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February 10, 2011 Special Meeting Summary
MARION CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING
City Hall – Council Chambers on February 10, 2011, 7:30 PM
ROLL CALL – 10 members answered – Mr. Cumston, Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Thomas, Mrs. Blevins, Mrs. Masters, Dr. Gilsdorf, Mr. Hines, Mrs. Gustin, Mr. Schaber, and Mr. Edwards.
PRAYER LED BY PASTOR DOUG FORD
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Item 1. Ordinance 2011-12: ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO CONTRACT WITH STUDER-OBRINGER AND ASTRO POOL COMPANY FOR THE NEW AQUATICS CENTER HAVING DETERMINED SAID ENTITIES TO HAVE SUBMITTED THE LOWEST AND BEST BID AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
Mr. Cumston spoke: We are meeting within 10 calendar days after this was vetoed. I make motion to reconsider, Dr. Gilsdorf seconding. Roll Call: YEAS: Mr. Cumston, Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Thomas, Mrs. Blevins, Dr Gilsdorf; NAYS: Mrs. Masters, Mr. Hines, Mrs. Gustin, Mr. Schaber. Ordinance 2011-12 is reconsidered.
Mr. Cumston spoke: thanked everyone for coming this evening to speak on the aquatic center. If we do not pass this, we’ll have to make additional appropriations to pay back the monies that were borrowed. The total would 309,524.48. 1.2 million in less funds coming into the City, we’d have to add that total into that. Hospital would pay the debt service of the pool. Item 2 is the appropriation to get the pool started. We are going to amend that, and say we will pay this back. I will never support money coming from the General Fund.
Dr. Gilsdorf addressed the Hospital Lease. Page 4 says “annual rent to be support programs to improve the availability of health care services in the community. Physical, Dental, Mental Health services and activities, including but not limited to the Center St. Clinic and a community recreational heal facility. Recreational health facility meant swimming pool. Services within the community. That’s not 350 employees of the City. That means within the community. Received a letter from the Policemen, said it wasn’t going to make money, cover itself in 20 years. According to our survey, it will make money. Part of the lease, 2010-2043 it has the annual rent specified, year 6 or 7 the total income is going to be 240,000.00. This was set up, year of 25 year amortization, with 3.5 million dollars, is 244,000.00. It will, if nothing else, the money from the lease, in year 6 or 7 will cover the debt service on this. People said if you build the pool, it will cost the city money. The pool will pay for itself, if we don’t build the pool, it will cost us money and what I hear the rumor is, there will be layoffs. With the situation within the State, there will probably be layoffs anyhow. 3.5 million may cost us 6 million down the road if we don’t do this now. It will pay for itself.
Mr. Ratliff said we will never bank any new money. The pool is not a draw. It’s just a hole in the ground; it’s no attraction to our city. A lot of people told me about why nice stuff can’t come to Marion. This pool is more than a recreation to our community, this is a stimulate for Marion. People from outside Marion can come here. We’ve been on this project for over a year, this issue has come about and has gotten this far. Dr. Gilsdorf said I think we reached that point of no return. They could have vetoed this months ago, now they want to veto it, we need to go forward. Mrs. Gustin said she hopes that this is not a political issue; I hope this is just on a budget issue. I have gotten a lot of calls and not one person wanted it.
Mr. Ratliff asked if this project doesn’t go, what are the plans to pay back the 300,000 and the Hospital Lease Money. Mayor Schertzer said the Lease says “May” be used, not shall or will be – it says May. Last year nobody said a word about using the money. I agree that it should be used for a larger project, but I don’t think it’s a good time right now. I have been sup portative. I asked to add recreation health into the lease. You don’t have to use the money to benefit our employees. We can find a better use of this money. I’d rather be 300,000 than 3. Million in debt. I don’t know what the money will be used for. Our revenues are down; we have to cut 1.2 million dollars out of the budget. I wasn’t in favor in borrowing the 1.1. This is in the best financial interest of the City.
