Caucus: September 8th 2020

MINUTES OF A COUNCIL CAUCUS
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 – 7:00 p.m.
Videoconferenced in Main Conference Room
Mayfield Village Civic Center

Present in Main Conference Room:  Council President Schutt and Mrs. Betsa.  All other members of Council, Mayor Bodnar, Ron Wynne, Law Director Coyne, Chief Carcioppolo, Mr. Marquart and Mr. Metzung in attendance via ZOOM. The remainder of the Department Heads accessed the meeting via videoconference.

This meeting can be accessed by going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pdPY3WzHXk

Council President Schutt stated, welcome to the September Council Caucus meeting at 7:01 p.m.  I apologize if there’s any background noise as Village Nutrition is holding an exercise class outside behind us, so I apologize for any background noise.  This meeting has been duly noticed and is being held in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 121.22 specific to recent amendments made in light of the current COVID-19 declared emergency (House Bill 197).  Under the orders of Governor DeWine and the Director of Health of Ohio, and pursuant to Ordinance 2020-08, adopted March 16, 2020, Council is meeting remotely, via electronic means. No one is in Council Chambers or able to access that space during the meeting. The public was invited to view the meeting live, accessing the meeting through a link posted on the Mayfield Village website at www.mayfieldvillage.com.

Mayfield Village is conducting these proceedings in compliance with all applicable State Laws and regulations.

ROLL CALL:

Present: Mrs. Jurcisek, Mr. Marquardt, Mr. Meyers, Mrs. Mills, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Schutt, and Mr. Williams

Also Present: Mayor Bodnar, Mr. Coyne, Mr. Wynne, Chief Carcioppolo, Mr. Marquart, and Mr. Metzung

MAYOR:

Mayor Bodnar stated, thank you Council President.  Good evening everyone.  Tonight, I am saddened to report that our longtime resident friend and former Council member Tom Marrie passed away over the weekend.  Tom was dedicated to our Village serving on Council and many Council Committees from 2002 through 2017 and he always served with kindness, with intelligence, with wisdom and with an Irish smile that could warm your heart faster than the sun shining on a Green Galway pasture.  During his 15 years on Council, we benefited from Tom's positive leadership and we're very thankful that he dedicated so much of his time to making Mayfield Village a better place to live.

But for as much as Tom cared about this community and was a friend to all, he was first and foremost a dedicated family man, a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.  Tom's riches were truly in his family which he built on a strong foundation of love, faith and commitment.  So tonight, we offer our deepest sympathies to his wife, Carole, to his grandson Kyle who works with us in our Service Department and to every member of the Marrie family.  We know that Tom will live on in the love that you share and we want you to know that we're here for you if you need anything so please call us.

Tom will be waked tomorrow evening from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at DiCicco and Sons Funeral Home and his Mass of Christian burial will be Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Francis of Assisi.  The Mass will also be live streamed at https://stfrancisgm.org/.  If this was too much information, feel free to call the Civic Center. Debbie Thomas or anyone that's working at the Civic Center can give anyone more information on the details of the arrangements for Mr. Marrie.  Thank you.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT:

Council President Schutt stated, thank you, Mayor Bodnar.  I echo your comments as well.  Thoughts and prayers to the Marrie family for the loss of Tom. He was a special person in Mayfield Village.

Council President Schutt stated, we have a couple of birthdays for September.  Jen Jurcisek and Ron Wynne.  Both of their birthdays are on September 20th.  Happy Birthday to both of you.

With regard to Shred Day, Mrs. Betsa has received confirmation that Shred Day will go forward on Saturday, October 31st from 9:00-12:00 in the Civic Center parking lot.  There will be signage and a traffic pattern. Residents are asked to remain in their vehicle and have their shredding either in their backseat or trunk to be removed by volunteers and company representatives from Shred-It who will be wearing masks and gloves.  Your documents will be placed in the bin and shred on-site.  In the past, volunteers have returned empty boxes to you; however, for safety purposes, they will not be returning any items, so make sure that if you have your shredding in a container you want returned, please transfer the documents to a box or bags.  If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Civic Center at 440-461-2211.

Council President Schutt stated, the next Regularly scheduled meeting of Council is on Monday, September 21st at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually.  The agenda will be posted on the website for public view and comment.

