Rocky River City Council Minutes
NOVEMBER 30, 2018 Finance
Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 1 of 16
CITY OF ROCKY RIVER
NOVEMBER 30, 2018
The meeting of the Finance Committee was called to order by Mr. O’Donnell, Chairman of the Finance Committee, at 8:00 a.m. in the David J. Cook Council Chambers.
Finance Committee Members Present: Mr. O’Donnell, Mr. Moran, Mr. Hunt,
Mr. Shepherd (11:40)
Council Members Present: Mr. Furry, Mr. Klym, Mr. Sindelar
Administration: Mayor Bobst, Mr. Thomas, Director Costello, Director Mehling,
Chief Stillman, Chief Lenart, Director Huff, Superintendent Rosemark
Also present: Judge Hagan, Judge Fitzsimmons, Clerk Comery, Commissioner Snyder
The meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. O’Donnell opened the meeting by saying that one of the most important jobs of Council is working on, understanding and passing the Budget. It is critically important for what Council does and the administration of the city so it operates smoothly. Mr. O’Donnell thanked the administration for compiling the Budget Books in a timely and detailed manner so Council can review, analyze and understand it prior to the year it starts. Mr. O’Donnell thanked the Mayor, Finance Director Thomas and all the Directors who spent a significant amount of time compiling this data. Mr. O’Donnell said that the city including the Court and the WasteWater Treatment Plant have about 200 employees. Without including the Court and WWTP there is about 125 employees. The revenue numbers and capital projects are listed on his report. Mr. O’Donnell is particularly pleased to see the Budget Stabilization Fund in the budget. With the County reevaluating real estate, he is happy to see that these additional funds will be spent wisely.
Mayor Bobst thanked Chairman O’Donnell and stated that the administration shares Council’s commitment in making sure the increase of real estate dollars are used wisely. The Mayor thanked Council for reviewing the financial summaries month in and month out because that level of transparency to Council and the community is important to the administration. The more that individuals understand how the budget works and how money is being received and spent is good for the administration and serves the residents well. As the Mayor has stated before, there are very few City Councils that have the responsibilities that this Council has with managing the budgets of the multi-jurisdictional Municipal Court, the Wastewater Treatment Plant that is a regional facility and the Safe Council of Governments, Tri-City Park, etc. Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 2 of 16
The City’s priorities remain the same in maintaining a high level of services, to ensure safety and security and preparedness in the community, thriving and livable neighborhoods, a strong and diverse local economy, continued investment in infrastructure, limiting administrative and programmatic overhead, maintain the City’s bond rating and advance the collective vision for the community as stated in the Master Plan. This is all to advance the quality of life for the residents, business and visitors.
In February, Moody’s issued their annual comment regarding the City of Rocky River’s financial position. Moody’s stated; the City of Rocky River has a robust financial position, a very strong economy and tax base, healthy fund balances and operating margins that demonstrate strong financial management. The Mayor said that is thanks to Council and the administration and what the city has been working towards. The state ranks 10th in wage growth where jobs are being created at a pace that is beyond other states, advance industries continue to grow. All of this helps the city’s local economy and relates to the tax base. Also, Ohio ranks 7th as the most affordable state in the nation.
Under tab five in the Budget Book is revenue. The Mayor stated there is a great amount of stability in income tax. Thirty-six percent of the revenue budget, $14, 900,000 is income tax with great stability in the top employers along with diversity of industries. Property tax represents about 23% of the revenue at $9,226,000. There is a great deal of stability with property owners. The Mayor mentioned that it is important to know that only the City of Westlake is less than Rocky River. For every $100 a property owner spends on taxes, approximately $8.40 goes to the city with the balance going to the public schools, library, county programs, et cetera. The total assessed valuation is $879,701,000, which compares very favorable to last year at $750,000,000. This property tax evaluation is based on the 2018 proposed values. The Mayor said that these numbers are based on meetings in July. There will be potentially two adjustments to these numbers when the updated numbers are received from the County.
As Council is aware, the increase as presented in July of $1.4 million across the city with the general fund being about $814,000, the city reduced the millage on the General Bond Retirement to .78. The second thing is establishing the Budget Stabilization Fund or the Reserve Balance Account. Language is being drafted based on the Ohio State Revised Code providing for funds to be established and used to combat volatility in revenues. This will be established and the intent is to take the general fund increase, estimated to be $814,000 and placed in the Stabilization Fund. The city can then define its use. Initially this will be for Capital Improvements, to pay for construction, outright and debt service. In the future, if Council or administration wanted to change that, that could happen. In the future if there is an economic downturn, having a fund like this is extremely important to honor the collective bargaining agreements as well as other obligations. Additional dollars that will be received by recreation, refuse, senior centers are viewed as moderating the need for transfers. There is a transfer schedule in the back of tab 6, with additional funds coming into these accounts, that transfer will either not be necessary or moderated. The transfers are only done on an as needed basis. Tab 3 will have an additional definition. The Budget Stabilization Fund will be Fund 120. An amended version of the definitions will be distributed. Total revenue for 2019 is estimated to be over $41 million. Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 3 of 16
Actual expenditures are very conservative. Last year a chart was created showing percentages of appropriations spent:
2012 – 80% was spent of appropriations
2013 & 2014 – 77%
2015 – 65%
2016 – 69%
2017 – 65%
2018 – 3rd quarter is at 50%
The city is staying on this track of 65% to 75%.