Mr. Cumston stated that his position hasn’t changed. We did save the City 70,000 from the pool this year. If we decide to repair it, we’ll end up upside down. The money is already spent, the 309,000. By building this, it would save the city some money. Mr. Ratliff said the citizens of Marion own Marion General Hospital, lease for a $1.00/yr. The discussion was never to fund the General Fund with that money. Just because some attorneys use the word may – it total nonsense.
Mrs. Gustin asked what interest rate would be for the 309,000 and the payment how much. Auditor Carr said the interest would be the same when taken out 1.1 will be 2.37% the 2.4 is at 2.45%, payment about 4500 in interest alone and then in any principal you’d want to pay against that note.
Auditor Carr spoke – we have been discussing the finances since the middle of November. I don’t want to say nothing is a surprise. We have worked extremely hard to let everyone know what is available. I take offense where they say there are surprises. There hasn’t, I’ve shared those concerns with Council. Mr. Ratliff said you are correct Auditor Carr. We have been aware of all finances. This project we have been looking at it’s now or never. Mr. Cumston said I was one person that wanted to leave the Hospital Lease as a $1.00. I thought it was tax. This is why I support it; it’s giving back to the community. Mrs. Blevins said if you are going to pay city employees insurance, then you should pay everyone’s. Mrs. Blevins asked Auditor Carr, if we turn this down, does the money go back to the general fund? Auditor Carr said it’s sitting in an area where it states Lease Payment. Mrs. Blevins asked how many jobs will it save. Auditor Carr said impacting – there is no savings in that area.
Mr. Hines asked Auditor Carr if we can have that in a separate account. Auditor Carr said yes. Dr. Gilsdorf and Mrs. Gustin both agreed on that. Mr. Cumston said if we do that, why not do the center? What’s the purpose? Dr. Gilsdorf said that nothing else would be spent out of the General Fund for this pool. We’ll make a pledge; it’s supposed to take care of itself. If this pool makes money – nothing should go back to the general fund, fair is fair.
Mr. Hines asked if the pool doesn’t pay for itself, where is the money going to come from? Mr. Cumston said it will. We have all the data.
Mr. Thomas would like to address the veto, and then address 2011-15.
President Edwards asked if the pool doesn’t pass, does the administration have any intention to put money into the pool to get it fixed? Mayor Schertzer said he doesn’t know yet. Mr. Schaber asked if your veto is upheld, that does mean that no new aquatic center at all? Mayor Schertzer said I would rather have the answer after the vote is taken. But No I’m not saying that. First we are going to return 70,000 in the fund, but now we are not. There have been council members that have been pushing this tonight, and they get extremely upset if something doesn’t go to committee.
Dave Edwards asked Mrs. Brewer what was the price tag on it in the beginning and what is the price tag now?
Mrs. Brewer said May 09 was the feasibility study. I brought to you the estimates was 4.8 million. I was asked in July, the 2.4 was borrowed, the Arch. Bought back another drawing what the 2.4 would look like. Then the cost differential – the cost went up considerably. Council wanted everything. It was 3.2 – 3.5 comes in because of all the other things that came in. 4.8 – is 3.2 today. President Edwards asked what the interest rates are and what they were. Auditor Carr said 1.25% on note rollovers, May of this year; we rolled over with a 2% on our bonds. The difference of the borrowing in July vs. the 1.1 and the 3.7 – cost of issuance, buyers picked that up, and interest rate is definitely changing.
Mr. Ed Christian is for the Pool. Expend the energy of the kids in the summer.
Mr. Ralph Hill, is for the Pool.
Mr. Phil Ried, 119 Johnson Street is for the Pool.
Mr. Forest Osborne, 127 Camby Court – replace the pool, we don’t need an aquatic center.