ADMINISTRATION:

  • CERT Agreement with Highland Hts. and Mayfield Hts. (Resolution 2020-43)

Chief Carcioppolo stated, yes thank you, Council President.  As discussed previously, this Agreement memorializes the monetary efforts of all these communities and kind of articulates the establishment of the CERT team in legislative format.  If there are any questions that anyone has, I can attempt to field those, but that's basically why this is on the agenda.

Mrs. Jurcisek asked, I just have a quick question.  Did you get any feedback from Mayfield Heights or Highland Heights as far as the amounts or they have any comments?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, all three communities have been putting in that same amount for the last eight years, I guess.  I’d have to go back and look at when it was actually established, but Mayfield Heights actually already passed legislation and I don't believe Highland Heights has any other changes that they want to make.

Mrs. Jurcisek stated, thanks.

Chief Carcioppolo stated, no problem.

Council President Schutt asked, any other questions?

There were none.

Council President Schutt stated, thank you Chief Carcioppolo.

Chief Carcioppolo stated, thank you.

  • Small Business Relief Grant Program

Mr. Marquart stated, thank you Council President.  As you know, the pandemic seems to show no sign of letting up anytime soon and as a result, we began to study a little more closely the idea of helping out our business community.

When the pandemic first hit back in March, I spoke with the Mayor about possibly rolling out an assistance program.  As you probably noted in The Plain Dealer, many other communities around the County and around the region jumped out pretty quickly to offer such programs and in speaking with the Mayor we decided it was probably best to let the larger Federal programs kind of play out and see how they worked before we jumped the gun and did something prematurely.  So that has sort of played out over the course of the spring and the summer.

Mayfield Village companies by and large survived I think better than many communities.  We had about 30 companies take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program, several more the Economic Injury Disaster Loans and I want to say three or four more took advantage of the Cuyahoga County Stabilization Fund.  We're fortunate that we had some folks successfully apply to these programs.  As you know, they’ve all since expired or been depleted and given that the pandemic is still raging we decided the time was right to come to Council and request that $50,000 from our Economic Development Fund be set aside for such a program with a maximum individual grant of $2,500 that would therefore reach about 20 companies.  We’ve taken lessons from the municipalities that did similar programs earlier, sort of took best practices from them, best ideas from them and put together the information that's in your packets tonight.  And again, the hope is to make the grants meaningful enough to assist some folks that are still hanging on by a thread but not make it so large per grant that we're only reaching one or two companies.

So, the information again is in your packet and I’m happy to answer any questions.  Law is working on the nuts and bolts of the mechanisms that would make this program functional.  The idea is that it would be, again funded by Council from the Economic Development Fund and administered by the M.C.I.C. sort of similar to what we do with our typical incentive programs.  And with that I'm happy to answer any questions.

Mrs. Jurcisek stated, I have a few questions.  John, thank you for that.  I think it's a great program and I think the timing is right as well.  Based on the criteria that's listed on the application, do you know how many businesses in the Village fall into that criteria there?  I’m just curious.

Mr. Marquart replied, off the top of my head unfortunately I don’t but I can certainly provide that to you prior to the Regular Council Meeting.  Looking at the full roster of our business community, there are between 80 and 90 companies that didn't receive aid of any kind from the Federal or the County programs, most of which honestly would qualify for this program.  But again, I don't have that exact number tonight.  I apologize.

Mrs. Jurcisek stated, no, no, that’s okay.   And then, is this open to any company that falls into that criteria or is it companies that have not received any kind of funding from any of these other programs?

Mr. Marquart replied, as the program is proposed, it is open to anyone that meets the criteria whether or not they've received Federal aid.

Mrs. Jurcisek stated, okay.  Great.  Thank you very much.

Mr. Marquart stated, you’re welcome.

Mr. Williams asked, John how many businesses are there in Mayfield Village?

Mr. Marquart replied, by last count it's roughly 120, many of whom are one-man shops.  We have a lot of, I would say, services and service providers who are professionals, psychologists dentists, doctors, things of that nature that are really one and two-person shops so that's why I think the number seems so high.  If you drive up and down Beta and Wilson Mills, you may not know it, but yes, there are about 120 enterprises in the Village.

Mr. Williams stated, thank you.

Mr. Marquart stated, you’re welcome.

Mr. Murphy stated, hey, John, thanks for rolling this out.  I echo Jen’s comments.  It’s the right timing.  Are we capping it at 20 businesses or can we go above that?

