The Council of the City of Cortland met in regular session on Monday, February 7, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. with Council President Stocz presiding. Members of Council present were Dennis Linville, Deidre Petrosky, Kevin Piros, Diana Sweeney, Terry Tackett and James Woofter. Also present at the meeting were Mayor Moll, Law Director Wilson, Service Director Wittman, Finance Director Moyer, Fire Chief Novakovich.
A motion to approve council minutes from the Jan. 18, 2011 meeting was made by Councilman Piros and seconded by Councilman Woofter. ROLL CALL - Woofter, aye; Linville, aye; Petrosky, aye; Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye. MOTION PASSED.
A motion to approve payment of bills totaling $109,090.68 was made by Councilman Woofter and seconded by Councilwoman Petrosky. ROLL CALL - Petrosky, aye; Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye; Linville, aye. MOTION PASSED.
RESOLUTION R-06-11 - a resolution requesting the Auditor of Trumbull County, State of Ohio, to advance the amount of $200,000.00 collected thru real estate tax, March settlement for use in the Police Levy Fund of the City of Cortland, Ohio was read and moved by Councilman Piros, and seconded by Councilman Tackett. ROLL CALL - Petrosky, aye; Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye; Linville, aye. MOTION PASSED
RESOLUTION R-07-11 - a resolution requesting the Auditor of Trumbull County State of Ohio, to advance the amount of $200,000.00 collected thru real estate tax, March settlement for use in the Fire Levy Fund of the city of Cortland, Ohio was read and moved by Councilman Woofter, and seconded by Councilwoman Petrosky. ROLL CALL - Linville, aye; Petrosky, aye; Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye. MOTION PASSED
RESOLUTION R-08-11 - a resolution requesting the Auditor of Trumbull County State of Ohio, to advance the amount of $200,000.00 collected thru real estate tax, March settlement for use in the General Fund of the City of Cortland, Ohio was read and moved by Councilman Piros and seconded by Councilwoman Petrosky. ROLL CALL - Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye; Linville, aye; Petrosky, aye. MOTION PASSED
ORDINANCE 0-03-11 - an ordinance authorizing the City to purchase a utility easement for water system improvements along 105 East Main Street was read and moved by Councilman Woofter and seconded by Councilwoman Petrosky. A motion to suspend the rules was made by Councilman Piros and seconded by Councilman Woofter.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - How did you, what sort of formula did you use to determine the price on that.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - There is a guidance manual published by the Trumbull County Planning Commission that establishes a formula for calculating easements, and what happens when a government agency acquires property. So I followed that procedure and it was based on 50% of the value of the property.
Feb. 7, 2011
ROLL CALL ON SUSPENSION OF RULES 0-03-11 - Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye; Linville, aye; Petrosky, aye; Piros, aye. ROLL CALL ON 0-03-11 - Petrosky, aye; Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye; Linville, aye. ORDINANCE PASSED IN EMERGENCY.
ORDINANCE 0-04-11 - an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract with MS Consultants for construction administration and inspection of the North Wellfield Interconnect Project was read and moved for first reading by Councilwoman Petrosky and seconded by Councilman Piros. ROLL CALL - Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye; Linville, aye; Petrosky, aye. ORDINANCE PASSED FIRST READING
ORDINANCE 0-05-11 - an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract with MS Consultants for construction administration and inspection of the Stahl Estates Storm Sewer Improvement Project was read and moved for first reading by Councilman Woofter and seconded by Councilman Linville. ROLL CALL - Linville, aye; Petrosky, aye; Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye. ORDINANCE PASSED FIRST READING.
ORDINANCE 0-06-11 - an ordinance authorizing Advanced Land Measurement, Inc. to perform professional surveying services for the development of a new recreation area in cooperation with Trumbull County Metroparks was read and moved for first reading by Councilman Woofter and seconded by Councilwoman Petrosky.
COUNCILMAN LINVILLE - Where is this money coming from
MAYOR - It will come from the parks fund.
FINANCE DIRECTOR - The new park and recreation fund that we created.
MAYOR - We budgeted regularly out of the general fund for the last six years, enough money to do this survey, we have just kept putting if off and putting it off.
COUNCILMAN LINVILLE - Is the metroparks paying any of this.
MAYOR - Not for this. They went through the negotiation of the lease and they did a lot of in kind of contributions to this point. Since they don't have any money we thought we ought to take this. I don't feel that we are being unfairly treated in any way, they did a lot of work on this
COUNCILMAN PIROS - In one of the previous meetings we talked about what obligations the City would have as far as monetary and I thought there was no obligations.
MAYOR - In the lease itself there are no obligations. We said at that point that we would bring any expenditures to Council for approval.
COUNCILMAN PIROS - And if we didn't approve it what would happen?
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MAYOR - We wouldn't do the survey. We wouldn't start the project.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - This is the first step in proceeding with the identified phases of work that the DNR, the City and Metroparks have put together in a working plan that has been ongoing for three or four years now. Metroparks stepped up to become the signatory on the lease agreement just because the City didn't have the time or the resources to keep the ball rolling. This is something that we have been discussing for quite a while. The metroparks is going to be the lead agency, administrator of that lease and we are going to help facilitate the development of the park in any way that we can.
