Caucus - May 4th 2015

MINUTES OF A COUNCIL CAUCUS
Mayfield
Village Civic Hall
Monday, May 4, 2015 - 8:00 p.m.

The Council of Mayfield Village met in Caucus Session on Monday, May 4, 2015 at Mayfield Village Civic Hall.  Mr. Marquardt called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.

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ROLL CALL: 

Present: Mr. Jerome, Mr. Marquardt, Mrs. Mills, Mr. Saponaro, and Dr. Parker

Also Present: Mayor Rinker, Mr. Wynne, Mr. Diemert, Mr. Cappello, Lieutenant Jablonski, Mr. Marrelli, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Metzung, Chief Carcioppolo, Mr. DiNardo, Ms. Wolgamuth and Mrs. Betsa

Absent: Mr. Buckholtz, Mr. Marrie and Mr. Esborn

IN COMMITTEE (STATUS):

Drainage and Infrastructure

Mr. Saponaro reported, we met this evening and had two items that we discussed in Finance Caucus which were approved by the Committee.

ADMINISTRATION:

Ms. Wolgamuth wanted to mention that Mr. Esborn is not here tonight because he did pass the Bar and is being sworn in today.  We are very happy for him.  You should have all gotten in your packets information on the upcoming Art Show.  They will be hanging the pictures on Thursday. It will be running through June 23rd.  It’s a group of Taiwanese artists. One of them is a Village resident. It looks like it is going to be a very interesting show.

FINANCE:

2015 Road Program

Mr. Wynne reported, the 2015 Road Program involves Glenview, Bonnieview and Beech Hill.  Most years our road program is about $1-1.5 million.  This year, we have budgeted $2.5 million because it is going to involve waterline replacement as well as road resurfacing. There were some earlier discussions in the year about looking at the possibility of widening the road which we have had our engineer do a rough estimate.  It would add about $500,000 to the cost of our program.  That would take it from 18 feet to 22.  In order to include that in our bidding process, it will require a lot of time on his part to do that. We were kind of throwing it out for discussion purposes to see if it is something we would want to look at for this year’s budget.  It’s not a budgeted item. We will have to add $500,000 plus to our budget and take it out of our reserves. Is this something we really want to have the engineer go through the exercise of including in the bid specs or just keep the road program as we have initially planned out?

Mayor Rinker stated, if I could interject only because I heard this came up.  As oftentimes happens, it is consistent with the idea that if we are doing construction, we ought to take a look and see what else we might be able to accomplish.  I understand that was essentially where the Council representatives were coming from.  Our Fire Chief is always looking at how the road functions for delivery of services but I will tell you we kind of stopped Tommy where he is when he did this rough estimate because he will have to get into a lot more detail with what drainage issues are going to be there.

When I started as a Mayor, this was our first big project when they took out the facility at the end of the street at the corner of Bonnieview and Beech Hill and put in the gravity line.  They took out the Beech Hill pump station and put in the main access point, the garden that we get to see off of Wilson Mills. The residents there, and there’s been transition, so there’s been a passage of time, don’t get me wrong, but they were very very particular about how any work would be done in that neighborhood. Each neighborhood kind of has its own personality. It’s a relatively close area between people that wanted culverts, people that wanted swales.  We put a lot of stone in those places. We put a fair amount of money into infrastructure adjacent to the existing paving.  Most people have put their stuff right up to the edge of the pavement.  You have to remember it’s not just doing the road widening itself, it’s changing people’s front yards, things they have planted there, it’s pretty disruptive.  All I am saying is a word of caution.  Unless we really think we are going to gain a lot from this, it’s taking on not simply the expense, but it’s going to be pretty sensitive for each of these properties so it’s more complicated than not. I want Council to be mindful of that. We won’t know.  Council can authorize Tommy to look into this deeper, but we always make it a point when we do any kind of work.

Eastgate/Meadowood is a good example. We tried to work with individual residents with each of their frontages what it’s going to do. We don’t want them to get mad when we mess up their property. We try to use a certain amount of TLC. There’s a lot of pieces and parts. Be mindful of that. It’s more than just a dollar amount and going into the reserves.  It’s what’s benefit are we are going to gain?  We need to look at it carefully. 

If Council wants to go further, Tommy can look at it further and we can come back with more.  We thought we would call a halt right now before we spend more money after what looks like it is going to be more trouble than it’s worth.