There is a 2½% increase for all full time employees for bargaining and non-bargaining employees. Estimated personnel costs are at about $21,000,000 or 70%. The city has been very effective at keeping this band in the 70 percentile. No new positions are slated, although a new police officer was added last year due to the SRO partnership with the schools. The schools are asking for the city to add one more SRO officer with shared time at Goldwood and Kensington Schools. Nothing has been finalized regarding that.
Capital Investment is $5.5 million in paving, $625,000 for sewers, $1.3 million in waterlines, but that will be paid for by Cleveland Water and miscellaneous projects totaling $13 million for a total of $20,380,000. Projects include Hilliard and Wooster paving, the police station, Bradstreet’s Landing, possible sewer work at Oak and Collver, Morewood Parkway, Center Ridge signalization, miscellaneous street paving at $1,000,000, new gas tanks, decanting pads and technology, Spencer sanitary sewer work, Story Road and Safe Routes to Schools and roof programs.
As part of the sewer remediation program, the city has done a considerable amount of work and now it is time for educating and evaluating the private side of what is flowing through footer drains, downspouts, etc. In some areas of the city, there is a need for disconnection. Some of these are deemed illegal connections.
The Mayor has also requested a proposal from the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission to do some zoning work and updating the zoning map.
Center Ridge will be paved somewhere between 2021-2024. The Hilliard Bridge is projected to be repaired beginning in 2022. There are no funds required from the City of Rocky River for either of these projects at this time.
Capital Equipment is about $1.7 million. This year, Director Costello, Commissioner Snyder and the mechanics went through every vehicle in the city. There is an updated inventory with full evaluation of all vehicles so the city can strategically plan for replacements.
Tab 9 has the long-term obligations. In 2020, the Beachliff Garage is $20,000 and next year will be $20,000 and that lease will be done. There was no interest payment on that. Details of DOPWIC and zero interest loans is provided under this tab also.
Mr. Furry asked if there are any thoughts in the future of replacing the Economic and
Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 4 of 16
Community Development Director. The Mayor said yes, she has had discussions with the Building Department Commissioner and the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission to have someone on a consulting basis.
Mr. O’Donnell thanked the Mayor for her comments and thanked Director Thomas for being available to explain the rationale behind the numbers.
Councilman Klym introduced the budget of the Recreation Department with the assistance of Recreation Director Christopher Mehling. Mr. Klym pointed out a typo on the Budget Review Sheet for the Recreation Department. On page 2, the projected revenue for 2018 should read $3,199,700. This correction is important because the projected revenue for 2019 is an increase over the projected revenue of 2018. Employment will stay relatively stable next year. Mr. Mehling said that due to resident comments regarding more attention to the parks and maintenance, he may be adding a couple part time employees.
Mr. Klym said that there is $100,000 repayment for the Recreation Center Advancement. This will be paid back in 2020. Minimum wage will increase from $8.30 to $8.55 an hour. The mailer is returning due to the request of the residents. The program guide will be mailed to residents with children 12 yrs. and younger three times yearly. The cost of the mailings is between $3,500 and $4,000 per mailing. The carpeting in the fitness room needs to be replaced. It is the original carpet. Mr. Mehling said that he looked into rubber flooring but it is three times the cost of carpet. Equipment replacement will continue with the replacement of 5-8 pieces of equipment. $8,000 for cameras and equipment is in the budget to help with vandalism. Rink improvements are in the budget for patch and paint to the exterior walls of Hamilton Ice Rink. Grading baseball fields, resurfacing basketball courts along with possible new backboards is also in the budget. The waterzone and slide areas will be painted also. One vehicle will also be replaced this year in the recreation department.
Mr. Klym said there are a number of items listed in the future capital expenditures. Spending in the parks will continue to make sure the parks are maintained and upgraded as needed. A new Zamboni is needed and is scheduled to be purchased in 2020. Also, continuing to place security cameras on the west side of the pool for after pool hours. It would make the most sense to have the police department monitor the cameras at the pool and parks.
The lease agreement with the Cleveland Clinic is going very well. The Clinic is looking to expand and in January there will be an adaptable aquatics program that was requested by the Clinic. A trainer has come in and certified four of the staff to supervise that program. There has also been a conversation regarding expanding their space in the recreation center.
The schools started their own summer camps during the summer and families can register by the week. The Recreation Summer Camp Program has always had families register for three weeks at a time. Beginning this year there will be a weekly rate for families.
