January 19th, 2020 Council Meeting and Rec proposals
We started early (6:15pm) in executive session to interview 3 candidates for the Cemetery Board. Later during the meeting, we reappointed Christine Winters and Sarah Norman to the Cemetery board for 4 year terms.
An e-mail was received by Jeff Russell of 5931 Eastham Way who until this past December served on the HCTV Advisory board expressing his pleasure in having worked with all of the staff in HCTV and complementing the quality programming provided.
Additionally, Mr Bryan Mcinerney spoke at the very end of the meeting due to an oversight during public comments. He expressed a desire that Fox Trace and Hayden areas at 303 be on the short list for flashing crossing lights in the downtown area because of pedestrian traffic, both due to downtown and schools. Thom Sheridan added it to his list for additional evaluation.
Bill Wooldredge thanked the many volunteers who served on the various boards & commissions who completed their terms in 2020. Were it not for the time and commitment of so many people we, as a community, could not accomplish everything on our plates.
Nicole Kowalski attended the HCTV board meeting this past Thursday. The board expressed a desire to create original content that could be used to assist local merchants in their marketing efforts.
Additionally, Nicole Kowalski used her time during council comments to propose the City of Hudson purchase LifeCenter plus and utilize the space as a recreational facility. I believe you can find the proposal details on Hudson Roundtable as it was posted there shortly after the discussion in council. Mrs Kowalski proposed 3 purchase options. Mostly in the $5 million range, all requiring facility improvements, and still having a membership fee, though somewhat reduced from its current levels, and financed via a levy. She proposed we make a decision on which option we would go with and place it on the November 2021 ballot.
Many Hudson residents have expressed a desire for a Rec center of sorts in the community. The core question has always been how to fund it, but also location and benefits. More so than the discussions about a desire for a rec center I have heard that our property taxes are already too high and we don’t receive enough benefit for the current costs. And remember, a levy is paid by all regardless of whether you decide to additionally join and pay a membership fee. Just a guess but if the purchase is $5 million, improvements would easily be that much.
Ill bring up a couple other items. City Council engaged a market research company to research the many wants and needs of Hudson residents from our community. Two specific research areas have been discussed since October. One, what the town would accept / like to see from the Phase 2 land. Secondly, a recreational facility and other town “accoutrements”. Staff has decided on the company just this week, which means we will be asking the community these questions in the coming months.
As for location, Lifecenter Plus is on a planned connectivity route, but only a sidewalk, 2 properties inside Hudson’s southernmost boundary. 2 ½ miles south of downtown Hudson, substantially away from the bulk of Hudson residences. It has been mentioned that any rec center should be centrally located. It is also my understanding that there has long been an agreement with another local facility that LifeCenter Plus would never build Tennis courts. If this becomes a Hudson Rec Center and our Park Board decided to build tennis courts, which they have discussed… what does that do to any legal arrangements if both belong to the City of Hudson? Unclear.
In my experience aging facilities often cost a lot more than one might think. For instance, Hudson bought the City Hall for about $3 million but ended up north of $7 million in fairly short order. Just recently window replacements were estimated at nearly $160,000 more in the next couple years. Costs rise quickly and if you are in for a penny, you are in for a pound.
I remain of the belief that a Rec center should be explored. The proper way is to field a conjoint survey to the community that would weight interest against other variables, such as cost, location, facility equipment (pool, tennis, weights, etc). And if the value proposition doesn’t work out with the economic need, we are all the wiser.
Lastly Hal DeSaussure has a legal conflict having done work for LifeCenter Plus and its owner in the past and will not take part in discussion or votes on the matter.
Report of the Manager
We reviewed several areas in the year-end financial report. We were very cautious this year, and we had a couple windfalls. Our general fund balance ended at 15.5 million, about 5.9 million ahead of budget. Some large factors were higher than anticipated income tax revenue (+2.7 million), proceeds from a sale of land on exec parkway (+1.1 million), Cares ACT funding (+1.4 million), and Workers Comp rebates (+900k). Our gas tax revenues were lower than estimated because of reduced commuting, but Ellsworth Meadows had a banner year reporting a $415,000 increase in revenue above budget.
Trends and other noteworthy items: Income tax revenue has increased 32% since 2017 (3-year average of 10.8%). We permanently financed the Velocity Broadband Debt of $3.85 million (no, it was not paid-off… we have debt, it has just been externalized). We also financed the brine well (1.9 million), Hudson Drive water line (600k), and city hall renovations (950k).
Consent Agenda: 21-1: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS AND TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR THE 2021 STORM SEWER LINING IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT WITH THE LOWEST AND BEST BIDDER.
The map of the linings is below
21-2: AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE EDITING AND INCLUSION OF CERTAIN ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS AS PARTS OF THE VARIOUS COMPONENT CODES OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF NEW MATTER IN THE UPDATED AND REVISED CODIFIED ORDINANCES; REPEALING ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS IN CONFLICT THEREWITH; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
This is done annually to reconcile our ordinances with state law changes.
21-3: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A PURCHASE AGREEMENT WITH SOUTHEASTERN EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC. FOR A GRADALL WHEELED EXCAVATOR FOR PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT OPERATIONS; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
This equipment was damaged by the company moving it to maintain the Gradeall (it hit a bridge). Our insurance has been substantially enough that the City is more than whole on the matter.
20-145: The moratorium on operations of short term rentals was postponed to a date certain (February 2nd) for further discussion.
20-160: Staff has made some final revisions to business regulation coes to handle how short term rentals are managed moving forward. The current version is located here http://hudson.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=5e12daad-dc61-4596-8a64-2cbcb539ebfd.pdf
But as council and the public is only seeing this relatively final version now, we also decided to postpone this motion to a date certain (February 2nd) so we will be able to review this at the workshop discussion on January 26th more thoroughly.
20-167: N 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.
This motion failed to pass 7-0.
20-168 : A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE CONTINUED OPERATION OF A DESIGNATED OUTDOOR REFRESHMENT AREA FOR THE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL IN SPECIFIED PUBLIC AREAS OF DOWNTOWN HUDSON AND AMENDING THE HOURS OF OPERATION THEREFOR; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. The DORA was renewed and the hours are set at Noon-10pm Monday through Friday. 10am to 10pm Saturday and Sunday.
21-4: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH EVERSTREAM SOLUTIONS LLC FOR THE PROVISION OF AN INTERNET CIRCUIT FOR THE CITY’S VELOCITY BROADBAND SERVICES.
A contract for one of the Velocity internet lines will expire in 2021. This will permit staff to contract a new line at lower cost. It was a first reading, so no action was taken.
Questions or concerns, please let me know.