Dr. Parker asked, does it make sense at all to ask the people in that area there what their feelings are?

Mayor Rinker replied, in general, yes it does. In the timeframe we have with the road project, we are looking at a rough estimate based on the economies of scale that you get when you mobilize all of the material and the personnel and equipment.  I am not sure how quickly we could do it.  Again, the short answer is yes, you can do it, but time is wasting and do we end up generating more?  Any feedback we have gotten; I am not sure the neighborhood as a whole is assuming we are going to be doing anything to be disruptive.  I know there are times when people complain if there’s a bus or a garbage truck and they have to wait to get around it.  We really find that in just about any street. I am not aware of anything particularly material.  Again, if it is something Council wants to do, we have to knock on doors and get feedback right away and Tommy can do his work.

Dr. Parker stated, we discussed this in Safety and Service this evening.  Is there any benefit in terms of people walking on the streets to have that extra width there in terms of safety or ease of access? 

Mrs. Mills replied, I think that whole neighborhood is in a transition period which is good for the Village.  A lot of younger people have moved in with kids. The kids play on the street. 

Mayor Rinker stated, most streets in Mayfield Village are that way.

Mrs. Mills agreed. We have to be mindful of the children. Backing out of some of those driveways is something else.  I really think the street should be widened for safety purposes.

Mayor Rinker asked, have you gotten feedback from residents?

Mrs. Mills replied, yes.

Mayor Rinker asked, what have they said?

Mrs. Mills replied, they would like to have the street widened.

Mayor Rinker stated, to Dr. Parker’s comment, if we want to canvass residents, we can do it. Residents don’t pay for these projects per se. We don’t assess them.  We try to make sure we do it right.  I know when Doug’s looked at this, he has always wanted to go more conventional to go in and put in curbs and gutters and do the whole nine yards. What’s a $2.5 million project would be probably double if we did that. We would definitely change the landscape. That’s one of the oldest neighborhoods we have. It has a certain character and some would say charm. I don’t know if we are ever going to get a consensus. We have never gotten a consensus before.  Maybe we will get one now.  Typically you will talk to this person, they want a swale. That one wants a culvert. This one wants a better driveway. That one wants something.  It’s a slippery slope.

Mrs. Mills replied, I understand. But even on Beech Hill most of the residents who were the big complainers don’t live there anymore.

Mayor Rinker stated, Beech Hill has had a lot of redevelopment.  A lot of new houses in there.  It’s different from Aintree North where you have a much more conventional layout when that went in.  Hanover Woods you don’t have sidewalks.  Each one of these has its own character.

Mrs. Mills stated, I think if you spend a day with the garbagemen trying to get their trucks –

Mayor Rinker stated, I don’t plan to spend the day with the garbagemen. You are more than welcome to do that.

Mrs. Mills stated, that end of Beech Hill is very very narrow.

Mayor Rinker stated, okay. It’s a challenge. Everyone has an idea of what makes the perfect this or the perfect that.  Typically when you go into a neighborhood and open up this Pandora’s box, be prepared what you have to deal with.  More often than not, it’s the administration that is going to end up dealing with it than the Council.  But if you want to do it, we will coordinate it with you. We wanted to check right now because you may be bargaining for a lot more. It doesn’t mean you will, but you have to be mindful that when you start widening and changing an existing environment 4 feet on either side, we are reasonably certain, it’s going to start making inwards.

Mrs. Mills stated, 2 feet on each side.

Mayor Rinker replied, I’m sorry.  2 feet on each side.  But even 2 based on what they have today, the way it’s been engineered, it’s going to change.

Dr. Parker asked, what would it take to get the word out to the residents?  Does administration do that?

Mayor Rinker replied, yes.  I am not trying to be glib. We can do it. We would have to do it. We would have to make sure that people understand. We would have to coordinate it.

Mr. Saponaro stated, there’s two things that strike me. There’s a timing issue. We don’t want to rush something through.  Number two, it’s not part of our capital budget. We have to go into our reserves. We have millions of dollars in our reserves, but is this the proper use of going into our reserves or is this an item that should be discussed and budgeted after it has been determined if it is going to go forward or not and be part of the capital budget next year, let’s say. We did talk to Tom Cappello in Finance and although there will be an increase in the amount, he does not believe at this point that it would be something that would raise it by 50% or something along those lines.  I don’t want to stop what we are currently doing because we have to change course and get a buy in, which are all good things, those should happen, but I think we should go with the project that we have personally.

