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AGENDA 9-20-2016

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: AGENDA 9-20-2016
    Posted: Sep 19 2016 at 9:19am

MIDDLETOWN CITY COUNCIL AGENDA

TUESDAY, September 20, 2016

CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS MEETING – 5:30 pm – COUNCIL CHAMBERS – LOWER LEVEL

1. MOMENT OF MEDITATION/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

2. ROLL CALL

3. CITIZEN COMMENTS, GUESTS, ORGANIZATIONS’ REPORTS

4. CITY MANAGER REPORTS

5. CONSENT AGENDA. . . Matters listed under the Consent Agenda are considered to be routine and will be enacted by one motion and one vote of consent. There will be no separate discussion of these items. If discussion is desired, that item will be removed and considered separately. (a) Approve City Council Minutes: September 6, 2016 (b) Confirm Personnel Appointments: Angie Carr- Budget Analyst, Department of Finance, Division of Administration. Garrett Downing- Corrections Officer, Public Safety, Division of Police Ali Gebhardt and Sara Stimson-Murphy- Dispatcher, Public Safety, Division of Police (c) Receive and File Oaths of Office: Billy Snead, John Clark

COUNCIL COMMENTS

 

LEGISLATION

1. Ordinance No. O2016-33, an ordinance establishing a procedure for and authorizing a fourth amendment to a contract with Cardno ATC for demolition and remediation of the STM/Wrenn Papermill site and declaring an emergency.

2. Ordinance No. O2016-34, an ordinance authorizing a contract with Physio–Control, Inc. for the purchase of four LIFEPAK 15 EKG monitors and six LIFEPAK 1000 automated external defibrillators (AED’S), and declaring an emergency.

3. Ordinance No. O2016-35, an ordinance establishing a procedure for and authorizing a contract with Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company LLC for various telecommunications services, and declaring an emergency.

4. Resolution No. R2016-36, a resolution authorizing the City Manager to submit an application to the Ohio Public Works Commission for Project Year 31 requesting funding for improvements to various local streets throughout the City, to enter into agreements for such funding, and declaring an emergency. (No action requested until October 4, 2016)

5. Resolution No. R2016-37, a resolution authorizing an agreement granting tax abatement to Torchlight Pass LLC for redevelopment of 1131 Central Avenue in the Downtown Middletown Community Reinvestment Area. (1st Reading)

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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 19 2016 at 11:18am
"5. Resolution No. R2016-37, a resolution authorizing an agreement granting tax abatement to Torchlight Pass LLC for redevelopment of 1131 Central Avenue in the Downtown Middletown Community Reinvestment Area. (1st Reading"

Question:

If this property were in an area of town outside the downtown area, would it still qualify for a tax rebate or do tax rebates just occur in their downtown area?

It is also surprising that this too, isn't an emergency item to expedite their downtown agenda. As per legislation agenda procedure, I notice all others listed are "declaring an emergency"
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Douglas Adkins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Douglas Adkins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 19 2016 at 1:58pm
The Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) Program is a direct incentive tax exemption program benefiting property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings. This program permits municipalities to designate areas where investment has been discouraged as a CRA to encourage revitalization of existing buildings and the development of new structures. Local municipalities or counties can determine the type of development to be supported by the CRA Program by specifying the eligibility of residential, commercial and/or industrial projects. The abatement only applies to the increase in value through renovation. The owner pays property taxes on the existing value ongoing.

Our CRA is limited to the low/mod areas surrounding downtown and the airport.   Once the housing study is completed, there may be a need or reason to establish other areas and programs consistent with whatever our long term policy ends up being.

The Auditor's office reevaluates property values every second or third year (I can't remember which off the top of my head). January 2017 is their next inspection period to revalue property in Middletown. We want to have the CRA in place for Torchlight Pass so that the owner gets the tax benefit of any increase in property value as a result of the 2016 renovations and the January 2017 re-inspection by the County.
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Douglas Adkins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Douglas Adkins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 19 2016 at 2:03pm
Also, I'm trying to save taxpayer dollars. Some of these don't have to be emergencies if you don't mind not saving the funds. The Cincinnati Bell contract saves money each month after it is adopted. We lose a month or two of saving local Middletown tax dollars by waiting for a second reading and 30 days to take effect.