Mr. Marquart replied, our thoughts, Councilman, would be to roll it out at $50,000.  Eligible companies would be given awards sort of in a first-in first-out scenario.  If the demand was still there, the Mayor, Diane and I and Ron have sort of kicked around the possibility of a round two if the need is there, but we feel like this is probably, this number of awards may end up being the sweet spot.  Hopefully it is and folks are back on their feet without the need for further aid, but in the back of our heads we're sort of thinking that there may end up being a round two.

Mr. Murphy asked, around $2,000?

Mr. Marquart replied, no.  A second round, I apologize.

Mr. Murphy stated, okay.  And then, you kind of answered another question.   It’s on a first-in, first-out basis.  So as long as they meet the criteria, they get it or there's a selection process to select on a pool of applicants?

Mr. Marquart replied, we had considered that.  Some other municipalities had a Selection Committee and after a good deal of debate, we decided that may not be in our best interest to sort of pick and choose winners.  The other thing I wanted to mention that was discussed a great deal was whether or not to make this essentially a loan program and then if you met the criteria and provided proof of payment for these eligible expenses, we would forgive the loan.  At the end of the day we decided that, number one we're not in the lending business and it just became too complicated so what you see in front of you is a straight grant program but we ask, as a matter of fact, we require that the backup be attached with your application.  So while we're not picking and choosing based on sort of subjective criteria, if you don't submit the objective criteria, we'll give you a call back and say please attach x, y and z to be considered and at that point you would essentially go back to the end of the line. So, we thought that the first-in, first-out of complete eligible applications was probably the best way to go.

Mrs. Jurcisek asked, is it anticipated that the funds will be distributed as applicants are applying for it or is it going to be all distributed at a certain point in time and will those funds be distributed before 2020 is over with?

Mr. Marquart replied, yes.  I think they will be, Councilwoman Jurcisek, distributed this calendar year.  My hunch is the folks that are in need are frankly going to apply very quickly and we would essentially come to M.C.I.C. and you with 15-20 completed eligible grantees sort of in one fell swoop so that those checks can be cut.

Mrs. Jurcisek stated, okay.

Mr. Meyers asked, how are the companies or the businesses going to know about this, John?

Mr. Marquart replied, my intent right now Councilman Meyers would be to do an e-mail blast as well as probably put it on the Marquee at SOM Center Road and Wilson Mills.  I’ll probably put it on my web page as well.  It doesn't get a great amount of traffic but it will be on there as well so when they receive the email, it'll have a link to the application and a link to the website and instructions to call me if they have any questions on how to apply.

Mr. Meyers stated, okay.  Thank you.

Mr. Marquart stated, you’re welcome.

Mr. Murphy stated, and I think we have got to take it upon ourselves to reach out to businesses that we know too and making them aware of it.

Mr. Marquart stated, certainly.  That would be appreciated, Council.

Mr. Wynne stated, if I could just add to what John’s already said, the program has proposed that the $50,000 will come out of our Economic Development Fund.  That fund right now has a half a  million dollars in it and it's funded by a portion of our hotel taxes as well as the franchise taxes we get from the cable companies and it's also the same Fund we pay out the annual tax rebates to the companies that have signed Development Agreements with us.  Currently, and this happened last week, you know we have the CARES Act money.  We’ve received $41,000 we're going to be getting another $20,000.  There was a Senate Bill passed last week that was calling for the release of an additional $650 million.  If that’s passed by the House, which we expect it be and signed by the Governor, of that $650 million, our portion is $121,000.  An allowable use for that CARES Act money is to provide economic relief to small businesses and if we don't spend that money, we have to return it.  So, between now and the Council meeting in a couple weeks, we are going to wait to see what happens with that money and that Senate Bill and the final plan as presented might be using that CARES Act money to pay for this grant versus our Economic Development Fund money and maybe even increase the amount of companies we'd be willing to offer it to for this first round but I need more information on this new Senate Bill before we can make that final determination.

Mr. Williams asked, John is there a rationale for excluding home-based businesses?

Mr. Marquart replied, the only rationale that I really had Councilman Williams was just that it was sort of harder to police and corral.  We don't have as good a handle on those folks as we do on what I would call brick and mortar companies.  There may well be folks operating out of their homes right now that I'm not even aware of, so it's tougher for me to get my hands around it and administer it.