The Silver Sneakers Program is very popular and is a per swipe program. Dave Ford, Chrissy Miller and Jane Reich did a fabulous job presenting to Tivity and asking for the $3.25 to Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 5 of 16
increase to $3.50. This will also increase for the Senior Center. The recreation department just signed a contract with Optum which is a United HealthCare Program for Silver Sneakers. In this program Silver Sneakers will pay for ½ of their membership and use the recreation department four times monthly to have the insurance pay the other half.
Lifeguards continue to be a challenge. Mr. Mehling is working to find new and better ways to recruit and retain high school and college lifeguards. Rocky River High School is offering a lifeguarding class and employees from the recreation center go over and speak to the students about lifeguarding.
Mr. Mehling is very excited about the Munis software. This will help in maintaining records more accurately and provide additional options for the customers to pay for services. It will also help with security in all the facilities.
Mr. Sindelar asked about the Dasher Board Program. Mr. Mehling said that they are at 85% renewal for the Dasher Boards and that it continues to be a good source of revenue.
The Mayor pointed out that under tab 8 in the Budget Book there is a breakdown of the reappraisal additional revenue. The recreation fund is about $65,000 in additional revenue but could be modified. Also note that the general bond retirement, because of the reduction in property taxes, that increase is at zero and is reflected under tab 8.
Mr. Mehling thanked Council and the administration for their support during the year. Mr. O’Donnell said he always receives positive reactions from families and residents that use the Recreation Center.
Mr. Moran thanked Judge Hagan, Judge Fitzsimmons, and Clerk of Court Comery for attending this morning’s meeting and meeting with him earlier regarding the 2019 Budget. Mr. Moran distributed a Fiscal Officers Meeting Agenda to Council and pointed out that under Section II, that every year there has been a surplus from 2013-2017 and also a surplus this year. The great positive news is that this is a court system that works on a balanced budget. There are about 160 Municipal Courts in the State of Ohio, and there are approximately ten that operate in the black. This Court however is not just about operating in the black, but the judges participate in panels outside the courthouse to help solve some of the problems facing residents in each city.
Mr. Moran turned the meeting over to Judge Hagan.
Judge Hagan thanked the Council and Administration for being one of the best host cities of a municipal court. Judge Hagan said they truly appreciate the relationship they have with the city. The Court went from full time staff to part time staffs, skeleton crews to stay in the black over the years. Month to month when viewing the budget, a lot of times he is looking at red numbers but is always confident that at the end of the year things will turn around helping them to stay in the black. The rest of the month, he and Judge Fitzsimmons are focused on people coming to the court and their underlying issues. They feel as though they have become social workers because all they do is attempt to save people’s lives. Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 6 of 16
The budget that is being presented is based on the Court’s history plus a potential 2% raise. In the next 3½ years, the building will be paid for out of the special projects fund that was created at the time the building was built and it has been paid without taxpayer dollars.
Mr. Moran said that as Judge Hagan said it is hard to say what the plan is because they do not know what is coming into the courts yet and things may change in the year. So many of the people using the courts do not have the funds to pay their court costs. Revenue does come in and revenue is spent and monitored during the year. The Rocky River Court has suffered from declining revenues due to the North Olmsted Mayor’s Court and the cases that North Olmsted knows cannot pay is what they send to the Rocky River Court. Judge Hagan said that at the development of the Mayor’s Court, the Rocky River Court anticipated a $500,000 hit from the operating budget and it has held true annually.
Mr. O’Donnell is always amazed at the way defendants are treated at the Rocky River Court. Mr. O’Donnell asked about the heroin epidemic. Judge Hagan said that one of biggest trends is the increase of fentanyl. It is being laced in heroin and marijuana as well. Ohio is the center for many things. Ohio is one of the top states for drug usage and human trafficking. The unfortunate thing is the Judges do not deal with the individuals that sell, but rather the end users. Judge Hagan thanked anyone who helped defeat Issue I. The passing of Issue I would have placed a huge burden on the courts and cities.
Mr. Klym said he would not have guessed that Rocky River would have had the largest criminal and traffic filings. Judge Hagan said that Rocky River has Interstate 90 and various shops in downtown Rocky River and Westgate.
Mr. Moran said that the Court’s staff is staying the same for 2019. Mr. Moran also noted that the staff is also staying long term. No other Capital Improvements is planned for 2019. Mr. Moran thanked the Judges and Clerk Comery for attending this morning’s meeting. The Mayor added that under tab 10 in the Budget Books is a compilation of the Municipal Court and the total for the court is $3.9 million.
Wastewater Treatment Plant
The WWTP, represented by Superintendent CarrieAnne Rosemark, was the next department to present its budget, under the leadership of Councilman Furry. Mr. Furry had recently distributed the 2018 fiscal budget review as well as the proposed operating budget. Mr. Furry explained that the city owns the WWTP but the regionalization began in the 60’s where a percentage is owned by the four cities of Westlake, Rocky River, Fairview and Bay Village. Tab 5 in the Revenue section, pg. 16 & 17 shows a slight increase in revenues which is shared by the cities based on the Strength and Flow Study. Section 6, Appropriation on pg. 79, shows a possible increase of wages. Mr. Furry then introduced Superintendent Carrie Anne Rosemark.
