April 6th 2021 City Council Meeting
It was nice to be in person again. Beth Bigham was remote via zoom because of recent travel and an abundance of caution for her fellow council members and staff.
Public Comments There were several. The basic topics were as follows:
1- Any research on land development, specific to Phase 2, should take into account the broader needs and desires (values) of the community and not be limited to “what can we build in this spot”
2- A number of people have expressed disappointment at the cancellation of the memorial day parade.
3- Traffic concerns about specific intersections (followup: those mentioned intersections are being reviewed by the traffic committee)
4- Monday the 12th, the Planning Commission will review a D7 Overlay text amendment to pave the way for a possible townhouse development on land on the west side of Rt 91 south of the optician – north of the ACE hardware plaza. Public comments were made in regards to this land being developed in a way it was not intended to be used. Once all open land is gone, its simply gone and cannot be replaced. The planning commission agenda is below https://hudson.granicus.com/AgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=1434
Many of these same issues were echoed by members. We have heard a lot of (not positive) feedback on the dog park location, parade, the possible townhouse development.
I raised a couple issues. The Walters Road Rail sign is still manually controlled by dispatch at the police station. There was a radar gun solution to automate this that staff has still not brought forward. Additionally there was suppose to be a sign at Valley View & Hines Hill notifying drivers of track blockage which has not been installed.
The Western Reserve Land conservancy now has resolutions from Hudson City Council and Summit County Council to pursue state funds to acquire 55 acres near O'brien cemetery. My thanks for both councils for pushing this through quickly.
Council President Wooldredge made a decision to cancel Friday morning council planning meetings moving forward. This meeting has been used to ask for detail on upcoming issues, and address concerns on issues prior to being in a full council meeting, change agenda order, move items from consent to legislation when there appears to be larger disagreement on item importance. No more than 3 councilmembers may participate, but all can listen. That will no longer be the case. I believe this will lead to less informed council members going into meetings – we will need to get a lot more detail in the workshops. This planning meeting has been considered sacrosanct by previous members of council. The cancellation seems very odd.
Additionally, Council President Wooldredge introduced a motion to allow for a second period of public comments during council meetings. It sounds as though this was suggested by our City Manager who did some of the explaining. Because of covid restrictions on the number of people in a given room, staff is taking reservations for those who want to attend in person. Others are being given a zoom link to make public comments if they choose to make them. Jane explained – if someone just shows up and wants to make a comment, they will need to go home and get a zoom link to make those comments if too many people are already in the room. This could, in her opinion, result in someone not having the chance to speak on an issue because getting home and logging in via a zoom link would cause them to miss the period for public comments.
The motion was to add a second period for public comments after the consent agenda. I don’t think there is anywhere in Hudson that is more than 10 minutes from town hall. If the room is so full, people will be speaking for some time. There is also typically 5-10 minutes from the meeting start time to public comments as well. What if you want to speak on an item that is being voted on? You go home – we vote on consent agenda items… and you get to speak after the fact? I believe staff just needs to ensure that if the public wants to speak, they be given the opportunity in person by bringing people in and out of the meeting in an organized way. Council comments follow public comments – so if someone has something to say, we can respond. Now we have a second period of comments to which we cannot respond based on procedural rules. Not to mention it seems like we are trying to solve a problem that does not current exist. This motion did pass 4 to 3.
Report of the Manager City Hall will reopen April 19th. Community space in City Hall will fully reopen by June.
Consent Agenda – all items passed
21-33 A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACT WITH THE THRASHER GROUP, INC. FOR THE OWEN BROWN STREET SIDEWALK IMPROVEMENT PROJECT. Brief Description: The purpose of this proposal was to solicit proposals from professional design, engineering and surveying consultants (Consultant) for the analysis, engineering and design of a 5-ft. pedestrian sidewalk, traffic signage, pavement striping, retaining wall design and a raised walkway under the Norfolk and Southern RR underpass on Owen Brown between Lennox and Morse Road along Owen Brown Street.
21-34 A RESOLUTION AFFIRMING THE ACCEPTANCE BY THE CITY MANAGER OF AN OHIO HISTORY FUND GRANT FROM THE OHIO HISTORY CONNECTION FOR THE RESTORATION AND PRESERVATION OF THE OLD HUDSON TOWNSHIP BURYING GROUND AND ACCEPTANCE OF DONATIONS TOWARD REQUIRED MATCH. Brief Description: The Ohio History Connection awards Ohio History Fund Grant for the purpose of assistance with historically significant projects in Ohio. The City was awarded $17,000 in grant funding for restoration and preservation work on the Old Hudson Township Burying Ground. $13,000 in donations and staff time will assist with the required match.
21-35 A RESOLUTION AFFIRMING ACCEPTANCE BY THE CITY MANAGER’S DESIGNEE OF A DIESEL MITIGATION TRUST FUND GRANT FROM THE OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ON BEHALF OF HUDSON PUBLIC POWER. Brief Description: The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency accepted applications under its Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund program to help fund the installation of publicly available Level 2 Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations in 26 Ohio counties. The City of Hudson received $15,000 towards the cost of equipment and installation of one dual port charging station. The City’s match is estimated at $15,000 of the estimated total project cost of $30,000.
FYI this last item was brought up and accepted by council last year. We approved the location and buildout if we were to get the funds. 1 charging pole with 2 chargers would be located in the parking deck at first and main.
21-24 AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 230.05 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES TO AUTHORIZE THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO LICENSE AGREEMENTS FOR EXPANDED USES OF CITY-OWNED UTILITY EASEMENTS. Brief Description: The proposed amendment would authorize the City Manager to enter into license agreements with property owners for the construction of driveways and patios that are within a City-owned utility easement. This was a third reading and was passed.
21-25 A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A JOB CREATION GRANT AGREEMENT WITH CLEVELAND STEEL CONTAINER CORPORATION. Brief Description: Cleveland Steel Container Corporation is requesting a 50% income tax credit for 9 years. The company will establish a headquarters for their corporate offices in Hudson, bringing 85 jobs with a three-year benchmark of $9.3M in payroll.
Bill Wooldredge amended this to include emergency language so the buyer-applicant would not need to wait 30 days for it to take effect. Skylar Sutton opposed the emergency language but supported the legislation itself. This was a third reading and passed.
21-36 A RESOLUTION ADOPTING IN CONCEPT THE CITY PARKS MASTER PLAN DATED DECEMBER 2020. Brief Description: This resolution adopts in concept the City Parks Master Plan dated December 2020, as presented and discussed with the Park Board at the City Council Workshop on January 26, 2021.
This was a first reading, thus no action was taken.
We went into executive session after to discuss personnel issues mostly related to retirements in various departments throughout the city. Nothing earth-shattering.
That’s it. Questions or comments, let me know -Chris