Here are my unedited notes from last night’s council meeting. We were eating wings and drinking beer by 8:30, so yo can’t say it was a bad night.
The recently self-deposed former council attorney Stan Robison is nowhere in sight as another city council meeting is brought to order. But who will keep the Prez from bowing to temptation, as the Lord’s Prayer (why?) asks him?
Tonight’s spinning wheel of council chamber Internet access came to rest on “connected to the server, but server not connected to the Internet.” Some day, can there be consistent service?
CALL TO ORDER: Done.
PRAYER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Done.
ROLL CALL: Done.
APPROVAL OR CORRECTION OF THE FOLLOWING MINUTES: New Albany City Council Regular Meeting minutes of November 19, 2009 … done.
COMMUNICATIONS – PUBLIC:
1. New Albany Baseball: Plea for the realization of plans to build baseball facilities atop the mesa behind Home Depot off State. Says that the Mt. Tabor facility outmoded and about to be supplanted by road widening. They have spoken to the county, state and others. Sees some potential in co-operation for various other land use needs, including aquatic park, youth shelter, etc. Says incoming tournaments can benefit businesses. No questions from the napping.
Thought for sure Steve Price would disagree. Doesn’t he always?
2. Penny Kessler: May 15 flooding victim. Noticed that August flooding gets the press, but wants to make sure the “bailout” reaches her, too. She is reassured.
Coffey: For the council’s information, no need in hiring a new attorney for two meetings, so Shane Gibson is the stand-in. Shane observes that questions can be thrown at him, not objects. The fun is being drained form the proceedings.
COMMUNICATIONS – CITY OFFICIALS:
Jeff Gahan: Sewer utility budget demands a work session. Two items stand out: (1) $300,000 to Georgetown; (2) $100,000 of bonuses for EMC – good news because it means benchmarks are being met, but would like to talk more about it.
COMMUNICATIONS – MAYOR
Coffey actually lets C. Malysz speak. Usually he does not. Looks like the end-of-year charm offensive is fully under way.
Carl Malysz: Reiterates NA Little League message. Solutions being sought. Mayor England stresses this as forward-looking effort, and would like for it to be taken under advisement.
Also: A memo distributed that outlines $25 million in thoroughfare projects, with complete details, estimates, etc. Not to be confused with the paving program. Report for the previous paving expenditure has been made. A few ancillary things yet to be contracted, and may be needed to recapture some money at the beginning of the year by resolution.
Bob Caesar: Wants there to be an end date on the Daisy Lane project completion. The last segment took too long.
DISCUSSION REGARDING THE 2010 SEWER BUDGET: Already broached by Gahan.
APPROVAL OF CF-1 FORMS: None.
INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS: READING
A-09-20 Additional Appropriation in the Rainy Day Fund To Storm water Fund in an Amount of $300,000 Loan (Benedetti 1&2)
Benedetti: In discussions with Kay Garry, it was suggested that we borrow “from ourselves” (from Rainy Day fund) so that Stormwater can begin working on Castlewood.
Steve Price: “On the loan thing, I don’t know, we’re going to be borrowing money from ourselves and paying it back at 1% interest … will the storm rate go up in the future … could this lead to another rate (increase)?”
Benedetti explains that the previous dollar stormwater rate wasn’t sufficient to leave reserves to borrow against. Price says he can’t support it because it will have to be paid back with interest, if miniscule, and this could lead to another rate hike, and by God, the twelve bucks a year more already makes him work way to hard (I made that part up).
Gahan proposes just flat paying for the work out of Rainy Day. He says he wants to get it done either way and is open to anything.
Stormwater chairman Brinkworth explains that they suggested paying it back as a loan. They wanted a rate increase to do more projects, but that was denied by the council. However, $300,000 up front will enable them to get started while waiting for the dollar increase to accumulate in the coffers.
Kevin Zurschmiede: For it, but wants a balance sheet and financial information. Details for the projects planned?
Answer is a Castlewood detention basin on the Mt. Tabor church/school properties. This will hold water at the upstream end of the drainage system, and let it out slowly. Also, two sets of catch basins on Castlewood itself. Landholders agree, and negotiations and plans under way.
KZ wants it in black and white.
Sealed bids being put out, satisfying Li’l Stevie’s query.
Brinkworth: Will not impact the Master Plan, but solve a problem. Castlewood project “a number one priority.”
Benedetti: She’s seen the budget numbers, and Stormwater is doing okay staying within boundaries.
Coffey: If you have to borrow it, not as good as if we appropriate it. Maybe we should just finance it outright.
Brinkworth: That’s more than we expected.
Price: He’s paying two more dollars on his garbage and now he erupts because no one will guarantee that there’ll be no rate increase.
Brinkworth: “I can’t guarantee what I’ll be wearing tomorrow.”
Price: “Why don’t we just give them the $300,000?”
Messer: It’s just 1%. Rainy Day money is for an emergency … aren’t we always saying they’re supposed to be self-financing? Let Stormwater borrow and pay back with slight interest.
Coffey, grandstanding, says he knows of other places that are worse than anyone Brinkworth quotes, primarily because Coffey has no training. Or something like that. Says he knows more about it. “We need to ahead and get started.”
Brinkworth thinks that they can have two big ones knocked out in two years, but Coffey says that isn’t fast enough, and KZ pitches that the loan should be forgiven if the work gets done on time.
1st vote on it!!
Price votes aye even though there was no guarantee made. Huh?
2nd: Also unanimous.
Placed on the agenda today after press time. Wasn’t posted. Deals with which monies will finance the water bailout giveaway program. No discussion.
G-09-21 Amendment to Ordinance A-04-73 Passed 12/6/2004 Setting Policy and Fees for Fairview and West Haven Cemeteries (McLaughlin 3)
The leather jacketed Price objects here as so often before. Fee jumps are too large. People may have to get jobs if this continues.
No from Price, otherwise unanimous. Passes.
Sewer work session to answer questions? Coffey puts it in Gahan’s hands. Sewer Board wants EPA to be involved, but this can occur later.
Coffey wants an executive session to discuss litigation with the storm water. Benedetti says a hearing already is scheduled (January 4) … Shane says it’s a hearing. Coffey apparently didn’t know this. Coffey still wants a discussion.
Coffey wants John Gonder to consider a committee for the ballpark issue.
Coffey wants to know whether the Kelly PUD has expired? Scott Wood says yes, an 18-month clock ticks down, and it reverts to its previous state of zoning. It has expired, and so it’s a dead issue.