COUNCILMAN TACKETT - Have they committed any money at all
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Not at this point.
MAYOR - Not directly. They do have a full time employee which helps us out quite a bit. We don't have any employees in the parks department.
COUNCILMAN TACKETT - If we're going to fund the whole thing why don't we just do it on our own.
MAYOR - No, we're not funding the whole thing.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - They are going to be able as a metropark to go out and utilize the entire population of Trumbull County to secure grants.
COUNCILMAN PIROS - For the development of the property.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Yes, much like the other regional parks that the metroparks maintains throughout the county, the township or city in which it is located provides a lot of assistance with the maintenance of that. Like Champion has a large role with the disc park.
COUNCILMAN PIROS - So that grant money would be for installing the driveway, parking lot.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Yes. I discussed this with the parks board chairman Dave Christner, and unfortunately he could not make it here this evening, and he is going to discuss it at the next park board meeting having a work session with council to discuss the scope of the plan and the city's role and ultimately how we want to proceed with this for the citizens of Cortland.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - Do we have any idea financially what this cost might be.
SERVICE DIRECTOR- Just ballpark numbers, and I am not sure what they are at this point.
MAYOR - But we are able to scale to a great extent.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - And we are doing it through phases. So as money becomes available, as we secure grants, and money becomes available. And if becomes too exorbitant then we will stop at phase one which is a sled hill.
MAYOR - Access road, sled hill and parking. I don't see, the rest of the park is pretty much passive kinds of activities so there will be additional hiking trails, things like that that the county will be working on as well. We don't have any commitment to any kind of facilities, outside of the sled hill.
COUNCILWOMAN PETROSKY - It's nowhere near the comprehensive plan that at one time we were looking at with ball fields and all that kind of stuff. And at that time the projected maintenance figures were like $100,000 per year. The reason that we didn't go with that is because we couldn't afford that without putting on like a specific park levy to fund it. This has been scaled back so that it is passive, and the maintenance requirements will be substantially less.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - Having been on council at the time we were making those discussions that is probably one of the reasons you see me bring up these questions this time because obviously there is a fear factor here with me. How big is this plan.
MAYOR - At this point it is no bigger than council wants to make it.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - It is definitely scaled back from what we originally
MAYOR- Yes. Nothing like that.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - Now you know why I am so apprehensive.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - So were we when we were developing it. We learned from past lessons.
ROLL CALL ON 0-06-11 - Woofter, aye; Linville, aye; Petrosky, aye; Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye. ORDINANCE PASSED FIRST READING
ORDINANCE 0-07-11 - an ordinance authorizing the Service Director to purchase a Gap Vax MC series combination jet/vacuum machine was read and moved for first reading by Councilman Woofter and seconded by Councilman Piros.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - This is to replace that truck that we currently have now. The vactor truck. Is there a truck involved with this?
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Yes.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - It doesn't say what chassis it is on or anything so, does this figure include the chassis, drive train and all of that?
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Yes. The figure is a complete unit delivered to replace the green vactor truck that we currently operate to maintain storm sewer and sanitary systems with. This is a new machine. We are still working out the details. That is not the final cost, but it won't be any higher than that amount. It is within $10,000 depending on whether we would go with a single axle or dual axle chassis. It has a stainless steel tank, a blower capable to vacuum debris out of manholes. Just basically so that we can do the maintenance of our storm system.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - What will this do, other than it is newer, does it perform different functions than the one we currently have.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Essentially it is going to perform the same role. It's just with the stainless steel tanks it will last significantly longer.
MAYOR - Did you say there was a disinfection capability with this one as opposed to the other one.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - I don't think so.
MAYOR - We talked about using it on the sanitary sewers.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Currently we will use the vactor, for general cleaning of sanitary sewers we use the tow behind O'Brien flusher. If we are in a clog situation that's when the high pressure vacuum comes out and we use that. If we have to do root cutting and need a higher pressure flushing. For routine flushing we will still use the small O'Brien flusher. This is the vactor that the majority of the time is spent on storm sewers flushing out grit and debris. It would have been more pro-active looking at the storm system prior to the paving program to see what needs to be replaced. Additionally, this piece of equipment we will be able to operate 365 days a year because you can purge the lines with air and there is not a freezing factor. Currently now, once we get into below freezing scenarios, we are only bring the vactor out in emergency situations because it is going to freeze up.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - What chassis is this sitting on. Is it Ford, Chevy, what?
SERVICE DIRECTOR - At this point I am going to defer to Brian Cohen who is here and is a representative of M Tech.
BRIAN COHEN - It is an international chassis.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - And this is brand new
SERVICE DIRECTOR - That is to be determined at this point. We are looking at a new truck option as well as a demo.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - How old it the one we are currently using.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Currently the one we have now is a 1991.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY- Did we buy that used?
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SERVICE DIRECTOR - We bought that used from Boardman Township. And we had been looking around at used vactors and looked at going that route, I'm not sure if that was purchased, possibly ten years ago, but there has been significant maintenance costs to keep this thing running.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - That was my next question. What is the average life expectancy on a truck like this.
