This will be the last council Meeting of 2020. Our meeting started early (6:15pm) for EAC interviews and deliberations, though we agreed we may need more time to discuss appointments. Those discussions will be held at our next workshop.
Ron Brubaker spoke on the rails to trails project. He is a member of Trail Advocates of Summit County and serves on TascForce https://www.tascforce.org/
Ron spoke about the many reasons for the unused rail line southbound toward Stow to be converted to a Hike & Bike Path.
Noise in residential areas is inappropriate
Lower property values of homes near rail whereas trails increase values
bulk transfer station – dusty and dirty and unsightly. Doesn’t fit with Hudson
Heavy industry that requires rail is not appropriate in residential areas
Storing unused rail cars along the track is both unsightly and creates a potential hazard
Loss of opportunity to connect 5 communities would be very unfortunate
Likelihood of this venture succeeding financially is far from certain and would delay use for years while investigated
Council all agreed on a willingness to send a letter as a body to MetroRTA in support of the rail to trail conversion. Councilman Sutton and I have already sent letters on behalf of our constituents. This would double down on that.
Correspondence and Council Comments
The Mayor made the public aware that his wife, Sherri Moyer, was recently diagnosed with lymphoma and has been hospitalized these past couple days. She had fought breast cancer previously in 2012. The cancer type is aggressive. We all expressed our thoughts and prayers and will keep the Mayor and his wife, Sherri, in our thoughts.
I brought up the need to look into pedestrian safety issues at a number of intersections around Hudson. These include, but are not limited too, Aurora Street, Hudson Street, Oviatt St, Library Street, intersection near Rt 303 and N. Hayden, Rt 91 and Stoney Hill, Veterans Way and Atterbury Blvd, and prospect street crossing.
Additionally, I would like the underpass on Owen Brown near Lenox to be to be placed on our 60 day tracker for action. This has remained a safety issue for too long and needs to be addressed. I do not want to impede traffic by making it one way, nor do I want a stop light. I would like a 1 lane alternating sign placed, taking some of the underpass and carving out a walkway to pedestrian traffic. That would require a sidewalk be built on the south side of Owen Brown road, west of the underpass to Lennox.
Thom Sheridan mentioned staff is looking at a number of those intersections right now and some accommodations have been made for the Owen Brown underpass in the budget already, though we will still have discussion on what any traffic controls look like at this location. I would prefer a more “country style” sign or flashing light indicating 1 vehicle at a time only, without a hard stop light. Smart signaling was also suggested but even a smart signal must change colors and halt traffic. If we have a sidewalk to Lennox, a rail separating pedestrian traffic from a single lane of vehicles and allow vehicles to pass in either direction without substantial delay, I will be satisfied.
Report of the Manager
Our City Manager, Jane Howington, mentioned that she was very proud that council had not only managed to rewrite a connectivity plan that we intend on fully developing in 5 years, maintained elevated roads budgets in 2020 and into 2021 to accelerate repairs, and add substantial stormwater resources in a single year. No one else in the area has been able to put get so much work done together in this time frame working together and especially in 2020.
Chief Tabak spoke about vehicle color schemes, which were mentioned last week. They had a number of very good reasons for choosing the colors they currently have. Councilman Sutton had mentioned a concern for community policing including visible vehicles. The chief did bring up the fact that a number of the decals used were much less visible than they should have been a those would be changed out ASAP to make parts of the vehicles more visible. But also the overall darker appearance was for officer safety. He made some very good points about increased attacks on officers since 2016, domestic violence situations requiring a bit more stealth and a white car, among others. All well taken.
Additionally, the Chief reviewed the hybrid purchases recently, as we have 5 in the budget for 2021. The hybrid options cost the city about $3,300 more per vehicle than normal gas vehicles. We appear to be on path for a break even at 50,000 miles per vehicle. They are typically in service to 100,000 miles or more. Gas pricing has remained low – which means this will be a better investment in the long run than it even appears now.
Small business Covid assistance / financial relief: Staff is trying to come up with ideas to provide relief to small businesses during these trying economic times. There were a number of suggestions but type that floated to the top were related to bringing people into downtown or supporting elevated spending downtown. Possibly outdoor heaters or firepits to extend outdoor eating, allow people to be outside of shops without cold discomfort, etc. Those that were not widely accepted had to do with straight out grants or discounts as those are currently being addressed at congressional and state levels.
There is not a huge amount on agenda tonight that has not been discussed so I will give you a quick summary.
20-0155: A Motion to Acknowledge the Timely Receipt of the November 2020 Monthly Financial Report Brief Description:Financial summaries are provided each month for Council’s review. We are in good shape based on expense deferrals and tax collected.
20-161 Brief Description: This Ordinance will amend the 2020 budget for additional and/or amended appropriations as listed in the attached Exhibit A.
This is just the push and shove ordinance to make changes before we close year end out.
20-162 This Resolution would authorize the advertisement, receipt of bids and award of contracts for capital items, services, equipment, and materials and supplies for Public Works operations as included in the 2021 Annual Budget.
