Before legislation at City Council’s Aug. 22 meeting, city officials entered executive session to discuss pending court action involving the Westmoor sanitary sewer project, as well as a collective bargaining strategy for upcoming union negotiations.
The meeting resumed 25 minutes later and council had 14 items of legislation to consider.
Ordinance 2016-67 approved a Community Reinvestment Area agreement with Rensko Holdings, LLC, based in Westerville. The CRA Housing Council previously authorized Rensko’s request for tax abatement to build a quick service restaurant.
“The project is for Tim Horton’s. This is an opportunity for the city to encourage some investment,” City Councilman Bill Comerford said.
More specifically, the company intends to invest $1.3 million in the construction of a 1,985 square foot building at 815 Harding Way West. It is expected to create 35 full-time and part-time positions.
The abatement will result in reductions in real property tax of 50 percent for 15 years. The legislation passed unanimously as an emergency reading.
Several other items were appropriation transfers.
Ordinance 2016-63 approved a transfer of $12,000 for the Health Department. Health Commissioner Trish Factor explained the additional funds will be used to purchase more meningitis and Tdap vaccines, which all seventh and twelfth graders are now mandated by the state to receive.
“We will get back more than that in revenue,” Factor added, noting vaccinations are covered by most insurance providers and Medicare and Medicaid. The Health Department scheduled several additional vaccination clinics in order to meet the demand, but Factor said they will be out of the vaccine by Friday’s clinic.
Additional vaccines for human papillomavirus (HPV) will also be purchased. Factor credited an uptick in patients returning for the second and third shots in the series as the reason more vaccines are needed.
The legislation passed unanimously as an emergency reading.
Ordinance 2016-64 approved several transfers within the budget of the mayor’s office into contractual services:• $6,990 from furniture/equipment• $20,000 from salaries and wages• $2,000 from PERS• $2,000 from Workers Compensation• $16,000 from unappropriated funds
Mayor Tom O’Leary said the transfers into contractual services will be used to cover consultant fees for various projects, including the Tax Increment Financing that is being used to fund the infrastructure for the Sleep Inn hotel and the leasing of the South Street Commerce Center.
Three additional transfers listed in the legislation will be used to cover utility costs and building maintenance costs at the South Street Commerce Center.• $60,000 from unappropriated funds to contractual services/utilities• $10,000 from unappropriated funds to contractual services/maintenance and repair• $7,000 from unappropriated funds to contractual services/insurance
“We should see about $90,000 in revenue over expenses at the end of the year,” O’Leary said, referring to rental income generated from leasing the building. “Moving forward, this would be a great asset for a port authority to manage.”
Ordinance 2016-70 authorized a Vactor Jet Truck purchase through the State Purchasing Program, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016. The equipment is a multi-purpose tool used by the Service Department to jet the sewer lines, and used by the Electric Line Department to excavate around electric poles.
The truck purchase was made earlier this year at a cost of $334,224. While it was adopted in the 2016 budget, City Council did not approve legislation to specifically authorize the purchase.
City Auditor Brian Treisch explained this was an oversight of his office. Council members Susan Bean and Jim Hedges voiced their concerns about the breakdown in procedure. Law Director Thomas Palmer advised that council authorization for the purchase was still required under Ohio law.
The legislation passed 4-3 as a first reading, with Bean, Hedges and Councilman Gail Baldinger dissenting.
Resolution 2016-13 was a then and now certificate for $3,500 to pay GMC Excavating. The contractor performed the excavation portion of the work that was part of several home demolitions done through the Community Development Block Grant program.
Four blighted homes were demolished using the grant funds:• 216-220 North Market Street• 320 East Church Street• 401 Fairview Avenue• 239 Olentangy Court
The resolution passed unanimously as an emergency.
Ordinance 2016-73 was a re-appropriation of $100,000 for contractor payment for the Portland Way South reconstruction project completed earlier this year. Treisch said a purchase order was closed by mistake, and the re-appropriation was necessary to close out payment for the project. It was not an increase in appropriations.