BRIAN COHEN - We warranty the tank, the reason we use stainless steel is so we can get a whole twenty years out of the trucks. And the whole back end the warranty on the water debris tanks is twenty years.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - So we should be looking at maybe at least twenty years
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Twenty years under warranty and then projecting that it is going to last even longer with less maintenance.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Are you putting a twenty year warranty on the chassis
BRIAN COHEN - No on the water debris tanks themselves. The debris tank takes such a big beating when you are storm sewer and bricks get sucked up it just pounds on those back tanks, so the most expensive part is the tanks. That is why they are stainless steel and why they are under warranty that long. We are the only people that make one with stainless steel. I think the chassis is an international 7500. The chassis warranty would be through them
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - So it is up to us to maintain that part.
BRIAN COHEN - In terms of maintaining the international, any warranty can come right through us back at the dealership in Cleveland, or if there is an international dealership out here, whichever is easier.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Where is this made at?
BRIAN COHEN - Johnstown PA.
COUNCILMAN PIROS - Any plans for the old one?
SERVICE DIRECTOR - That cost does include a trade-in
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - What are you giving us for it $500?
BRIAN COHEN - I don't have it with me. I believe $10,000
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Depending on what option we are going with the trade-in value varies as far as incentives. This item was budgeted for last year. We spent last year and first part of this year
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looking at trucks and getting to a comfort level that we are going with a piece of equipment that will service the needs as well as last through my tenure.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Does this come out of water and sewer?
MAYOR - Water sewer, general.
SERVICE DIRECTOR -Water sewer, a small portion out of the water fund, because we do use it for backing up boxes, and hydro excavating waterlines and things of that nature.
MAYOR - If you've seen it out where the water breaks are that's when they use it.
COUNCILMAN TACKETT- Now is the other vehicle, the one we are replacing, is it mechanically unfit, or is it the tank itself or the vacuum.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - It's the tank itself, it's the blowers, the water end, they have been replaced and repaired and are continuing breaking down. It is a dangerous piece of equipment that you don't want to have in that state of disrepair. Last year there was an article about some Mahoning County sanitary engineer workers had a nozzle come out and strike them in the chest and they ended up being hospitalized. So it is a very dangerous piece of equipment that you need to have working properly.
COUNCILMAN TACKETT - Is this a case of maybe we could replace the tank and keep the chassis, and replace that part of it, the tank, the vacuum and all of that. I'm sure you could just buy a tank.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - The cost is not in the truck itself, the cost is predominantly the tank and blower and the equipment. So you get so many hours on these pumps that where it is not just a simple as replacing one part and then you having a new one. It's not feasible to do that.
COUNCILMAN TACKETT - Just on a time limit do we have to OK this, I would rather see a breakdown, how much is the truck chassis and everything else.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - I have all that information.
MAYOR - This is three readings, it's not an emergency.
COUNCILMAN TACKETT - I know but I would just like to have more information.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - I can scan the quotes and the breakdown and I can e mail them out to council.
COUNCILMAN PIROS - There is no grant or anything we can go after to recoup some of this.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Typically not with equipment. That is more geared toward the police and fire departments. Our grants come through capital improvement projects.
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COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - You said this was budgeted in last year's budget, so it won't have anything to do with this year's current budget.
MAYOR - We didn't spend it last year so it carried over.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - It will still have to be appropriated. It was something that we have been saving and planning to do, to replenish our fleet of vehicles that the service department needs to function.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - So the money is there for it and we don't have to go out, we don't have to go to Middlefield Bank and borrow it.
MAYOR - No we're not going to borrow the money.
FINANCE DIRECTOR - No, the money is definitely there.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - If you want to, we would always have some lease options but you would be paying interest. The money markets, we're not getting a lot of return on our money, so we would end up paying more in interest. It is not like it was five years ago.
COUNCIL PRESIDENT STOCZ - It might be a good idea if you do mail out to the council members any information that might help us evaluate the whole thing and probably expedite the discussion at the next meeting.
ROLL CALL ON 0-07-11 - Petrosky, aye; Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye; Linville, aye. ORDINANCE PASSED FIRST READING
MAYOR - First I would like to welcome the students. It's always nice to see students here. If you need additional information, if you picked up the agenda, at the top of the agenda is our website you can go no there and see things like the proper spelling of council members names and stuff like that. So that may be helpful and we would like you to come back to any of our meetings at anytime. They are always open to the public. One item that was on the agenda for this evening and I pulled if off because I would really like to have a discussion in a finance committee meeting to make sure this is exactly what we want to do before I bring it to council. We have available from estate taxes which was our original plan to transfer it to the parks and recreation fund $149,270 and some odd change, so I would like to have a meeting of the finance committee to discuss what we want to do with that money. Put some restrictions, or part of that money away because it certainly is a large amount of money. It is a windfall to the City and it is something that we certainly can't count on in the future. We do get some every year, so I would really like to talk about our strategy. If we could have a finance committee meeting to talk about that. In addition I would also like to have some discussion probably at that meeting and technical review a request that was made by the booster club to accommodate their needs for watering the new football field. The booster club is putting in a new football field. They will be starting in March so they have some things they have asked us to do. I would like to have a meeting to discuss this as well. They are
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not asking not to pay for the water but they would like some accommodations made. We will bring that up at both the finance committee meeting and the technical review.