Mayor Rinker asked, we would go to bid when?  Right now, what’s our plan?

Mr. Cappello replied, the goal is to go to bid in late May, early June.

Mayor Rinker asked, so we still theoretically have time to be able to put enough specs together. We could do this as an alternate?

Mr. Cappello replied, yes.

Mayor Rinker asked, if the consensus is that we look at essentially the 4 feet total, what else would you need to do to be able to put this into bid?

Mr. Cappello replied, I would just need to figure out how I am going to prepare the two alternates so the contractors know if it is two separate sets of plans, or do I bid it as it is widened?  If it’s not, they just put it back where it’s at and it might be simpler that way. 

Mayor Rinker asked, how quickly can you do it as an alternate?

Mr. Cappello replied, it’s going to probably add a couple weeks.

Mayor Rinker asked, ballpark, what would your fees be for that?

Mr. Cappello replied, it’s based on percent construction. We said $500,000 was the estimated construction cost. Ballpark $25,000-30,000.

Mayor Rinker asked, additional?

Mr. Cappello replied, yes.

Mayor Rinker asked, so in about 2-3 weeks you should be in a position where you can at least set it up as an alternate?

Mr. Cappello replied, yes.

Mayor Rinker asked, for about another $25,000-30,000, and we could go out and knock on doors.  Is that basically where we are?

Mr. Cappello replied, yes.

Mr. Marquardt stated, this was all discussed at Finance. We came to the same conclusion that we would work this issue and determine at the next meeting.  We went around the same circle with all the arguments.  I think we have come to a consensus on what the action items are.

Mr. Saponaro stated, so if we wait until the next Council meeting, which is perfectly fine, the two to three weeks is now two to three weeks from that timeframe.

Mr. Marquardt stated, we weren’t going to vote to approve it tonight anyhow.

Mr. Saponaro stated, not vote to approve it, but there’s an expenditure of $25,000-30,000. That’s what we would have to approve.  It would have to be approved, but it can’t be approved until the next meeting. That’s going to be in two weeks.  Now if you want the bid to go out by the end of May, that’s not going to happen.

Mr. Cappello replied, I can still work through this.  If I don’t get to that point and don’t spend the money yet, I wouldn’t charge you if you decide you don’t want to go the alternate. 

Dr. Parker stated, it seemed like there were enough issues either way to make it worthwhile to have you do the bid.

Mayor Rinker stated, Mr. Marquardt said that was the consensus.

Mr. Saponaro asked, what are we approving then?

Mr. Marquardt replied, we are not approving anything.  This is a Caucus.

Mr. Saponaro stated, my point is that we are trying to deal with a timing issue.

Mayor Rinker stated, let me interject because the question is does Council have to authorize another $25,000-30,000 for the engineer to go ahead which wouldn’t be until two weeks from now?   Is that an issue that Council has to address or does the administration have discretion to be able to authorize the work?

Mr. Marquardt replied, I think Tommy’s saying he may not be expending that amount during the next two weeks to give us an idea to give us some degree of confidence and give us some time to make a determination at the Council meeting.

Mayor Rinker asked, is that correct?

Mr. Cappello replied, yes.

Mr. Diemert stated, you don’t need to give the Mayor or Engineer the discretion now to do this and go ahead with it before the meeting if it’s possible?

Mr. Marquardt stated, I don’t think we are talking about that.  He’s looking to investigate the thing a little further to give us a little more input.

Mr. Cappello stated, I still have to get this to the Law Department. There may be a little bit of a window here.  My goal is to get it done as soon as possible so we can get it done this season.

Mr. Diemert stated, even at that meeting, we can include in the legislation the discretion of the administration authorizing them to spend up to that amount if the administration determines it necessary within the guidelines you are talking about.

Mr. Marquardt stated, worst case we are talking two weeks difference. We should take the time to make a decision we are confident in.  I don’t think two weeks is going to put us into December

Mr. Saponaro stated, you are talking more than two weeks. But I agree, that’s the whole point. The timing issue is we don’t want to make a fast decision. We want to make an informed one. But if we are going to take the program that’s already in place off the schedule that is going to push us up against something and we have an issue with it, that’s what needs to be brought to light.