Ms. Rosemark thanked Council for giving her an opportunity to discuss the WWTP. 2018 was a busy but productive year at the WWTP. The chemical expenditures show an increase of almost 20% across the board in 2018. However, the WWTP continued to decrease the amount of chemical used over the last several years through operational procedures that have been installed. Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 7 of 16
Ms. Rosemark hopes to do more studies on the odor control in 2019, which is really a big part of where chemical money is spent. There are some testing procedures the WWTP can do next year that will target the odors that are being treated. The other increase in 2018 is the realigning of personnel. The electrical position has been a difficult position to fill so Ms. Rosemark proposes to contract out a little more electric work and replace that position with an attendant position, which would benefit the plant in multiple ways. First, the electrical position has done a lot of electric work along with a lot of maintenance as well. The maintenance department relies on this position to help with the work. An attendant job description would include both maintenance and operational work and be more of an entry-level position. This would allow the WWTP to have someone who is trained internally and would be able to transition easily to other positions.
The Rocky River WWTP has been in the submittal phase of the No Feasible Alternatives Study, which began in 2017. This study was mandated in the 2011 NPDES permit. The WWTP was given a permit modification, providing an extension for submission, to allow the four cities to perform work in their collection systems, and then to evaluate what improvement was seen at the plant related to those improvements. The new submission date is 1.1.19. Ms. Rosemark informed Council that the WWTP did receive approval yesterday to meet that final submission. The Mayor added that Ms. Rosemark has spent countless hours on something that impacts the four communities in different ways and could translate into significant dollars. For Rocky River, the biggest part is that CarrieAnne has a very good relationship with the Ohio EPA and the US EPA. A huge thank you to CarrieAnne for this enormous body of work. This will have impact for a considerable amount of time.
The first phase of the No Feasible Alternative long-term plan is to go back and do more extensive in depth flow monitoring and hydraulic models in each of the four cities collection systems. This will identify the locations of where the high flows come from and how to handle the peak flows. The Mayor stated that parallel to this would be the education piece she discussed in the opening remarks so public education to remove inflow on the private side is going to be very important. The Mayor also noted a huge compliment from Hazen and Sawyer for all the work the city has done on the collection system and the investment made.
Mr. Furry asked how AECOMM and Hazen and Sawyer are working out. Ms. Rosemark said it is working out fine. AECOMM is doing a great job on the capital project of grout injection to eliminate some of the leakage in the clarifying basement. She said the work between the two has been fine and they have a good level of respect for each other and work well together. She feels it has been beneficial to the WWTP to have two sets of eyes on the work going on and also beneficial to bounce things off of. The bulk of this project will begin next summer.
Another capital request is for a backup generator. Ms. Rosemark said that there is one little backup generator that powers the head works and it needs work and/or replacement. The backup generator is for the very large majority of the plant. There are two available power sources available for the WWTP but the concern is if there is a major weather event, there is not back-up generators that could provide pumping to any of the flow in the plant. The plant could lose all secondary treatment and disinfection. Ms. Rosemark is looking for a grant through the NOPEC project to install a backup generator that would power to the pump station and disinfection. The budget amount would be approximately $350,000 for this item. Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 8 of 16
Mr. O’Donnell asked about the two power sources. Ms. Rosemark said that one comes in from the south side of the plant and one down Lake Road into the Plant. Ms. Rosemark said that the power reliability is not bad, but if First Energy has a problem, the plant has a problem. This is the only plant she has seen with two lines in. Most plants have backup generators.
Mr. Sindelar asked if one line is always designated as the primary line. Ms. Rosemark said that typically the plant runs off the primary energy source but will periodically switch over. As soon as the switches detect a slight power loss, it automatically transfers over. Some of that equipment is getting old also and is tested as part of the permanent maintenance program.
Ms. Rosemark said that 2½ years ago the WWTP began using a program called HIPPO. This has allowed them to program all the preventive maintenance. It is web based so operators can automatically log right in on tablets and write up a work order. It has really improved the preventive maintenance program and increased productivity with the WWTP employees.
Mr. Klym asked about Hazen and Sawyer indicating that Rocky River has done a lot of work on the sewer systems. Are other cities replacing sewers at the same rate as Rocky River? Ms. Rosemark responded that each community has a sewer replacement program but each city does things differently. Each city is addressing sewer system issues but is not sure if any has spent as much money as Rocky River. The No Feasibility Alternative Study shows what direction a portion of flow is from so the other cities will have to comply with this study.
Mr. Moran asked if there have been complaints regarding the odor situation. He has not heard of any recently. Ms. Rosemark said she has received just a couple complaints.
Mr. Moran asked if any of the communities were not pleased at this time. Ms. Rosemark said there will be discussion about how costs will be determined but everything right now is agreed as is in the 1982 agreement and for that to change the agreement would need amended. The Mayor said that an amendment to the agreement would have to come through Council.