FINANCE DIRECTOR'S REPORT
FINANCE DIRECTOR - You all received a copy of my annual report in your packets. I will be filing copies of the resolutions we passed tonight with the County so that was can get our tax dollars into the City coffers as early as allowable. I am in the process of distributing to the department heads the work papers to start on appropriations. We should have tentative figures in the works by next meeting, and the plan would be to put the appropriation ordinance itself on the agenda for the first meeting in March as first reading with the emergency clause in place so that it could be passed at the second meeting in emergency because it has to be filed by the end of March. So we are on track with that.
COUNCIL PRESIDENT STOCZ - No questions but I would like to compliment you on an excellent, outstanding report. The City is in good financial shape and of course the taxpayers are always eager to hear such good news. Well done Fran.
FIRE CHIEF'S REPORT
FIRE CHIEF - I believe your annual report was in your packets. The January report will be at next meeting. We are currently involved with multiple educational programs. We just finished up advanced cardiac life support, actually three of them refreshers, currently in the process of three pediatric advanced life support refresher classes, a paramedic refresher and a basic refresher. In our spare time we are running ambulance calls at a greater rate than last year so we have been keeping busy.
SERVICE DIRECTOR'S REPORT
SERVICE DIRECTOR - My annual report was not in the packets. I know I promised it last meeting, I will have that by the next meeting. You have the quarterly report, this is basically just a summary of the projects and things that were completed in the service department last year. Just want to touch on the two ordinances that were passed in first reading this evening for the construction administration and inspection services. Both of those projects are even though they are named separately, they are bid under one contract. There are two scopes of work that are going to be completed. That is why we are going with the same engineering firm on that because there is going to be overlap within the project area. Had to keep them named separately because of the funding sources. That project is scheduled to have a bid opening on February 23. Project cost estimate is a little over $700,000. Storm sewer and waterline replacements, the majority which is through the OPWC grant and loan program.
COUNCILMAN PIROS - The one has OPWC funding and the other one does not break out any.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Correct. The loan OPWC will be paying the contractor directly and then we will be paying that off over a twenty year period.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Have you driven around town much. The roads are really taking a beating this year because of the weather.
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MAYOR - Mostly Heritage Lane.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Yes. There are a lot of roads that are really heaving up and I'm sure once we get through this winter and things thaw out the roads will settle down and we will see what's left. I am concerned about how the roads are going to be this year, what our budget is going to be for the roads.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - We can't really make that assessment until spring thaw and go out and take a look at the roadways. I don't see us expanding the resurfacing program. If anything we may have to do some spot repairs where there has been sub base failure and some issues have come to light. Just some patching and pothole repair. I know they were out today patching some potholes that have developed. It's just the northeast Ohio freeze thaw cycle that we get in January and February.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - Is Heritage Lane really in bad shape.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - It's horrible.
MAYOR - It's gotten to be like a test track.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - You can't even drive down the right side of it.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - That's what I had heard. I called Don about it because I talked to a lady about something totally different and those were the first words out of her mouth. Forget what I call for.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - It just happened all of a sudden too like just inside of a week it happened. It's like a roller coaster.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Yes when it was super cold and then it got warm and water got into the sub base and then it froze again.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - But that's not the only road, there are several roads that are in that kind of situation. I'm just concerned about it.
MAYOR - That's on the list.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Heritage. I don't think so. I thought we were holding off on that until we replace the storm sewers.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Yes. There is a grant project through Ohio Public Works to install curb and storm and resurface the roadway curb to curb on Emerson and Heritage.
COUNCILMAN SWEENEY - You have no idea when that will come through right.
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SERVICE DIRECTOR - I have a start date I believe of next July.
MAYOR - So a year from this July.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - It will be next year.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Well Heritage is going to be in really bad condition.
COUNCILWOMAN SWEENEY - Can you patch it.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - It is beyond patching.
MAYOR - Well you need to wait
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - That's digging up and replacing roads.
MAYOR - We need to wait until it warms up. It may level off, and it may be gravel by then.
COUNCIL PRESIDENT STOCZ - It is really difficult to assess the damage in the winter time, so Don can keep an eye on that.
COUNCILWOMAN PETROSKY - The communications committee is continuing to work on website proposals. Prior to the next meeting on Feb. 22nd, that's a Tuesday, we're going to have a go to meeting, a video meeting with Civic Plus at 5:45 if they are available.
