Boston Heights Overlook
This is a publication of
Boston Heights Overlook.
Not an official public document by, of or for
the Village of Boston Heights OH.
VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS
45 E. Boston Mills Road
Hudson, OH 44236
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING - February 9, 2005 - 8:00 P.M.
[and Editor's Notes on Council Meeting.]
[with notes from the Finance Committee Meeting of 25 January 2005]
Council members present: Bill Goncy (President Pro Tempore),
Jim Hudson, Annette Miller, and Paul Palumbo; Mike Cheung appeared after roll call. Absent: Janet Miller.
Also present: Mayor Ray McFall, Clerk-Treasurer Carol Zeman, Engineer Steve Schreiber & Solicitor Russ Pry.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
MINUTES PRESENTED FOR CHANGE, CORRECTION OR ADOPTION
Minutes of the January 2005 meeting were approved.
Clerk-Treasurer Carol Zeman made her annual reminder of the 2.5% residential property tax reduction; the next deadline for filing application is June 1st, 2005; the forms can be had from the Village Hall. Or: download "Application for 2½% Percent Tax Reduction" form and print it yourself. There is an additional tax reduction for homeowners 65+ or disabled too: download "Homestead Exemption" form.
Village Engineer Steve Schreiber reported that he had received a call from ODOT suggesting that there might be up to $90,000 in "emergency funding" available to install a traffic light at the end of the northbound ramp of State Route 8 at Route 303. (This is directly across from the terminus of Chittenden Road.) The lack of a traffic light there, and the ensuing commuter delays, were the subject of a recent Bob Dyer column in the Akron Beacon Journal.
Nick Kostandaras (D-1), newly-elected
County Council representative for District 1, recounted his recent efforts to get further County
funding for refurbishment of the Akron-Cleveland Road Bridge.
He had hopes of obtaining some further funding beyond the
$50,000 already pledged by the County,
despite the constrained County and State budgets.
He was also trying to persuade the County Engineer's office to complete the engineering plans; they had
stopped work on those plans due to manpower constraints.
Note: On 18 May 2004, the Ohio Small Government Capital Improvements Commission approved funding to the Village of Boston Heights: a $268,600 grant for the rehabilitation of the Akron-Cleveland Road Bridge. This $1.3M (and rising) project had been designated SUM CR 16-1.95 by the Summit County Engineer, but now appears to have been removed from that department's website.
Mr. Kostandaras also recounted a number of other county programs with which he is involved. In mentioning the proposed County Office of Consumer Affairs, which would deal with predatory lending practices, he noted that Boston Heights had among the lowest rates of foreclosures in the County.
Richard Cerny, of Olde Eight Road, wanted an update on the proposed Route 8 Marginal Road.
This would be east of Route 8 and would run north from Hines
Hill to Twinsburg Road and Highland Road. Mayor Ray McFall replied that the project is
still entirely in the "talking phase".
(See also Mr. Goncy's report, below.)
The Mayor also clarified that the proposed 25MPH limit for Akron-Cleveland Road did not apply to Olde Eight Road (which had been designated Akron-Cleveland Road, in the Olde Days.)
[Adopted as Ordinance 7-2005]
AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A NEW CHAPTER 971 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS ENTITLED "RESIDENTIAL TRASH HAULING".
This ordinance, along with Resolution 9-2005 below, defines
residential garbage and rubbish, regulates its storage and collection, requires haulers
to have a contract with the Village, and allows Council to make an exclusive contract
for all residential trash hauling. From previous meetings, it is clear that the Village
intends to require all residents to use a single trash hauler, at a (hopefully) lower
"group rate" to be paid by each resident. The Village is not planning to pick
up the tab!
[Adopted as Ordinance 8-2005]
AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE PERMANENT ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS FOR THE YEAR 2005 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
Here are the Permanent Annual Appropriations for 2005, from Exhibit A:
[Adopted as Ordinance 9-2005]
AN ORDINANCE REGARDING COMPENSATION FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
This ordinance sets the pay rates for non-elected employess of the Village for 2005. Council President (Pro Tempore) Bill Goncy made a motion to amend the ordinance, to the effect that road department workers would have continued to be paid at 2004 rates until review by the Streets and Highways Committee of Council. This amendment failed for lack of a second. The un-amended ordinance passed unanimously, however.