Mr. Hunt asked if there is a regular schedule for the Flow and Strength Studies. The Mayor stated that the study can be repeated if a city is not happy with the results, but it would be at the city’s expense. Ms. Rosemark said that the most recent was in 2017 and the next one will be in 2021. It is every four years. If all cities do not agree, it can be done again in three years. The cost is close to $50,000.
This past year, Ms. Rosemark was asked to be a member of the Ohio EPA Operators Certification Council. This gives Ms. Rosemark an opportunity to meet with the EPA on a level that not everyone has. It has allowed her to get more education on what needs to be done for operational certification but also keeps an open door for two-way communication as well. The Mayor said that this also enhances Ms. Rosemark’s credibility with the EPA.
President Moran mentioned that Mr. Furry has chaired this committee for at least the last ten Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 9 of 16
years and knows the WWTP very well.
The Senior Center, represented by Director Deborah Huff, was the next department to present its budget, under the leadership of Councilman Sindelar.
Mr. Sindelar said that it is always with great pride to introduce Director Huff. Mr. Sindelar said the Senior Center is the crown jewel and on the top of services that the city provides. Mr. Sindelar also stated that the Senior Center attained National Accreditation last year under the direction of Director Deb Huff. Another recognition also received by the Senior Center was for creating the Westshore Collaboration. Mr. Sindelar said that the numbers have increased by 25% in participation. This is a testimony to the people working at the Senior Center along with new innovative ideas for the seniors.
Director Huff thanked Mr. Sindelar for the introduction. The budget before Council is nearly identical to last year’s budget. The Senior Center did increase their number of participants this year by 25% over 2017. Each day shows a 24% increase. One of the reasons is due to the accreditation process where the strategic plan was to form a marketing committee and a marketing plan to let the residents know about the services of the Senior Center. One of the new programs this year is chair volleyball. Seniors are playing volleyball while sitting in a chair. This is very popular and is a rowdy group of seniors that meet weekly on Thursdays. There is a net and a beach ball is used. Another popular program is the Trivia Program. It was opened up to other communities and now there are competitive teams competing with each other. The County has also picked up on it and are putting together a County Senior Trivia Team beginning in January. Due to the popularity of the Play Readers, the Center is also offering acting and improv classes.
The Westshore Collaborative Website was launched on December 28, 2017. The Senior Center received national recognition in San Francisco and continues to receive national attention for the website. The goal was to cast a wider net because nationally only 14% of eligible seniors utilize senior centers. People using the website are seniors, caregivers, social workers, community groups, family members, friends and neighbors and assisted and independent living facilities. The main goal is to reduce social isolation. Social isolation increases the risk of death by 30-60%. Isolation surpasses smoking and obesity as risk factors for premature death and also increases elder abuse. Research also shows that older adult’s use of technology predicted lower levels of loneliness. Technology helps older adults to feel connected. Senior Center participants have decreased risk of dementia, depression and disabling illnesses.
Director Huff said she sincerely thanks Council for their support for the Senior Center.
Mr. Sindelar thanked Giant Eagle again for donating $5,000.00 for Transportation for seniors. Director Huff said that there is also a $60,000 grant from NOACA in the budget for the purchase of a 14-passenger van to provide seniors more transportation. Director Huff said that the roof over the garage will also need to be repaired/replaced.
Mr. O’Donnell asked about an insurance claim regarding a floor at the Senior Center a
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few years ago. Ms. Huff said that problem has been resolved.
Councilman Hunt introduced Chief Kelly Stillman and thanked him for attending the budget meeting.
Chief Stillman said that the Police Department is fully staffed with 34 sworn and 16 civilian officers. The compliment is made up of himself, his executive staff assistant, three lieutenants and four sergeants and 24 patrol officers. CSO stands for a Community Service Officer and are not sworn in or armed. They help with ancillary duties for the Police Department. There are two SRO officers, which are the School Resource Officers and are sworn in. One SRO is at Rocky River High School and the other is at the Middle School. Superintendent Shoaf is proposing an additional SRO to go between Goldwood and Kensington Schools.
Mr. Hunt asked Chief Stillman to discuss the decrease of POPAS funds. Chief Stillman said that back in the 1990’s POPAS was a big-ticketed trend but has since gone away. He currently has a core group of about five officers that continue to work it. Chief Stillman encourages new patrol officers and they seem to be enthusiastic about it. The Chief cannot force patrol officers to work it. The Chief thinks it is the new generation of officers who have married very successful partners and do not need the income. Mr. Moran asked if it has anything to do with the 12-hour shifts. Chief Stillman does not think so because the 12-hour shifts actually give them more time to work it. The Chief said that there is off duty secondary employment and the officers have to go through the Chief, but currently there is not anyone doing that. Mr. O’Donnell asked if there was a concern of officers having their cruisers parked on I 90. There are safety considerations when working on the freeway but Chief Stillman does not think that is a deterrent because the job is inherently dangerous in all aspects. Mr. Hunt added that in 2015-2016 the revenue from POPAS was over $200,000 and now the department is trending about half of that.