The next meeting of council will be scheduled for Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
SAM LAMANCUSA - A little bit about Sam Lamancusa he was born in Girard Ohio, he was raised by a politician, however you pronounce my name is correct. We're not going to take up too much time. The record for this presentation is sixteen minutes, the longest one was forty nine minutes. Let's get the sixteen minute program. The forty nine minute program was caused by questions. Please don't be afraid to ask questions. The sixteen minute was caused by there was a bunch of young kids in the room and I got nervous and I went really fast. I'm here tonight to talk about the Trumbull County Land Utilization Corporation. What it is back in 2009 the state, the general assembly, created legislation that enables us to create the Trumbull County Land Utilization Corporation which creates the Trumbull County Land Bank. When they were creating this legislation they were talking about just one place Cuyahoga County. Cuyahoga County contacted me personally, the former treasurer up there, and he only became former because, he wasn't one of those guys that got indicted, he just lost his job through charter government and chose to go on to bigger and better things. Jim Macklakis contacted me and said Sam I need help down at the legislature. Because I come from Cuyahoga County they are a little mistrusting and this legislation is going to nothing but help you. So get on down here. I went down and spoke on behalf of it. Couple of congressmen contacted me and said how come it isn't rolling yet because you spoke on behalf of it. We got rolling on it, what happened was originally they only wanted to give it to
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Cuyahoga County and we asked them and they amended it to the sixty largest counties in the state. So of the eighty eight counties, sixty counties are allowed to have it. What the land reutilization corporation does, it has been created in conjunction with my office and the prosecutor's office and this program creates the land bank. Every elected official that I work with day to day has dedicated complete support to the program. We are only the third one to establish. Cuyahoga was first, Lucas County beat me to the creation by about five weeks, and now ours. As we speak today, ours went into place the week after thanksgiving and we are the last one created. Very simply mission statement, basic thing that we want this program to do is help the county eliminate any blight situations that we have. I think there only a few people here that truly know me I grew up in Girard Ohio, parents owned the neighborhood grocery store, and any time you own a neighborhood grocery store any amount of time you end up in politics. I used to be able to walk out of that neighborhood grocery store and walk five blocks any way and could stop at anybody's house and eat dinner, get my butt smacked for going into someone's garden that I wasn't supposed to go in, anything that I wanted to do in that five block area I could do. But we are losing our neighborhoods and we know that. And we don't want that to happen. That's what got me excited about the land reutilization program and the land bank. The basic mission statement that I asked my staff to create was to help Trumbull County regain a quality of life. That is basically the mission statement and that is what this program is intended to do and that is what we are going make it do. The reason I am here tonight is this is a county wide project. A lot of people think that a land bank is just about the largest city in the county, the largest township in the county, that's not true. This is here for the entire county. A lot of people thought that we were not going to have a land bank that Sam Lamancusa did not want to have a land bank. A lot of press thought we weren't going to have a land bank, Sam Lamancusa did not want to have a land bank. That's not true at all what Sam Lamancusa wanted to make sure happened was, when this thing got rolling, when we got started with it, that everybody was aware that it was available to the entire county. Not just select areas of the county. The City of Warren is going to get a lot of attention. I would be lying to you if I told you different. I have six thousand vacant parcels in the City of Warren. And I say I, I don't know if anybody noticed that, I didn't say the City of Warren has six thousand vacant parcels, I said I have six thousand vacant parcels because of that title that comes with my name. Trumbull County Treasurer. I collect on real estate taxes and right now I now that there are six thousand parcels in Warren that aren't going to be paying their bill this year. That is why this program is here and that is what this program is about. It is going to involve every city township and village. It is going to involve everybody. The priorities for property use in this program and neighborhood reutilization, affordable home ownership. This horrible thing called predatory lending that has caused me to be in this nightmare, it is going to go away. We are going to make it go away because we are going to create affordable home ownership, return property to tax paying status. That's only fair to you folks. Everybody in this room pays their tax bill. For me to get all of this property back on the tax ledgers, this program is established to do that, and that's fair to you folks. Land for economic development we spoke tonight, you spoke tonight about a park project, perhaps there is a tract of property here in the city that has an issue that needs to be looked at. All I need contacted by is your wonderful service director, you should be proud of your service director. I've been on the road now for six weeks and this is one of the best meetings I have attended. You should all be proud of yourselves. One of the best attended meetings I've been to public wise too. Usually only two people get to hear me. You folks should be proud of your community. You kids keep it up, don't think that every night is like this, it long and everything, but this is what it is all about. Get involved in your community, help your community, and you will live in a very successful community. I can see that
