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.
*[All council members were present except Paul Palumbo; also present were Mayor Ray McFall, Clerk-Treasurer Carol Zeman, Engineer Steve Schreiber & Deputy Solicitor Ed Muse (sitting in for Solicitor Russ Pry).]
*[Clerk-Treasurer Zeman noted a few minor corrections in the minutes, which were accepted by Council. The minutes were then approved.]
*[C-T Carol Zeman noted that the Village Hall has the phone number to obtain information on
FEMA disaster relief related to the
recent flooding: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY only). Low-income grants and
low-interest loans may be available to victims of the flooding.
(Click here for more information.)
Also available at the Village Hall is the
county form to request reduction in property taxes
due to destruction of "real property" in the flooding -- that is, structures,
but not personal property.
Mayor McFall added that this information would also be included in the next Boston Heights Report newsletter mailing from the Village.]
*[Mayor McFall noted the upcoming Fire Department Clambake, on 20 September (6PM?). Tickets are available from the Village Hall or any Village firefighter.]
*[The Mayor also read a letter from a recent visitor to the village, commending the Village police and EMS response to her medical emergency while at the Comfort Inn. The letter is posted at the Village Hall.]
*[Engineer Steve Schreiber noted his attendance at a recent workshop on Community Development Programs, given by the Ohio State University Extension. He mentioned that Summit County was otherwise very thinly represented. Details to follow as the OSU-ES develops their programs further.]
*[Engineer Schreiber also noted his receipt of information from Mr. H. Jay Koralewski of the Ohio Rural Water Assocation, as promised by Congressman LaTourette's office last month. Unfortunately, the possible sources of grant money for water supply projects have all been explored already, to no avail. The Engineer did note that a HUD grant might be possible, which would help -- but not come near financing the water mains project in the northwest of the Village.]
*[The Engineer also noted further work on alleviation of future flooding along W. Hines Hill Road and in the Wooded View subdivision. (See below for more on this.) He has also determined that parts of Wooded View had not been constructed according to the original plans, including placement of a culvert in a swale on private property. He does not yet have any conclusions on what to do about this.]
*[Finally, Engineer Schreiber stated that Karvo Paving had begun work on Olde 8 Road and on Brandywine, and then had broken off to continue work elsewhere. He expected to see them return to the Village's paving jobs shortly.]
*[Mr. Bill Hinkle, of 420 E. Boston Mills Rd., asked for an update on the proposed
Army Reserve Center. Mayor McFall replied that,
according to Congressman LaTourette's office, the Center will be located in Twinsburg, across
from the Chrysler Plant on Route 82. He had no information on the details of any land swap.]
*[Mr. Hinkle also asked whether the village participated in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes flood insurance available. A definitive answer did not seem to be available. Engineer Schreiber did note that areas along Brandywine Creek comprised most of the floodplain within the Village.
(Note: further research shows that Boston Heights does indeed participate in the program, CID #390749 -- current map c. 1981.]
*[Ms. Mary Griffiths, of 7416 Olde Eight Rd., asked whether the Village had landscaping requirements in its zoning code. Councilor Mike Cheung replied that specific requirements for landscaping could conceivably be added to the code. Solicitor Ed Muse noted that the code did have general requirements already (very general, though: see Zoning Code 1157.09). Dr. Cheung agreed with Ms. Griffiths that further landscaping requirements might be a good idea.
Ms. Griffiths also complained about road chunks in her yard, from the road repairs underway; Engineer Schreiber said he'd have it looked into.]
*[Mr. Richard Herbig, of 7711 Brandywine Rd., engaged the Council in a debate over the proposed income tax increase (see last month's Ordinance 13-2003).
... Mr. Herbig asked who was responsible for the idea of the 1/2% income tax increase; the Mayor replied that it was by agreement of all of the Council.
... Mr. Herbig asked whether the Village was currently "in the red or the black" C-T Zeman and Mayor McFall replied "in the black"; that is, current expenses do not exceed receipts.
... Mr. Herbig asked what capital projects the Village had in mind, given that the tax increase was to be earmarked for this purpose. Councilor Cheung mentioned a lack of matching funds, required for the Village to receive, or even apply for, grants and other funding for large capital projects. Dr. Cheung also noted that the current road repair projects already were outstripping the income from the Road Levy, and that the Village was borrowing (at current low interest rates) against several future years of income from that levy. Further road repair funds would then have to be obtained from income tax, further road levies, or even assessment of property owners (Dr. Cheung felt this might be unfair given that so many village residents lived on thoroughfares). He also noted increased requirements for expenditures like police and road maintenance equipment.
... Mr. Herbig asked for clarification on whether property taxes paid for road repairs; ... Dr. Cheung said "yes, through the Road Levy".
... Engineer Schreiber also mentioned the upcoming repairs needed on the Akron-Cleveland Road bridge, where the Village would likely have to come up with around $100,000 to match further federal funding for this $1.3M project.