Council is approving appropriations for three new cruisers, all Ford Utilities. Chief Stillman said that next year Ford is changing the body style of their utility vehicle and he is unsure if the equipment will be transferable into this new style. The department ordered three vehicles in the current body style so equipment will be transferable. Two will be purchased from the POPAS fund and one from the city’s capital expenditure fund.
Mr. Hunt asked about appropriations regarding the police facility. Chief Stillman said that hopefully the department will be moving into trailers sometime in April. This presents a problem for housing space for prisoners. Chief Stillman has agreements with Westlake and Bay Village to house the prisoners. This appropriated amount was moved up to $100,000 because the Chief is not sure what the cost of housing will be. It will depend on how many inmates are arrested. The agreements will be per defendant per day. There are many unknowns. Mr. O’Donnell asked how this project looks overall. The moment the police move into trailers, will construction begin? Chief Stillman said that originally the city was looking at phase construction but due to the budget, it is more economical to get everyone in trailers and then demo the existing station. This will save money. The Mayor added that the final design is currently being worked on with Bowen and Associate. Council will be provided an update sometime in the new year. The interior design is complete and they are currently working on the exterior elevation Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 11 of 16
and design. They are hoping to take this out to bid and be under contract sometime in May or June. The construction will take about a year before the department can move in the building and out of the trailers. The city is also looking at moving the police dispatch to Westcom or possibly the basement of City Hall.
Mr. Hunt said that there is a line item request for police computers. Chief Stillman said that is for tablets, which are the most feasible and easiest to get into the vehicles. These will phase out the lap tops in vehicles. Tablets are about $800.00 each.
Chief Stillman said that there are no changes in the operating of the Marine Patrol Boat and is operated by grant money. They have a great working relationship with all the surrounding agencies that provide marine security. Chief Stillman said that MetroParks has their own boat now and the City of Lakewood opted out of the program a couple of years ago due to a lack of interest from their officers.
The Mayor reiterated that the administration would like Bowen and Associates to present the new police station to Council sometime in January.
Mr. Klym asked if there are new challenges coming through the courts. Chief Stillman said it is the same as years past with the concern of the opioid crisis. The Chief is looking at e-citation where the officers will just need to swipe the driver’s license of traffic violators. The Chief received a grant from the state for this software.
The Mayor added that Chief Stillman will be completing his year as President of the Chief’s Association. That has been an enormous source of pride for the community to have the Chief serve in that role. The Mayor thanked him for his additional work and responsibility that the position created for the Chief.
President Moran said that Council appreciates all the work Chief Stillman does with his staff. The Council thanked the Chief for his work and all that he gives to the city. Chief Stillman said that he loves what he does and thanks Council for the opportunity to work for the City of Rocky River.
Chief Stillman said that an unsung hero is Director Thomas. Director Thomas crunches the money to make things work and does an outstanding job. Chief Stillman added “last but not least” is his Mayor and the great working relationship they have.
The Fire Department, represented by Chief Lenart, was the next department to present its budget, under the leadership of Councilman Hunt.
The Fire Department has not had any changes in personnel. The compliment is still the Chief, the Fire Prevention Officer, Administrative Assistant, 3 Captains, 6 Lieutenants and 18 Firefighters. Next year, Rob Crowe, the Fire Prevention Officer will be leaving in the spring of 2020. Those will be huge shoes to fill. Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 12 of 16
In 2019, the department will still be evaluating their run volume. On the westside of Cleveland, they are working so integrated with their neighboring fire departments that essentially they are one fire department. Policies, procedures are being aligned; they are training together and making the fire departments as efficient as they can be. There are some large facilities opening and with the increasing of development, the volume of run numbers will increase.
This year, the department is running about 120 runs over this point last year. One thing that has saved the department 70-80 runs is the police officer doctor. The fire department hardly sees any patients out of the police department now.
Mr. Hunt noted that the revenue numbers are not reflected by the number of runs. Chief Lenart is not sure if Medicare/Medicaid is not paying what they were but they are staying flat on revenue.
A major request of Chief Lenart is a new ambulance. The station has Medic 68, which will be three years old, and all its bugs have finally been worked out. Medic 63 is leaking oil and is currently out of service and waiting for the city mechanic to look at it. Medic 67 was initially a 2000 model was re-chassised in 2007 and is having mechanical problems along with corrosion. The potassium chlorides in the salt are more aggressive with corrosion. Ten years for an ambulance is good span of time. Ambulance cots will need to be upgraded and the department has received a grant to cover this expense. The auto loader is saving the backs on the firefighters.
The new ladder truck will go to the chassis plant in December in Springfield, Oh and will return to Dublin, Oh sometime in February where the body and ladder will be assembled. Delivery should be around the end of May. There will be some training on the truck after delivery. It will be driven up for delivery, but the Chief said that is good for the opportunity to have the kinks worked out. Training will begin after the first year. Sheffield Village’s Ladder truck is similar to the new ladder truck and will be coming to the station to be sure there will not be any station issues. The Chief will email pictures of the new ladder truck as it is being built.
The Chief noted that his fire prevention vehicle is in bad shape and has over 140,000 miles on it and has $35,000 appropriated for that.