Dr. Parker stated, it sounds to me like you were saying that in the period of the next two weeks, there’s other things you need to do anyway, that it probably won’t have an impact.

Mr. Cappello replied, not a full two weeks, you are right. 

Mayor Rinker stated, the key is is what we want to know is what’s it going to look like?  What impacts, if any?  Things that have to get moved like certain roadside attractions at the entries of driveways on Glenview.

Mr. Marquardt stated, we have beaten this one to death for the moment.

Update on 6826 Meadowood Drive.

Mr. Wynne reported, this is the property we own at the end of the road.  It is involved in the sewer project. We had it appraised. It came in at $110,000. Comparables were between $160,000-185,000.  The appraisal is significantly below what houses in that area are commanding.  We budgeted this year to put $40,000 into that property to get it ready for sale, $20,000 being roof replacement and basic cosmetic work to make it look a little bit better, $10,000 to connect the sanitary sewer for the house and then we would be foregoing $10,000 on an assessment on that parcel to make it a little more attractive to a potential buyer.  Also, with that piece of property, the Village has an easement that runs along the side of that property for sewer line access to the pump station.

We had a meeting a couple weeks ago with the residents in that community just to update them on the status of the sewer project. At the end of the meeting we discussed this property and the status of it. We went over with the residents if we were to fix it, put a minimum into it and sell it, we would still be selling it at significantly below what the houses on that street in the neighborhood were commanding. We put out an alternative possibility to them to demolish that house and turn it into more of a park-like setting at the end of the cul de sac. While there was no extensive discussion with residents about it, the head nodding in the crowd seemed to be that it was something they were definitely in favor of.  Patsy, you were at the meeting, and the feedback you have gotten from the residents was along the same lines.

Mrs. Mills agreed. 

Mr. Wynne stated, if it were to be demolished, the cost would be about $10,000. It would be done by the same company currently doing the sewer project.  Up for discussion is whether that is something to pursue, to demolish the property versus trying to spend $30,000-40,000 out of our budget to fix up to sell to realize back about $100,000-110,000?

Mr. Marquardt stated, again, this was discussed in length at Finance. Are there any other comments?

Mr. Saponaro stated, what I basically said in Finance is you have to look at it two ways, one of which is we are removing a house, obviously a person who would pay property taxes, income.  I know we like to create park settings and so forth, but I don’t think that was our intention when we purchased that property on the other side of it.  There are people that want it, but I don’t know how many people really want it. You are saving $30,000 roughly, maybe $20,000 by demolishing it but you are losing $100,000 if you sell it for $150,000.  Those are the things I was thinking of.

Mr. Jerome stated, I talked to Mr. Marrelli about putting money into this house, could we raise the value of it?  You had said that you are confident that houses in Mayfield Village, people go in them and end up putting money into them for the most part.

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes.  They buy them at or below market and then do their improvements the way they want to do them for themselves.

Mayor Rinker stated, by way of background, about 10 years ago, we started the process of looking for dollars for the conversion after a major storm event in 2003.  This was a neighborhood that had been opposed to our programs back in the 1990’s of converting from septic system to sanitary. They thought it was a communist plot and wore black arm bands and put black bows around their mailboxes.  Then they got whacked in a major storm.  Long story short is we started over a decade ago looking at doing this area.  The sewer project as you all know is working against grade. We have to deal with bedrock in a lot of these areas.  When we knew the County Sanitary Engineer was going to be consolidating the pump plant; it’s now located on Ravine.

Mr. Cappello added, there was the Thornapple pump station. In order for us to service Robley and Thornapple, we would have had to have put another roadway there for another pump station at Ravine and also a pump station at Meadowood and Eastgate.

Mayor Rinker continued, they ultimately did a better job by being able to consolidate the one.  What we had to do was to connect from Eastgate through the back yard of this one house and then between two other houses on to Thornapple and then do a left turn to turn east to about 7 homes that go down to the Ravine Drive circle.  If you recall, those 7 houses got a nice benefit because the way the County was doing this, they didn’t have to worry about any kind of assessment for the main that went into the street. We knew ultimately that when they took out this plant in the middle of the backyards, these yards slope down from Thornapple into a ravine before you get to Ravine and at the backs of Eastgate.  The long story short was we knew that when all was said and done whenever that would be, we would have this big sewer easement running north/south between the two neighborhoods. The property we bought on Eastgate is a pie-shaped property on the cul de sac. What you end up doing is by having a 30 foot easement that we do have for the sanitary sewer from the west boundary line, you essentially have that easement bucking up against the west side of the existing house on Eastgate.  We bought the house thinking it’s better if we do all the work. We can turn around and sell it and whoever buys it moves into the situation knowing what’s going on. That’s really where we are.  It’s taken us 10 plus years to do that. That’s really the idea, Joe, when we purchased the property, we just thought instead of going through the agony of someone living there and then going through the sewer project and then we are saying, well this has been a long time coming and they would be totally upset because it’s a pathway right by their house. We thought this would be the better way to go. 