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happening here now. If we end up with a tract of land that we need and it has a delinquency, it has issues involved, the mayor contacts me, the council contacts me, the service director contact me, because this is about Cortland. This is Cortland, I'm sorry but when you make seventeen appearances in fourteen days sometimes you get a little lost. The only reason I am correcting myself is I kept saying McDonald in Howland a couple of nights ago, and they weren't happy. Long term banking of properties for future strategic use. The bill requires that to be in there. I am not too thrilled about that. Why I'm not too thrilled about it is, I don't want anyone in this room to think I am going to take parcels, I'm going to put them in here, and they are going to sit in there for fifteen years and nothing is going to happen to them. If I seize a parcel through the foreclosure program that paces it into the land bank, I'm seizing it with the understanding that in sixteen months it is going to be in somebody's ownership or it's going to be in a city a village or township for use by them. I don't want to become a land czar. I don't want to own all kinds of situations and all kinds of problems. But the code that created this mandated that I have long term banking. It doesn't mean that I have to keep property in long term banking just that I have to have it as an option. The biggie on the bottom here provision for financial resources for operating the functions of the land bank. Currently when we foreclose on something all I am allowed under Ohio Revised Code to do is foreclose on it, collect the cost of the taxes owed me, and sell it at public sale. It has to open for that bid, anything that sells above that, that money goes back to the property owner. Say goodbye to that rule. Any time it sells above anything now that is owed, and we settle up what's owed, that goes into the land bank coffers. It is not going in there to make the land bank rich, it is going in there to help for the parcels that we can't get the proper amount of money. It is going to process something. It is going there to cut grass on vacant lots so that you guys aren't stuck cutting it through a program with the sheriff's department. It is going there to help us board up broken windows in a program with the sheriff's department. Is that going to happen tomorrow, no, because right now I'm broke. As we build the coffers up that is what is going to happen. Sources for land bank property, I will acquire them through the normal tax foreclosure that we conduct now. The nice part about this though is, our hands are pretty much tied, because we can only produce about twenty eight to thirty land foreclosures per year, improved properties, the reason being that we had to wait for the sheriff's department for sheriff sales and so forth, the banking industry has the sheriff's department very tied up right now so we king of became a back seat person. This program just automatically moves it into the land bank, there is not need for the public sale. We are hoping this increases to about fifty parcels. If we can get fifty parcels through the system this year was are going to be the happiest people in the world. I will be back here again bragging. Acquired foreclosures, properties held by banks, contacted once a week by a local bank, not banks from right around here, but I am contacted once a week by a local bank that has a piece of property that they have seized, they have foreclosed on it, and they are sitting on it. They can't get anything to happen with it. They already know the program exists, and they want me to start taking properties. The end of, third week of March, we are going to be holding a bank summit where the banks will be give the same information you are getting tonight. We can acquire and accept donated properties. That's people that have owned property for years and years and this time of the year when the tax bill comes out I get a phone call, I have this lot. These lots can be donated.
The applicant after they fill out the forms after meeting with my staff of three people, application is given a projected cost of the purchase price. They will know what it is going to cost to own that lot next to their property before any other step takes place. Minimal cost. What the cost will be is the cost I have in foreclosing on it, and roughly two dollars a foot. Average city lot you are looking at two
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hundred eighty to three hundred dollars. Forty foot city lot, two hundred eighty dollars. They receive deeded property, and it is theirs. We will encourage them to combine it to their current property to enhance the value of their current property. If they sit on a forty foot lot and have a forty foot lot next to them we're going to encourage them, the prosecutor's office tells me I can't mandate it, the code doesn't say I can mandate it, we can only encourage them to add it to their current ownership of property if they wish and enhance their property. Once again city township villages any kind of property can be place in. The clean and green program. These young girls, trying to beat me to the meeting, already heard me this evening talk about that program. If I come across some lots that I can get into my program, that we need a little neighborhood park, a little neighborhood side lot, a little neighborhood community garden lot, that is what I am here for. We can deed it to the City. Once it is deeded to the City, the city puts it in the tax forbearance program, that means it is not taxed, and the City can create a little dedicated area. I am not saying you have to that is just a program that is available to you. Some of the property that is donated, that is how they want it donated. When I get those questions I'll be contacting people. Residential structures is pretty much the same, the difference is when we foreclose on something right now, we sell it at public sale and we are done. What this program is going to do is stop what I get mad about, we sell it at public sale and nothing happens to it. When we seize it, it is going to be placed in the land bank and it's going to be evaluated. These are possible actions that can happen. We'll draw the plans for rehab for occupancy as a homeowner. If we have an individual and we can get them into that property with the financial resources from local banks to help them to get it into livable conditions under certain guidelines, they will be followed and they will get into the home. If we want to sell it for rehab for rental occupancy, we can deed it to a government agency such as yourself, we can sell through a local realtor, if the property is in good enough shape we can just have a realtor sign on it, we can meet with local realtors and sell it. A big portion of what we are going to sell we are going to sell by bid. We are going to sell by bid through a sealed bid process or bid process on our website. The thing about our bid process though, the thing about any of these sales to take place and the other sales we are going to put into place, when the individual comes in to place a bid, or goes on the internet to place a bid, everything that has to occur to that structure, and the time frame that it has to occur in is acknowledged when they place their bid. So if they know that they have the capability of an opening bid of six thousand dollars on an improved property, that is worth forty five thousand dollars, they also know that it needs a needs a new roof, and that new roof must be in place fifty five days after they accept the property. If it needs new electric they know that they have sixty one days, whatever, the average that we want to see these homes rehab in is ninety five days. My board has to approve anything over one hundred five days in its original evaluation. So the longest evaluation term that we want to put out there is ninety days. Unfortunately, some of them won't be salvageable and we know that and they will have to be demolished. That is another reason for trying to build up a little bit of money so that when that needs to happen that can happen. Commercial property is pretty much the same but the big difference is that once it is placed in the land bank the land bank will collaborate with all government and community agencies in the sale of that property. I'm not going to sell a piece of commercial property in Cortland and the folks including this council, the mayor, service director, and school board doesn't have knowledge of it. We are not going to sell commercial property without the blessing of everybody. Some people are frightful of it that I am going to deter the sales of them. I will be very truthful, I would rather deter a sale than sell a sale that is going to cause us trouble. If I start to deter too many then we will have to come up with some ideas and fix that. The land bank will facilitate the sale for the best interest of the community as a whole. Once again that yellow box, all actions and evaluations take place