In 2019, Captain Kraus will be retiring which will have a trickle down affect and a new firefighter will be hired. Better than a third of the firefighters can retire at any time. The budget reflects a fairly significant severance line because of the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP).
The Holmatro Extrication Combination tool is in the budget for $9,700.00.
EMS jackets will need to be purchased in the amount of $9,425.00. The current coats are 7 years old. These are module jackets and can be used for three seasons.
Fire hose upgrades are in the budget for a 4” hose to be replaced with a 5” hose which increases the amount of water by several hundred gallons. The Chief said that Norfolk Southern has a grant that would provide the 5” hose and he is applying for that. Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 13 of 16
The Chief is asking for two more tablets to bring Fire Prevention up to doing electronic reporting and one tablet for his position in the amount of $4,600.00. There is also an investigation camera in the budget.
Mr. Hunt mentioned that the funds appropriated for 2018 for the gear washer extractor and dryer were not spent. The firefighters built the dryer for under $300.00.
Engine 65 is 22 years old and will need to be replaced in the next couple of years.
Chief Lenart closed by thanking Council and the administration for their support and he hopes the Fire Department is living up to expectations. Mr. Moran said that the Mayor has shared with Council many letters and accolades regarding the Fire Department.
Councilman O’Donnell thanked the Chief for coming over early and jumping into an earlier time frame to help with the timing issues.
The Service Division and Capital Improvements Division, represented by Director Mary Kay Costello and Commissioner Snyder, was the next department to present its budget, under the leadership of Councilman Shepherd.
Mr. Shepherd began by stating that he and the Safety-Service Director met and he is impressed by not only the amount of things going on in the city but what is planned for the city and what has been accomplished. The handout reflects the summary, the major capital improvements anticipated for 2019 and a summary of completed sewer, waterline and paving projects.
The Safety-Service Department consists of three full-time employees and two part-time employees in City Hall. Ron Gottschalk will be retiring in 2019 and he fills many needs for the city. Mr. Shepherd and Director Costello spent time discussing Ron’s retirement because of everything that Ron does and knows about the city but Director Costello has more plans for this position. Ron started in the Service Garage and his knowledge of the infrastructure of the city is invaluable. He will be missed. The person who replaces Ron has big shoes to fill. He will be the person watching the pavement conditions which is a big part of what the city plans to do. Another large part of the job is the crack & joint sealing and the sidewalk improvements. This Safety-Service Public Works Coordinator will manage the remediation program to reduce storm water in the sewer system. There is $68,000 in the budget to work with a company to help create the package that will help educate residents on what to do for the health of the Great Lakes, efficient functioning of the WWTP. The city is watertight and now the residents need to be watertight. This is going to be a very complicating project and will need someone who understands the sewers, be in front of the project to help residents understand what is necessary and how it all will be executed.
Mr. Shepherd said that in the Service Division there are 48 full-time employees, which is a six-person increase from 2016. There are employees that have the ability to retire but there are no official retirements at this time. Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 14 of 16
Director Costello said she is looking to purchase a new camera truck for sewer televising. This truck will pay for itself over time but what it offers the city in service for the community is exciting. Currently, if a resident has a sewer problem and the clean out is unknown, the front yard will need to dug up to find it. With this camera truck, the clean out will be found and digging will just be in that area. It will be a tool so residents can understand what has gone wrong along with the ability to show residents what has gone wrong. This truck will help with diagnostics, will minimize work and will make efficiency of operations for the Sewer Department. The truck retails for about $250,000. Director Costello will need an additional small budget for professional televisors to do the heavy cutting of roots but the majority of the work will be handled by this new truck. The Mayor added that once the “T” location is identified, it will be mapped and the city will know exactly where the “T” is in the future. Commissioner Snyder said that this truck will be a game changer for the department. When a main is run, they will be able to work back and get every lateral mapped. There is also GIS equipment in the budget request that will work with the software to overlap layers as they do the infrastructure replacements down the road.
Mr. Shepherd continued with other equipment purchases. The next item is a new backhoe/tractor that will replace a 2004 model, a new lift truck replacing a 1997 lift truck; a street sweeper replacing a 1992 model, asphalt roller replacing a 1996 model, a 2½ ton dump truck replacing a 1999 model, a 1 ton dump truck replacing a 2006 model, a 2½ ton dump white-goods truck replacing a 2002 model, a new semi replacing a 1998 and semi-trailer replacing a 2000 model and 2 scooters replacing a 2012 and 2013 model.
Mr. Shepherd discussed the Capital Projects: Projects at the Service Garage include geotechnical work for soil investigations on the service property, moving a storm catch basin to a sanitary line (EPA required) and a new decanting pad/wash out bay. The decanting pad will be a concrete pad that allows the sewer jet to off-load wet debris to be de-watered into a sanitary sewer line. That water will be piped to a sanitary line and the solids are placed into a special container for removal (like sludge removals at the WWTP). Currently the debris goes into a pit that is shoveled out by hand because equipment cannot fit in the small pit. The other half of this device will be a new washout bay where all city machines can be maintained in the proper EPA approved manner. The current washout area has less than satisfactory drainage. $450,000 has been budgeted for this project. Down the road, other communities could share this service in a regional, collaborative way.