[Adopted as Ordinance 10-2005]
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 333.03(b)(ll) OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS TO REDUCE THE SPEED LIMIT ON AKRON-CLEVELAND ROAD TO 25 MILES PER HOUR, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
Upon questioning by Councilor Mike Cheung, Solicitor Russ Pry clarified
that this would apply to Akron-Cleveland Road south of Route 303 to the Village limits.
This measure was advised by the Village Engineer and Road Superintendent due to the declining
condition of the bridge: one lane is already closed due to upheaval of metal plates.
AN ORDINANCE ACCEPTING AND CONFIRMING THE DEDICATION OF THE STREET IMPROVEMENT KNOWN AS MEGHAN'S LANE IN THE MEGHAN'S LANE SUBDIVISION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
After a number of months of contention, the Planning Commission accepted the plat of this new subdivision off of Olde Eight Road, and recommended acceptance of the street improvements subject to posting of suitable bonds. However, Council declined to vote to "suspend the rules" and dispense with up to three readings of this ordinance (for unspecified reasons). Therefore this is only the first reading and no action was taken.
[Adopted as Resolution 6-2005]
A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF THE VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, 2004.
There was no mention of who on Council, if anyone, had actually reviewed the various financial statements.
[Adopted as Resolution 7-2005]
A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE USE RATE AND RENTAL RATES FOR THE VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS POOLS, PARKS AND PAVILION FOR THE YEAR 2005.
Rates for pool membership were raised about 12% this year. However, there was some discussion, at a recent Council Finance Committee meeting on appropriations, of not operating the Village Pool at all this summer, and routing those funds to some other purpose (such as a new police car).
[Adopted as Resolution 8-2005]
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CLERK-TREASURER TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS FOR REPAIR WORK FOR THE AKRON-CLEVELAND [ROAD] BRIDGE.
The Village Engineer is preparing a bid specification for repairs to the Akron-Cleveland
Road bridge south of Route 303. This is not the permanent reconstruction of the bridge
that has been in the works for several years: since money and design are not forthcoming
for that project, the Village is being forced to make current repairs. Council President
Bill Goncy asked for a projected cost; Engineer Steve Schreiber replied that the
specifications were to include a number of options, so that costs could range from $20K to $50K.
[Adopted as Resolution 9-2005]
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK-TREASURER TO ENTER INTO AN EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT WITH BFI SERVICES FOR RESIDENTIAL TRASH HAULING WITHIN THE VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS.
Councilor Mike Cheung reported on the Planning Commission
and Board of Zoning Appeals meeting of 2 February 2005.
The next PC/BZA meeting is 2 March 2005 at 7PM. It was also announced that
there would be yet another Public Hearing for changes to the Zoning Code, just before
next Council meeting: 9 March 2005, 7:30PM at the Village Hall. This is to consider
technical changes to the Zoning Code as recommended to Council by the Planning Commission. The most
significant change is that service stations will be permitted within 400 feet of each other, rather
than the current 5000 feet.
Council President (Pro Tempore) Bill Goncy stated that he had not received, and so had not reviewed, the Mayor's Court reconciliation for January 2005.
Mr. Goncy also reported on the recent Route 8 Marginal Road Stakeholders meeting, sponsored monthly by the County Engineer. He reported that the group discussed the idea of soliciting funds, for an initial wetlands and feasiblity study, from affected municipalities and businesses. The County Engineer is preparing a requirements proposal for this work.
Engineer Steve Schreiber reported that he and Mr. Goncy had met with representatives to the Summit County Stormwater Management Program. He is preparing a report of the Village's progress for this program.
Solicitor Russ Pry reported that Cingular Wireless
had approached the Village with a "request" concerning the
AT&T Wireless tower
located on Village property at 153 E. Boston Mills Road.
Cingular wants the Village to agree
to reduce the lease payment from $747.50 to $400 per month. They wanted a reply by 10 February.
Cingular absorbed AT&T Wireless in last year's merger. Mr. Pry explained that the current lease agreement did not expire until April 2006, when rates could be renegotiated. Cingular had suggested that, if the rates were not immediately reduced, the company might invoke a clause that lets them back out of the lease based on their own engineering evaluation that the tower is no longer needed. (Presumably this would be predicated on the existence of nearby duplicate Cingular facilities.).