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with a combined effort of everybody. The land bank, the community in which it is involved, and with commercial property we will even bring the school board to the table.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - How are you going to communicate
SAM LAMANCUSA- Same as now, council got a letter from me asking to be here, a couple of weeks you will get a letter thanking you for letting me be here and asking you for a contact list. If you want contact via e mail and if you want a large group of people the only way I will do that is via e mail. If you want contacted through US mail I will send it to the zoning department. You have a zoning department. Most likely the service director will be my contact. He can get it in the hands of who he wants it. If all of council wants notification, a lot of my law directors are very quiet at meetings but they all want notification. They all like e mail. We went to different schools together. Land Bank - Once again here is the slide that excites the heck out of me. Back to Girard where I grew up my dad had the land bank idea in his head forty years ago. In that neighborhood anytime a vacant lot went up for sheriffs sale, auditor's sale, he was at the courthouse buying it. My mother now owns one hundred four forty foot vacant lots in the City of Girard. I now mow about seventy of them. I'm not saying this to complain, but I look forward to the weekends that I get to go down there and jump on the mower and cut them, because it relaxes you. I get a lot of phone calls, the kids are out there playing baseball, they are allowed. That is what it is all about. They are there for the community. The downside is get upset because some of the kids are out there until ten or eleven at night. I have an answer for them. I will sell you the lot tomorrow morning. This is what I really want to see with any vacant lots that we can get into any type of community program if the community is interested it and they have programs that they want. We will get them into the program. Once again, county wide project. This square county that we live in, I am out there speaking to everybody. Seventeen appearances in fourteen days, we are scheduled all the way through April. When we get done here we are going to school boards when we get done with school boards we are going to community involved boards. Anybody that will take twenty minutes in their meeting to hear me I will show up. The neatest part of this program, one thing we are really excited about, these are the requirement, the same as your city. I was city auditor in Girard in 1993 and became treasurer in 2004. I have been dealing with the state auditor since 1993 so that is no big deal to us. We are subject to state audit and we will work through that. We have only been in existence since November and we have already given them a preliminary audit report just that has passed muster already. One thing a little different we have to keep corporate books because it is an independent corporation. I am blessed and you are blessed that I have one of the best county auditor's in the state of Ohio. Adrian Biviano, not only is the county auditor he is a certified public account, and he has rolled up his sleeves and helped me and is helping me with the program. We are going to have to file a report with the General Assembly. No organization has ever had to file with the General Assembly. Cuyahoga County had to file last year. The website will be open in February, it is still somewhat under construction but it is open. It is trumbullcountylandbank.org all of our contact names are available right on the website. I have become very e mail responsive, if you need to get a hold of me, e mail would be the best way.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - If there is a piece of property say in the township, can we call your office and find out if they are delinquent in their taxes.
SAM LAMANCUSA - You can find out yourself from the auditor website, don't hesitate to call me though if it is not delinquent either if you feel that there is a situation that we need to talk about.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - There is a really bad piece of property on the corner of Tournament Trail and Rt. 5, it is in Bazetta Township.
SAM LAMANCUSA - I think they already asked me about it. A piece that borders somebody else, they want to get something done with. They did ask me, they said that they have a parcel and touches Cortland that they need to get something done with. I made a suggestion to them. If they do a clean up on the property and assess the tax bill them the tax bill would become delinquent. We have to make this problem go away. Special assessment for cleaning that up will make the taxes delinquent. In defense of your neighboring township, they did have my presentation there, they did ask me about two parcels they said they had one that touches a neighboring community that they are embarrassed about that had a fire, and one in the center of their community and I believe it is very close to their cemetery. Did you do any neighborhood stabilization demos.
SAM LAMANCUSA - What did you do with the vacant land?
MAYOR - Nothing yet.
SAM LAMANCUSA - If you want to look that one up and get it into adjacent property owners, or get it into the City's name that is up to you.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - It is going to stay with the current land owner.
SAM LAMANCUSA - You want to leave it with the land owner. Then we won't do anything with it. That is how beautiful this program is. As long as that is ok that's great, but that is the nice thing about this program when you run into something and you want to do something with it give us a call that's what we are here for.
FLO HUTTON - How do you figure the taxes on that. Say so many times that piece of property that your sidewalk borders to
SAM LAMANCUSA - Your sidewalk. It would be taxed two different ways if you conjoin it to your property it is going to increase you land value on your property and you will be paying a little bit larger tax bill on your property. If you are a property owner who is receiving homestead reduction, the best deal would be to combine it to you property because it is going to increase your homestead reduction. You are going to keep your value, your homestead reduction will stay at twenty five thousand dollars, it can't get any higher, but you are going to get the homestead reduction off of it. If you leave it as a separate side lot the average side lot in your city is probably valued at eight hundred dollars.
MAYOR - Most of the vacant property that are not usable are six to nine hundred dollars.