The state bid price on the Fire equipment goes up by $6,000 if not purchased by September 30, so it's either Emergency passage or pay an additional $6,000 general fund money later after second reading and 30 days.

The OPWC legislation is a second reading emergency so we can make their grant application deadline by the end of October.

Finally, the STM work is the final work to complete that project. The work has already been completed and this clears the grant and finishes the project.

They are all judgment calls, and I felt they were appropriate to move forward for the above reasons. There is always room for disagreement.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 19 2016 at 2:30pm
Mr. Adkins:

"Our CRA is limited to the low/mod areas surrounding downtown and the airport."

Was there a specific reason why just the downtown and airport areas were considered for this program? You can understand the skepticism when this only involves the downtown and the known history this city has of heavy focus/investing of taxpayer dollars in the area known as downtown. Much of the city has seen much less attention.



I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 19 2016 at 2:42pm
Mr. Adkins:

To your knowledge, do any other city councils in any surrounding cities have, as a practice, the habit of establishing virtually all legislation in emergency voting form? Or, is Middletown unique in that the overwhelming majority of what is voted on is dealt with on a one vote emergency declaration? IE, is the Middletown way of saturated emergency voting a common practice with city governments for the reasons you have illustrated in your post....saving taxpayer money and purchase timelines? It all sounds logical but it also tends to be an awfully convenient method to use as an emergency legislation vote as well as for the purpose of expediting agendas with as little resistance as possible. Just chalk it up to my continued distrust in government affairs, be it local or national.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Douglas Adkins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Douglas Adkins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 19 2016 at 3:31pm
Keep in mind that I wasn't part of that legislation, but the paperwork provides a pretty good picture of the thought process.

The CRA area was created in 2010 and that is about the same time we were working on the Thatcher buildings. I know that's a sore subject....

A lot of the reasoning is tied back to the 2005-2010 city Master Plan. The CRA legislation discusses the Master Plan objectives. The master plan talks extensively about restoring balance to urban neighborhoods, converting underutilized commercial and industrial properties to productive uses and to concentrating our limited city resources in one area to produce noticeable change. The census tracts selected are two of the worst in the city for poverty and property values and vacancy.

The idea was to use the CRA as one tool to stimulate renovation of the census tract areas for productive re-use. Recruiting Cincinnati State and putting the Thatcher buildings back into play was also part of that thought process.

The focus on one area was based mostly on the city having limited resources coming out of the recession and therefore trying to truly create change in one area instead of shotgunning small parts all over town that wouldn't be collectively noticeable.

That was the idea and why it was limited to a narrow area of town.
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Douglas Adkins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Douglas Adkins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 19 2016 at 3:46pm
Emergency legislation varies from government to government. We'll have to just keep plugging along here to build trust over time.

I've told Council that I intend to operate at the speed of business where it matters to our employers. We've been called not business friendly for years, so this is one way to help them. There are a lot of times when businesses or prospective businesses need something much faster than 60 days (Two readings one month and then 30 more days to become effective). If that's what they need, then I will be responsive where I can.

Other Governments often put short notices on us that require Emergency passage to meet their timing requirements.

Grants for projects often open, have a one month application period, and then they are over for consideration. Waiting the additional 30 days puts us out beyond the ability to apply.

And then you have items like the Cincinnati Bell contract and the Fire equipment, where taking them as emergencies save taxpayer dollars.

And finally, sometimes we screw up and timelines get tight because we waited too long to get it on the council agenda and now timing is a problem that we've created as a city.

We can be less responsive to business, not apply for grants and not save taxpayer dollars, but that seems counterproductive to me.

The staff reports should spell out why emergency legislation is requested.
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