The problem is is the house needs upkeep. We did a certain amount.  We frankly just kind of let this thing simmer for a while. We have gone through back and forth, through the appraisal, we have looked at the cost if we were to rehab it. The thought would be if we put the money in and made it nicer again, whoever buys it is going to buy it with eyes wide open.  The question was really, we were trying to estimate realistically what it takes to get the house up to speed where people in the neighborhood would say Mayfield Village is being responsible as a property owner selling a property and then whoever buys it has to understand that they would have this 30-foot easement.  Mrs. Jackson, who lives next door, was not thrilled with the idea that an easement would be right by her.  How often is it going to get used?  Probably not a whole lot. But it’s there. You have a property where we have a lot with an easement on it. The property owner owns the parcel but can’t use the easement.  You can’t develop it. You can use it as a lawn. That’s about it.   That’s what’s brought us to this point.  How desirable a piece of property is where in effect you have a lot that functionally is a substandard lot in terms of the frontage as it goes.  As you go in back, it’s kind of pretty back there, if we opened it up, you are taking out a parcel and you have a pocket part in the back area. We can also adjust our access for the easement by shifting it away from the boundary line so the neighbor doesn’t have this even though the pipe is going on a straight line we can probably do an access by coming in around it. We would be able to use the property much more functionally.  It’s like a blanket easement that would give us more flexibility.  That’s it. That’s the equipoise where we are.   It was clear that the residents thought this was a nice idea but I think if we did the house well and you got a buyer willing to do it, you can see what the marketplace does. I don’t think we can do this in a half measure. This is just one of those, it’s not black and white. There’s a lot of gray.

Mr. Marquardt asked, are there any other comments? There were none.  Mr. Marquardt stated, we will decide on this at the Council meeting.

6434 Highland Road Rental Agreement

Mr. Wynne stated, we have a tenant for this property.  The lease will be effective June 1st.  Legislation and a copy of the Lease Agreement will be in play for the Council meeting in a couple weeks. The rent agreement is for $1,200.  As with all of our Leases, it is a month to month rent agreement so that we have the flexibility of doing something with that property in the event we decide we need to do that.

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

SERVICE DEPARTMENT:

Additional amount due for three pick-up trucks for Service Dept. (Collection Buick-GMC – $107.50) (Council approved $79,553.75 through the State Co-Operative Purchasing Program – 4-21-15)

Mr. Metzung reported, this is an additional amount due.

LAW DIRECTOR:

Request for Permit from Alfredos at the Inn, Inc. to Ohio Division of Liquor Control

Mr. Diemert reported, this is one of those routine things.  If Council has any objections or complaints from neighbors, we can file an objection.  In our 30 years here, we have probably done it maybe twice where we filed a complaint with objection to the Liquor Control.  A hearing would be set and if our complaints are substantiated, they can limit, change or remove the permit.  I am not aware of any complaints.

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

ANY OTHER MATTERS

Mr. Marquardt asked, are there any other matters?

Mr. Jerome stated, I have been talking to Mr. DiNardo. We budgeted to do the bathrooms at the softball fields. One of the things discussed is how it is designed. Would you shut it off in December, winterize it, like the soccer fields? Or is this something we want to have where it is open all year round?  Is there enough use on the trail that would demand this be open in the winter season?  I know we are talking about plowing it and people are going to be on it.  I don’t know that it would be worth the expense to heat it and design it. I figured I would bring it up if anyone had any comments.

Mr. Thomas stated, I don’t think it is going to get that much use in January, February or March. We usually finish our season around November 1st or so. We winterize it and open it up like the pool and soccer fields.  That’s my recommendation.  We don’t need to spend any more money.

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

The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

Mary E. Betsa, CMC

Clerk of Council