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SAM LAMANCUSA - Pretty darn close. That going to generate a tax bill of about thirty dollars a year.
FLO HUTTON - Say there was a home on there and you take that home down.
SAM LAMANCUSA - That goes away. The value of that home goes away. All that lot is worth is the vacant land. Now when I take away, I'm giving the impression that somebody took one away and then maybe rebuilt it, once the rebuild then the new value is placed on everything. I don't have a tendency of looking at communities under a perspective of coming in here and saying, you folks have six thousand lots, two thousand of them are forty foot lots, I don't take that approach. I don't come in here with numbers and then there are only five lots I can do something for. If there are only five I can do something for then that's what I will do for. The only city that I really know unfortunately is because I'm usually in count every single day, as a matter of fact Dennis told me I should go back and finish my degree because how much time I spend at the courthouse.
FLO HUTTON - I'm Flo Hutton, and seated beside me is Mary Kachurik of the Cortland beautification. Her and I have been cleaning up around town here, taking down Christmas lights, down here at the rotary park I've been harping on this for about three years, if you want to shut me up let's get the job done down there, it's dark down there at the rotary park. It is really dark after we take the Christmas lights down. It is a shame that we don't have a light there. I think was ought to get something done.
MAYOR - The rotary has been talking about putting some lighting in there I'm not sure what the status is on that.
FLO HUTTON - They have been telling me for the last three years. Jim you are on Rotary aren't you?
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Yes I am not on the board.
FLO HUTTON - Maybe you can light a little fire, I will give you a book of matches.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - I'm tired of lighting fires believe me I have done it many times. I can't even tell you where we are on that.
MAYOR - Can we evaluate having a street light there. I don't know what the situation is with street lights in that area.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Yes we can do that but also there is going to be, there is talk of putting lighting on the new bridge. Decorative lighting from Main Street on down.
FLO HUTTON - That would help.
MAYOR - That's two years off but either one of those would help.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Maybe we could do something in the interim.
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FLO HUTTON - The way the gazebo is, we were taking the decorations down and it needs painted.
OFFICER RICE - That's the FOP I think we have a meeting next Friday, either next Friday or in two weeks.
FLO HUTTON - It is pretty poor.
OFFICER RICE - I know Tom Andrews is the secretary and we have several things coming up this year.
FLO HUTTON - Pretty soon we will have it in the land bank.
MAYOR- We can't do anything until, it needs to warm up a little bit before we can do that.
FLO HUTTON - The community sign we have a problem down there You know where that pump is on the top, and then you have flat spots on either side
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Are you talking about the interchangeable sign.
MAYOR- Yes down at the point.
FLO HUTTON - Your cement panels on the side on top in fact we had a heck of a time when we were taking Christmas decorations down, if I didn't have a strong arm with me, because they'd still be laying on the ground. But the ice has built up inside and underneath that and knocked it up. So you have a problem there and if we don's do something pretty soon our brick is going to go.
MAYOR - I will bring it up with Dave.
SERVICE DIRECTOR - Dave has brought it up a number of times. We discussed in the fall it is just not an appropriate time to get any work done on it.
FLO HUTTON - Another thing we're in the twenty first century. Don't you think it is time to get digital lighting up there and a nice front on that.
MAYOR - No. You would have to come to zoning and address that with them.
COUNCILWOMAN PETROSKY - I don't know if that would meet our sign ordinance requirements.
MAYOR - That was why I said she would have to come to zoning to talk about that.
RACHAEL HARRISON - I just wanted to say about the rotary park, we were cleaning out some of that at the end of the summer down near the creek and they were talking about putting a sidewalk in so I
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didn't know if they were planning to put the lighting in when they did that, but they were talking about that within the next five years.
DOROTHY MURPHY - I have a question about snow removal on our sidewalks. On High Street how come our sidewalks never cleared down at that end.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Which end are you talking about.
DOROTHY MURPHY - Down at the end.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - Down towards Wollam Chevrolet
DOROTHY MURPHY - Yes.
MAYOR - I know we have gone through there.
COUNCILMAN WOOFTER - We haven't done a very good job with that at all until recently.
MAYOR - Well the blower was out again and the thing was out of commission. So we weren't able to do sidewalks for a while. Then we got back at them last week sometime, but a lot of them are so piled up with snow now and iced over and it is a very difficult situation through that area in particular.
DOROTHY MURPHY - Also I don't think that businesses in town should be putting snow on the sidewalks.
MAYOR - That is a big problem.
DOROTHY MURPHY - Yes. Right down there by the bank there is a pile that you can't even get through there.
MAYOR - Yes the blower couldn't get through the pile right next to Sparkle I think it is. We are doing the best we can with the equipment we've got. We had some down time.
DOROTHY MURPHY - The thing is I don't have a car so I walk everywhere I go. If I go down to the drug store I am walking in the road.
MAYOR - That's unfortunate.
A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Councilman Piros and seconded by Councilman Woofter. ROLL CALL - Piros, aye; Stocz, aye; Sweeney, aye; Tackett, aye; Woofter, aye; Linville, aye; Petrosky, aye. MOTION PASSED
Meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
CLERK OF COUNCIL PRESIDENT OF COUNCIL