The Cleveland Division of Water has approved three waterline projects for 2019 on Eriewood for construction in 2019, Story Road for construction in 2020 and Shoreland/Struhar for construction in 2019. Cleveland Water funding for this work totals over $1.3 million in construction funds and over $230,000 in engineering funding. The Cleveland Division of Water covers the cost of all of this.
The city has had success with grouting on Elmwood and Kenwood. The city did not grout Parklawn as planned due to no bidders. The plan is to grout the sanitary main on Parklawn from Kenwood to Lake Road in 2019 with additional work on Erie and Yacht Club Drive in order to make a more appealing project to bid. A plan to grout or line the sanitary sewer on Erie and at Yacht Club Drive/Riverdale pump station (seal the pump pit) is in the works. Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 15 of 16
Wooster paving will begin in 2019 in the amount of $1,071,296 with ODOT Funding. The Chip Seal/Overlay Program for Westway from Hilliard to Northview, Harwich with curb and sidewalk, Dale, Beachcliff, Frazier to Wooster, Sunnyhill, Parklawn, Riverwood, Laurel and Purnell. Also full depth repairs/concrete streets for Addington, Kingsmill, Middlepost and Kingsbury. Director Costello said that the first chip and seal the city did was River Oaks and that has worked out great. Mr. Shepherd asked about the water pooling on Riverwood, Laurel and Purnell that needs to be addressed. Director Costello said that this year the waterlines were replaced and had to put a trough in and match to the rest of the road. Milling the road and chip seal with the overlay will help to move that water to the catch basins. There may need to be a one or two catch basins added too. Engineering for paving of Story Road will be put out to bid at the end of 2019 for construction in 2020. Hilliard Blvd. paving has been approved all the way to the Westlake boarder in conjunction with Cuyahoga County funding in the amount of $2,000,000.
Mr. Klym asked about Riverdale next year. The city is hoping to see some construction because the actual road has eroded away. There is currently a temporary, temporary repair in there right now. AECOMM has completed a study and they know what needs to be done. The engineering will begin at the first of the year.
Mr. Shepherd discussed the Morewood, Oak & Collver sewer project from Wagar to the railroad in the amount of $907,000. Director Costello said that it is a DOPWIC application and the city is 14th out of 50 applications. DOPWIC took the first 11 but it is not over yet. If there is an appeal, the city will try again. Director Costello is going to reach out to them to see if they will expand the loan portion. She feels confident that something will happen. There is a lot of good in this project.
The Mayor successfully secured a grant from the State (Capital Improvement Projects) funding and Cuyahoga County Development grant funding for Bradstreet’s Landing. The near-shore fishing pier structure requires replacement. The city will pursue additional funding for Bradstreet’s Landing from the Army Corps of Engineers, Clean Ohio grant applications and Coastal Management Assistance Grant with the assistance from SmithGroup JJR in these efforts. This project is going to be amazing and will be presented to Council sometime in January. This will be a game changer for this park.
The Center Ridge TLCI Implementation is in the budget. This is in collaboration with the City of Fairview Park. Signals will be looked at and how the traffic is managed near the 210/Center Ridge intersection. The Mayor added that Center Ridge will be paved sometime during the 2021-2024 band and this dovetails perfectly with the TLCI Implementation Project. This will also include the Northview/Linden and Center Ridge Intersection also and addresses some of the issues by Glenbar, Savors and the Force.
Director Costello added her thanks for the approval of the Perk and tree lawn tree and sidewalk project. The city has two arborists that are doing a fantastic job.
The Spencer sewer has an issue and a sanitary sewer connection will be corrected.
President Moran said it is great to see this much-solidified plan and the key is that there
Rocky River City Council Finance Committee Meeting November 30, 2018 Page 16 of 16
are many opportunities to get many things accomplished.
Mr. Shepherd thanked Director Costello and Commissioner Snyder for attending this morning’s meeting and the fine work they both have done for the city. Director Costello thanked Mr. Shepherd and said that these projects are a lot of fun and because of the fantastic directors and commissioners that do the heavy lifting, she gets to play with the big projects that are so rewarding.
Mr. O’Donnell stated that he thinks the residents do not realize all the work going on under the streets with waterlines or the trees and park systems, but it really has an impact on the city. Thank you for the great job that you do.
Mr. O’Donnell thanked everyone for coming. Council received a great deal of information from the various departments and he thanks all the departments for the information. It takes a lot of time to go through the budget and understand it but the help this morning is very appreciated.
As there was no further business by members of Council, Finance Chairman O’Donnell moved to close the meeting.
Vote: O’Donnell – aye Moran – aye Hunt – aye Shepherd – aye
4 ayes 0 nays PASSED
The meeting was adjourned at 12:36 p.m.
Michael P. O’Donnell, Chairman Susan G. Pease
Finance Committee Clerk of Council