In reply to questions from the audience, Clerk-Treasurer Carol Zeman reported that ODOT had predicted that both wireless towers would have to be (re-)moved for the Route 8 upgrade project (in about 2009), and that the Voicestream tower's village land lease rate is $1000/month. She and Mr. Pry also noted that the AT&T tower's lease, unlike that of the newer Voicestream tower, had no end-of-life demolition requirement. (N.B.: Councilor Cheung found such a clause in the contract after all, at the 22 Feb Finance meeting.). Mr. Pry felt that something might be done through the Village's nuisance abatement ordinance if the tower were to be abandoned. It was also noted that there are two other antenna "tenants" currently using that same tower.
There followed a spirited discussion of the financial implications, and whether Cingular was just "playing poker". Councilor Mike Cheung suggested that Council should consider the matter more extensively, and that Cingular be invited to address the Council Finance Committee at its next meeting, 22 February 2005. Mr. Pry said he would convey the invitation.
Update, 22 Feb 2005 Finance meeting:
Mr. Pry said that he had not conveyed an invitation to attend this meeting, and in fact no one showed up from the companies involved. After some further discussion, Council's concensus was to not acceed to the demand for a rate cut on this lease.
FROM THE FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING OF 25 January 2005
Also discussed at the most recent Finance Committee meeting:
• Technical changes and clarifications to the Zoning Code, to be considered by the Planning Commission and Council; these were reviewed and recommended to Council by the Planning Commission at its meeting of 2 February 2005. The proposed changes to the Occupancy Permit ordinance were deferred, however.
• How Village safety forces were supposed to find addresses on private drives with self-styled names and self-posted signs (e.g. Stone Road, Slane's Lane). Engineer Steve Schreiber said he would update the village map to show the private roads that had been properly authorized by the village, but self-named private drives were another matter. Councilor Mike Cheung suggested that the Engineer route information to the safety departments when a new road (public or private) was approved. There was a further discussion of buildings that had been erected in the village, over the years, without any zoning or building overview (without permits).
• Recent further damage to the Akron-Cleveland Road Bridge, and the resulting lane closure. See Resolution 8-2005, above, on repairs. The discussion also ranged over the Summit County Engineer's abandonment of the bridge refurbishment plans at about 60% completion -- and why any other agency or consultant would have to start from scratch.
• Proposed ditch culvert regulations, and prevention of road drainage problems. Councilor Goncy suggested that these issues be tied in with the Stormwater Management Program educational requirements.
• A recommendation by Village Engineer Steve Schreiber that the Village update its traffic flow information on Olde Eight Road, so as to establish a solid baseline with which to demonstrate increased bypass traffic when the Route 8 upgrade project begins.
• Who is supposed to enforce zoning and building codes, and cite apparent violators. Answer: primarily the Zoning Inspector and Building Inspector, but any village officer could cite a violator. Various recent violations and zoning controveries were rehashed and debated. Councilor Mike Cheung suggested that the village have regular meeting of its administrative personnel to iron out these matters and improve enforcement.
• Planned consulations on growth issues, between the village and the Hudson City School District. Councilors Bill Goncy and Janet Miller recapped the kickoff meeting a few months ago, but noted that Cuyahoga Falls had refused to consider modifications to the plans for the Tamsin Park housing development; nothing had happened since. Councilor Cheung urged that the village be more proactive on this issue, and consider whether a residential growth cap is advisable. There was some complaining about the new subdivisions that the City of Hudson had permitted recently.
• A suggestion from the Park that the Village adopt a Comprehensive Plan; Councilor Goncy felt that the Zoning Code was sufficient.
• Whether the problems with the Akron-Cleveland Road Bridge could be solved by bypassing Akron-Cleveland Road to its old right-of-way, entirely west of the Metroparks Trail (railway ravine). Mayor McFall reported that the Cuyahoga Valley National Park would oppose any such plan. Councilor Goncy opined that if the right-of-way was never vacated, the CVNP might not be able to stop the village from using it.
• An opportunity for additional firearm training for village police officers.
• Pay and benefits for village police officers, personnel retention issues, and training costs.
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