Mr. Williams asked, I guess my need to ask the question is if there's a home-based business should they or should they not register with the Village in order to possibly be included to help in your management?

Mr. Marquart replied, yes, I believe under the Building Code, Councilman Williams and this is probably more a question for John Marrelli than me, but I do believe that they are supposed to register and that way we do have a grasp of who's out there, but functionally speaking, I don’t know that that’s really happened over time.  I know of a couple, but beyond that, I really don’t have a good handle on who's out there for sure.

Mr. Coyne added, Councilman, it’s not like it couldn’t be considered when you look at what's on the application but we'd have to see if somebody had a couple of employees if they addressed some of the items.  We could certainly take a look at it but we would have to see.

Mr. Marquart stated, and if I could build upon that, Mr. Coyne, the way the Home Occupancy Code is written, I don't believe that you're permitted to have employees at all by the Zoning Code so our eligible expenses that we're proposing may not fall in line with home-based businesses anyway in that there's essentially no payroll other than yourself.  There's no rent. There's no mortgage specific to the business so it becomes a little cloudy.

Mr. Williams stated, right.  Good point.  That’s a great answer for when the question comes up from one of these home-based businesses.  Thank you.

Mr. Marquart stated, you're welcome.  Thank you.

Council President Schutt asked, any other questions or comments? 

There were none.

Council President Schutt stated, and I just echo some of our other Council representatives as well.  This is a great program for our Mayfield Village businesses, so thank you, Mr. Marquart.

Mr. Marquart stated, thank you, Council President.

FINANCE DEPARTMENT:

  • Tax Rate Resolution for tax year 2020 (Resolution 2020-42)

Mr. Wynne stated, the Tax Rate Resolution is an annual requirement.  As you recall, back in June or July, we passed an Alternative Tax Budget which we submitted the County and in that budget we lay out how our property tax dollars are going to be allocated amongst our funds The County approves that and once they approve it they ask us to pass a Resolution formalizing the tax rate so that's what this is all about.

Council President Schutt stated, thank you, Mr. Wynne.

LAW DIRECTOR:

  • Easement Agreement with East Ohio Gas re:  installation of vault across the street from Thornapple corner (Resolution 2020-44)

Mr. Coyne stated, thank you, Council President.  In your packet, there is an Easement Agreement with the East Ohio Gas Company in regard to installing the vault which would be for a measuring and regulating station on SOM.  This, if you may recall, was going to be installed in what is now Fisher Park at Thornapple Drive and Kudos to Doug Metzung for cajoling the gas company to go across the street.  This is going to be a rather, I hate to say it, unsightly facility.  It's nearly the size of a one-car garage I think Doug, isn’t it?

Mr. Metzung replied, yes.

Mr. Coyne continued, and it's something that would really be better on the other side of SOM, on the west side of SOM.  So, we were able to do that.  So, they'll have a six-month construction easement, temporary easement to put this facility in and that will maintain a more residential character on the east side of SOM.  If you have any questions on that, I can answer them now.

Mr. Meyers stated, I do.  Can it be put underground like it is now?

Mr. Coyne replied, no.

Mr. Metzung stated, no.  The idea of these vaults is getting them out of the ground.  Typically, when they're in the ground, they have water issues.  Denny, I don’t know if you were familiar with the area in your neighborhood years ago, they had a lot of water in the gas line issues and then in the winter it freezes and that causes a lot of grief so they're working hard to get these out of the ground.  It makes for a better arrangement for them and better for us.  I mean, the last thing they want is to have the Thornapple/Eastgate/Meadowood areas with no gas because it freezes.

Mr. Meyers, stated, thank you.

Mr. Coyne asked, any other questions?

There were none.

  • School District Property Swap Agreement (Resolution 2020-41)

Mr. Coyne stated, if you recall, last year we entered into a letter of intent with the School District to exchange some properties which will allow the School District to realign Miner Road.  The Village acquired two parcels right on Wilson Mills Road near the High School about eight years ago so what this does is it will allow the realignment of Miner Road and the School District will be paying for that new entrance.  There will be some issue with the signalization at the intersection and some of that cost will have to be addressed by the Village and also Highland Heights, but the Property Swap Agreement works out pretty well.  The Village would acquire a parcel of land that the School District owns just north of the Greenway Trail. The parcels are very similar in size.  One's 1.75 acres.  The other is just over 2 acres.  Both were appraised very similarly, one at $100,000 and one at $96,500.  So, this is a pretty economical swap to accommodate what the school is trying to do with the entryway.  Are there any questions?