This covers the city managers ability to advertise for bids for the capital goods we approved in the 2021 budget and 5 year plan. The vast majority is routine. Beer & Wine for golf (oh yah), road salting, HPP tree and arborist maintenance, storm water catch basin repairs, etc. There are some special projects such as Parking Terrace Maintenance, Gazebo repairs, and 5 new police vehicles which spurred the police vehicle discussion on both cost savings related to hybrids, and color schemes of our police vehicles.
20-163 This annual resolution requests permission allowing the Public Works Department to make purchases of equipment, materials, supplies and services in the operational area of the municipal utilities and Velocity Broadband service operation that will exceed $25,000 based on the 2021 approved budget.
I requested the Fibre Optic and broadband supplies be listed separately from Hudson Public Power needs. It is its own fund at this point so this should always be listed independently. The funds are available in the VBB Capital Fund and Enterprise funds. I expect this purchase will likely finally deplete the VBB Capital fund (402) so VBB can operate entirely out of the enterprise 510 fund (other than previously contracted agreements encumbered in the Capital fund).
20-164 The Federal Emergency Management Agency is awarding Assistance to Firefighters Covid-19 Supplemental funding for the purpose of providing assistance to fire and emergency medical services for the purchase of Covid-related personal protective equipment and supplies. The City could receive $12,034.60 in grant funding for the purchase of Covid-19 related personal protective equipment and supplies to create a stockpile for future response. A $1,203.46 match is required.
20-165 The SR 91 South Safety Improvement Project design limits are on SR 91 (S. Main Street) from Barlow Road to the Stoney Hill Drive intersection. The project includes widening of the roadway for bike lanes and new center turn lane. Per the City Charter, Section 9.02 - Planning Commission - Powers and Duties, the street widening project shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for report and recommendation.
An odd situation in that when a main route is being widened for safety purposes, and that widening causes lane changes over the entire length of the project, we must submit the plan to the Planning Commission for evaluation and recommendation first. That’s all we are doing here.
20-166 Council authorization is required for payment of the invoices shown on this Resolution, each in excess of $3,000, for which commitments were made before Purchase Orders were generated.
We approve these kinds of smaller bills over $3,000 but under $25,000 in Then and Now certificates to show that we “would have approved them” regardless, but as they are over $3,000 each we need to go through the formal process.
20-145 This is the 180 day moratorium on short term rentals that we have passed over the past over but kept alive after 3 readings should we need to act on it quickly. We are reviewing alternate legislation that would be a blending of Land Development Code changes along with Business regulations that would best oversee short term rental problems in Hudson moving forward.
Tabled to January 19th for discussion with 20-160.
20-152 A RESOLUTION SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF THE CITY THE QUESTION OF THE RENEWAL OF AN EXISTING 2.9-MILL TAX LEVY FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUPPORTING THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY OF THE HUDSON LIBRARY AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. Brief Description: This is the second of two pieces of legislation that Council is being requested to pass on behalf of the Library to allow their operating levy to be put on the May 4, 2021 ballot.
Thank goodness we are done reading all of these. It has been read and re-read for 3 months now. The reason for this delay was a legislation problem between Summit County and the State of Ohio that caused complications. We are done. This will be on the ballot in May 2021 and up to voters to decide on.
20-160 AN ORDINANCE ENACTING A NEW CHAPTER 876, “SHORT-TERM RENTAL OPERATIONS,” OF THE BUSINESS REGULATION CODE; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. Brief Description: A permit program has been drafted for the regulation of short-term rentals within the City of Hudson.
We are still working on refining this. It had its second reading tonight. We also tabled this to January 19th 20201. We will discuss this further / refine at the January 12th workshop.
20-167 This is coming to us from the Planning Commission. Public hearings for this will be held January 5th 2021. If you have any interest in being heard, please plan on attending.
Public hearing notice http://hudson.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=caaed2c1-020a-421d-a648-ba4629f8abf4.pdf
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING PART TWELVE OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF HUDSON TO: (1) AMEND THE OFFICIAL ZONING DISTRICT MAP TO REZONE CERTAIN LANDS ON HUDSON DRIVE (SUMMIT COUNTY TAX PARCELS 3001315 AND 3001316) FROM DISTRICT 8, INDUSTRIAL/BUSINESS PARK, TO HIKE BIKE (HB) SENIOR HOUSING OVERLAY ZONING DISTRICT 8 AND (2) AMEND SECTION 1205.11(f)(1), “PURPOSE OF OVERLAY ZONE”, TO ACCOMMODATE THE ABOVE ZONING DISTRICT MAP AMENDMENT. Brief Description: Consideration of proposed (1) Zoning Map Amendment to revise parcels 3001315 and 3001316 from the current District 8 Industrial/Business Park to the proposed Hike Bike (HB) Senior Housing Overlay Zoning District 8; and (2) a Land Development Code Text Amendment to amend the purpose statement of Section 1205.11(f) the Hike Bike (HB) Senior Housing Overlay Zoning District 8.
20-168 Brief Description: Authorization to renew the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) within Downtown Hudson and expanding the hours of operation. http://hudson.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=48bc89da-dd19-4f36-ba96-7ab32e8ec4a1.pdf
This extends DORA and slightly expands the hours. A first reading, thus no action on the item tonight.