage.  After that time, he said, yes, if we can increase it a little bit, it would probably help.

Ms. Wolgamuth asked, what is our current bandwith?

Mr. Esborn replied, 25 megabytes.

Mr. Marquardt asked, why don’t we see that data?

Mr. Esborn replied, okay. I can work with Jeff to get that data.

Mr. Marquardt asked, is what we are doing now adequate?

Mr. Esborn replied, I know Jeff is able to look at over a period of time when there have been spikes in bandwith usage and how drastic they have been. We should be able to get those or have Jeff summarize those.  I can get those for Council.

Mr. Marquardt asked, who do we expect to add to this?

Mr. Esborn replied, we do have interest from a number of businesses on Beta.  A very interesting development with OneCommunity is they now have a for-profit subsidiary that is very able to market directly to the individual businesses like in Mt. Vernon.  I have been working with them to see if we can arrive at an arrangement where they can market those services and maybe pay us a fee for using our fiber so that then we can get to those customers.  That’s on the horizon.  There’s also businesses that expressed interest in it.

Mr. Marquardt asked, do they really need more bandwith?

Mr. Esborn replied, we can quantify that.

Mr. Marquardt asked, any other questions?

Mr. Jerome asked, is that our total cost for the year?

Mr. Esborn replied, annual. There’s a $7,000 maintenance fee on the fiber.

Mr. Jerome asked, on top of that?

Mr. Esborn replied, right.  I believe that will stay the same.  I can check on that.

Mr. Jerome asked, what did we bring in last year?

Mr. Esborn replied, we have the account at OneCommunity that shows the fees that our subscribers have paid. I can get you the balance that we have in our account.  The last time I checked, just our account was at about $15,000.  I was just talking with Joe and Tom about the CEDC meeting. One of the things we are going to talk about is this situation with the subsidiary of OneCommunity. There’s an opportunity there to market our fiber possibly without having to pay for more lateral connections. What we do with the money in that account we can lower our bill.

Mr. Wynne stated, there’s been talk in the paper about the new high speed internet, like downtown at HealthTec.

Mr. Esborn replied, yes.  I think OneCommunity has a lot of involvement in that.

Mr. Wynne stated, they do. The last thing I heard they said it was supposed to be 300 times faster than normal residential service.  Do we benefit from that at all with our tie-in to them?

Mr. Esborn replied, the first things I read about it I didn’t necessarily think so, just because I wasn’t sure what’s happening downtown and how it will impact our network. I can find out.

Mr. Marquardt asked, the other side is, do people really need it?  Downtown if they are transferring medical imaging and that type of thing, they need high bandwith, but do we need it for what we are doing?

Mr. Esborn replied, the subscribers that we have have made good use of the bandwith.  If we attract more businesses like them then they will need it.  It’s a good point.  It’s tough to measure.

Mr. Jerome stated, we talked briefly about it. There are some communities in the country that connect everyone, residents, business, it’s an expense to do.

Mr. Esborn replied, there was a start up who approached me about doing a test case in Mayfield Village with to-the-door fiber.  I don’t really think they got that going.  It is something to think about.

Mr. Marquardt asked, any other questions?  There were none.

7. 2015 Trailhead Grants

Mr. Esborn reported, these are two State of Ohio grants that would allow us to make improvements on two properties right by the head of the trail. The one property is just to the north of the Fire Station. That is the property that goes with the grant number 2, Recreational Trails Program. That would be our trail bed.  The other property is the one that the School District has said that because our trail runs through the Center School property and cuts off that wedge of land north of the trail, they are considering donating that to us. The other grant, the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund Grant is applicable to that piece of property. 

I have drawings by Jim McKnight for each of these properties. I did not include them here because I did not want people to think that was necessarily what is planned as part of this grant.

The important thing here is the timing to apply for the grants which are due in January and February. We need Council authorization.  We are working on these two properties.  I can get you the drawings that Jim did. Generally, the ODNR Recreational Trails Program Grant would be to do a trailhead just north of the Fire Station.  The biggest piece of that would be parking, a small parking lot with some connection into the trail.