Mrs. Jurcisek stated, I have a couple, Mr. Coyne.

Mr. Coyne stated, sure.

Mrs. Jurcisek asked, the land, the plot that Mayfield Village would acquire in this swap is it land that can be developed?  Is it going to be zoned for business use?

Mr. Coyne replied, it's right near the Greenway Trail near Center School and it’s adjacent to the salt dome.  I don't know if we're planning to really develop it, but it could be used by the Village.  I don’t know if we have a current proposed use but it's surrounded by properties that the Village does control.

Mr. Jurcisek stated, okay.  What is the timing, do you know?  This might be more of a question for the school but do you know the timing of when they wanted to start the construction of this?

Mr. Coyne replied, that's a good question.  Obviously, they have to have title to the properties before they do that.  They have preliminary plans though for the construction.  I would suspect given the timing it wouldn't be until the Spring or early Summer of next year. But I don’t know that.  Mayor, do you have any idea of their timing?  I honestly don’t know exactly the timing.

Mayor Bodnar replied, no, I don’t know what their timing is.  I do have a feeling that, as you said with COVID, it might delay when they will be putting in the driveway to line it up but I don't know yet.

Mrs. Jurcisek stated, I know that the MIPOD training with COVID is up at the High School campus so if that happens and they have to implement it, I didn't know how that would impact it at all as far as the timing with that and then the resources on the Police Department as well.

Mr. Coyne stated, right.  It’s typical with school districts to do certain construction like that when they're not in session although admittedly with COVID if they go in and out of session, they could do it maybe at a different time.  They haven't given us any firm deadline. Again, we entered into the letter of intent last year, literally a year ago.

Mrs. Jurcisek stated, okay.  Thank you.

Mr. Coyne asked, any other questions?

Mr. Williams asked, Doug what do you envision for that parcel?

Mr. Metzung replied, at this point, I imagine it’s just going to remain green space along the trail.  It is it is contingent with the ODOT property that we acquired years ago so if at some point somebody wanted to expand that or do something different at that site that land would be available but for the time being, I think we're just looking to just keep it green. The only thing that was ever really contemplated with that was some type of like a land lab that the school had talked about using it for years ago but that was many years ago that they talked about a land lab.

  • Mayfield High School New Maintenance Garage and Athletic Storage Bldg.
    • Planning and Zoning consideration 9/8 – 6:00 p.m.

Mr. Coyne stated, Planning and Zoning Commission met this evening.  I attended that meeting. The School District presented final plans for a maintenance garage and an athletic storage building.  The maintenance garage was reviewed by the Architectural Review Board and then approved unanimously. The athletic storage building, they made a few modifications to it but Planning and Zoning approved both of those new improvements for the High School.

Council President Schutt stated, thank you Mr. Coyne.

SERVICE DEPARTMENT:

  • Purchase of Air Compressor (SE Equipment - $21,250)

Mr. Metzung stated, thank you Council President.  Tonight, I bring to you a request for a new air compressor, a tow behind air compressor.  We purchased our old air compressor around 1997.  It was a used unit when we got it.  I really don't know when the old unit, the first oil change was in

1989, so I'm guessing it was sometime in that period, but our unit died last year.  We did bring it back to try to get the old one running again this year but to no avail so I am looking to replace this unit.  It's a unit we use for our road department blowing out the cracks and things of that nature and the parks guys use it to clean out all our plumbing.  At the end of the year we have to blow out all our sprinklers and all the plumbing at the pool and all the restrooms and stuff so that's what we use it for.  If there are any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

Council President Schutt stated, thank you Mr. Metzung.

ANY OTHER MATTER BEFORE COUNCIL:

Council President Schutt asked, are there any other matters to come before Council at this time?

There were none.

Council President Schutt stated, okay. And just one last plug for Village Nutrition.  If anybody joined us late and if you enjoyed the music in our background that is from an exercise class from

Village Nutrition.  They are practicing social distancing and are holding their classes outside so if you would like to get some exercise in, I’m sure they would be happy to have you join their classes.  Thank you everyone.

There being no further matters, the meeting concluded at 7:31 p.m.