... In response to futher questions, C-T Zeman stated that the tax increase was expected to bring in an additional $130,000 per year. Mr. Herbig noted that the income tax rate had doubled in the last five years; he ascertained that most of the Council members paid at least some income tax to the Village now. Mr. Herbig also noted that property taxes had recently increased for many residents, including him. There followed a great deal of discussion wherein it was noted that most new income from property tax increases goes to the school districts. Ms. Zeman stated that the Village nonetheless realized very little additional money from these increases (mostly due to the so-called "inside millage"; click here for current property tax rates).
... Mrs. Jane Robinson, of Olde 8 Road, noted that her property taxes also increased markedly, but she did not think the village was realizing much more money from this increase.
... Engineer Schreiber, and Councilors Bill Goncy and Dr. Cheung, reiterated the points mentioned above, and pointed out the safety and liability issues that would crop up if roads were not repaired and maintained properly.
... Mr. Herbig concluded by stating that he felt that the 1/2% increase in the income tax was not justified, as it would bring in only $130,000 per year, and that the Council should "get creative" about village finances rather than just taxing the people at ever-higher rates.
... Mr. Chuck Robinson, of Olde 8 Road, stated that he paid 2% local income tax elsewhere for many years, and that the Village was "lucky" to only have a 1.5% rate (for now).
... Mr. Joe Rock suggested that the village might generate funds by operating a "par 3" golf course on the (former) site of the proposed Army base at Hines Hill and Olde 8. Mayor McFall replied that "land is very expensive".
... Mrs. Sandra Buckey, of 160 W. Hines Hill Road, remarked on the recent improvement in her ongoing problem with flooding, thanks to the efforts of the village road crews. She felt that the tax rates were worthwhile for the services provided.
*[Further to Mrs. Buckey's comments about the Hines Hill Road flooding, Mayor McFall mentioned that yet another culvert blockage was found, cemented into a storm sewer vault, and since removed. There was some chuckling at this among the Council, causing Ms. Doris Beufait, of 220 Hines Hill Road, to reprove them -- and ask what the Village was going to do about this. Solicitor Ed Muse stated that the source of this, and other blockages in the area, is being looked into as a matter of legal liability. Councilor Cheung added that the Village would be glad to get any eyewitness reports of past excavation in the area.
[Approved as Resolution 20-2003]
A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE BID OF KARVO PAVING FOR THE PURPOSE OF ROADWORK ON COLESBROOK DRIVE FROM ELBOW (NORBURY) TO CUL-DE-SAC.
[Karvo's bid was for $176,580.50.
[Approved as Resolution 21-2003]
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CLERK-TREASURER OF THE VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS FOR ROADWORK (SHOOT AND CHIP) ON SHOLLE DRIVE, GRANDVIEW, BEVERLY, WOLCOTT AND RICHARD.
[Approved as Resolution 22-2003]
A RESOLUTION ADOPTING A DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE POLICY FOR THE EMPLOYEES OF THE VILLAGE OF BOSTON HEIGHTS.
[C-T Carol Zeman explained that this was a response to the state Worker's Compensation program requirements, and would provide a 20% savings in rates. She emphasized that there was no current problem of this sort among the village staff. Councilor Goncy added that this sort of program was common among larger companies nowadays.]
*[Councilor Mike Cheung reported on the Planning Commission
and Board of Zoning Appeals meeting of 6 August 2003, noting especially the
"protracted discussion" on a
commercial development proposed by Omni Realty
for Hines Hill Road and Boston Mills Road, east of Route 8. He noted that the next meeting would
be on 3 September 2003.]
*[Councilor Cheung did not make his usual statement about review of the village's financial statements.]
*[Council P-PT Bill Goncy stated that he had reviewed the Mayor's Court reconciliation for June 2003, and had just received the July information. He did not make his usual statement about review of the Village's bank reconciliations.]
*[Councilor Terry Slane did not make her usual statement about review of the Village's expenditures.]
*[Councilor Jim Hudson reported that the Road Department had had a busy July, due to the severe storms and flooding. Besides cleaning up storm damage and flooding problems, the crews performed the usual maintenance on the cemetery, park and village facilities.]
*[Councilor Bill Goncy made a little speech urging consideration of the Omni development
proposal noted above and elsewhere.
He felt that Omni was allowing for "input from the Village" instead of offering the
"usual take-it-or-leave-it" proposal. Mr. Goncy characterized the proposal as
"positive" for the Village's finances, and thought that Council should consider it favorably.]
*[Engineer Steve Schreiber stated that he had given "work agreement" forms to Mr. Mike Bush (the president of the Ashbrooke West Homeowner's Association), so that permission could be obtained to rework private driveways in the area of the upcoming road work on Colesbrooke Drive. Mr. Schreiber noted that if an agreement was not provided, a homeowner's driveway would not be sculpted to the new roadway level and would have a severe slope at the property line.]
*[Mayor Ray McFall reiterated that FEMA forms were available at the Village Hall.]
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