The other Grant, the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, that piece of land that we are working with the schools on, that would remain open with the exception of some passive probably gravel trails and benches. The rules on that grant are more restrictive about what is eligible.  I just wanted to apply for these in January and February. The timing can get so tricky with these. I have to get them in front of Council this month.

Mr. Saponaro asked, they need to be approved this month?

Mr. Esborn replied, they could be approved if there’s a Special Meeting in January. Actually the recreational trails grant is not due until February, but I wanted to package them together. 

Mr. Marrie asked, if we get it and it’s not used, we have not lost anything at all, correct?

Mr. Esborn replied, right.  I tried to make that clear in the memo.  This is something where if the grant is awarded, we are not bound. We can always turn it down.

Mr. Marquardt asked, what will it cost us?

Mr. Esborn replied, the Clean Ohio Grant on the School property, we are looking to ask for about $68,000. The budget that we have in mind is about $90,000.  For the trailhead property, we are looking at costs about $239,000. That grant is up to $150,000.  That’s one of the reasons that I didn’t put those drawings and those project budgets in with the memo. The Clean Ohio doesn’t necessarily need to be $90,000 and the recreational trails one doesn’t need to be $239,000. Those are just the numbers we are working with now.

Ms. Wolgamuth stated, short answer is it’s a 75%-25% split.  If we got the maximum $150,000 grant, we would have to come up with $37,500.  It includes all kinds of extras of things we would love to do that we won’t necessarily do.  The Fire Department wanted to do a memorial on the Roenschler property and install benches. It’s got a lot of extras that won’t necessarily happen.  It has a lot of stuff we could do but we don’t have to do.  As long as we were putting in $37,500, we would still qualify for the grant and we can still do as much as we can do of our share.

Mr. Marquardt asked, any other questions? There were none.

8. Wildcat Sports and Fitness Rental for 2014 (Mayfield City Schools - $11,570 – pass through)

Mr. Thomas reported, this is our annual rental that we pay the Schools for the use of Wildcat for our programs that we hold over there.  We provided a breakdown.  In past years, we would get charged a rental fee and would never see it. Mayfield Heights will also pay their fair share of all the programs they do as well with any other organization that uses our facility. That $11,570 will go back to Wildcat Sports and Fitness and we will be using that.  Before, it would go to a custodian and we would never see it.  That’s the plus.  Our rate’s very low. This rate is for Mayfield Village and Mayfield Heights. We charge a lot more for other organizations.

Mr. Jerome asked, how much is the custodial staff now?

Mr. Thomas replied, the Schools cover it.

Mr. Marquardt asked, this is a pass through?

Mr. Thomas replied, correct. We collected money to cover it.

Mr. Marquardt asked, any questions? There were none.

9. Engine repair to Service Department Truck 3 (Valley Freightliner - $15,861.52) (Straw vote approved – 11-19-14)

Mr. Metzung reported, our freightliner truck needed the pistons realigned.  The truck’s not that old. We have been in contact with Cummings, asking what the deal is.  It is out of warranty. It’s a 2009. We didn’t take delivery until 2011 on it.  We have been touch with Cummings regarding it.

Mr. Marquardt asked, how many miles?

Mr. Metzung replied, under 13,000.

Mr. Marquardt stated, that’s a little unreasonable.  It’s right up there with the fire truck.

Mr. Jerome asked, did we get anywhere on that?

Lieutenant Girbino replied, the parts are in. With any luck we will have it back Wednesday or Thursday this week.  As far as getting restitution from the manufacturer, I know the Chief is looking in to it.

Mr. Marrie asked, do you use mostly Highland if you need that equipment?

Lieutenant Girbino replied, our mutual aid agreements are already pre-set.  So if we use our box alarm system, the alarm assignment in each box has a designated number of pieces of equipment and designated departments to provide it. It’s already pre-determined.


Mr. Marquardt asked, any other matters?  There were none.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.  The next Finance Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 15, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Conference Room. 

Respectfully submitted,

Mary E. Betsa, Clerk of Council