Katara Zachman 1065 Chenonceaux, when was the amortization table prepared. Auditor Carr said maybe the end of November. This is based on notes; it would be a long term thing. Bond out 3.5, put a good package together and go to bond and take all debt at that time. This can remain in Notes for eternity; notes do incur less interest rather than bonds. Mrs. Zachman asked if the 390,000 – can that be used maybe next year. Mrs. Brewer said the design can be used in a year; we’d have to re-bid it. We’d have to re-submit to the State of Ohio ($5,000.00). The plan is only good for a year, but it would cost more money in a year. Jay Shoup said geotechnical information is good for many years. Mrs. Brewer said it would probably be another 6-7,000.00.
Santé Toutman, Patterson, he is in favor of the pool. Mrs. Brewer has done a wonderful job picking her staff.
Mike Wheeler, Forest St. – build the pool later.
Nick Moran, in favor of the pool. The money should go back to the citizens.
Dave Troutman, in favor of the pool, but not at this time.
Katie Smith, Fairpark – in favor of the pool.
William O’Neil, 250 Johnson St. will pay for itself, based on what? Where is the income coming from? Mr. Cumston said there is a performance sheet that’s been out for about 6 months. We did it in 2009. Mr. O’Neil asked where we are going to then if the state holds back money from the city. Mr. Cumston said the Gov’t. create jobs. Should be quit doing things for the City? You have to look at the differences, capital and general fund. We need to take care of us.
Troy Jarvis, 27 Edwards St., in favor of the pool.
Dave Troutman – how much would it cost to operate the pool? Mrs. Brewer said we didn’t know how things would go or not. 10 weeks, 267,000 in revenue. Operations and staff, utilities, concessions, pool supplies, 214, 671, 00 is the project. For a 10 week season, 52,000 to the general fund. Dave asked how many gallons? Jeannie said 700,000. Dave said your chemical, water; all expenses are going to go up. Mrs. Brewer said it’s like operating an old furnace. Dave said our concern is will it pay for itself? Mr. Cumston said it will pay for itself. Mr. Cumston said the next ordinance will take care of that concern.
Jim Fitsko, Police Dept. 214,000 to fund the pool. $5.00/head will have 42,000 visit the pool? Mrs. Brewer said there is other revenue, the peak hour from the study, medium income, and 900 people at a time. $4.00 and 2.00 – 500 youth and 200 adults/day. Facilities in the state of Ohio that had to close their doors with peak capacity. They closed the gates. We had the study done over 2 years ago.
Mr. Edwards asked when the last time the pool was used for a swim club, or team. Mrs. Brewer said the last time was around 1998.
Mrs. Brewer said it’s not going to attract the non-swimmers. Many adults have never learned how to swim; they are going to something that’s 3’ deep. We are going to attract non-swimmers, that’s the idea.
Quinn O’Hare, 1188 E. Church St. – We are Americans, we love challenges. Way to do it, and reasons why we can’t. In the future I feel it will pay for itself. Improve the quality of life, nobody wants to live here. There is nothing here for the kids to do. Let’s find a way to make it work.
Ed Christian spoke again on the pool.
Mayor Schertzer spoke – a lot of kids hang out at the Rec Center, skate Board Park. That is something we can use the money on. I changed my mind; the economy is not getting better. I agree with Mr. Cumston and Quinn. I want the pool, but don’t need it. Right now, this year, is not a good time.
Ralph Cumston, III, is in favor of the pool. When we went to Avon Lake, they said that the money coming in was not to be expected. They have over 400 people there every day. It will support itself. The concrete around the pool is falling apart; the pumps are ready to die.
Dr. Gilsdorf said when you went to Avon Lake, 8 weeks, what did they make. Mrs. Brewer said they were 5,000 over. Some of the lifeguards came up with me; we got a lot of good information. I understand the economy stinks, I appreciate the opportunity, and this has been an amazing experience. Dr. Gilsdorf said the study said it would bring in from the surrounding counties. Mrs. Brewer said yes. Dr. Gilsdorf asked how many pools have they done? Mrs. Brewer said they have been in business for the past 35 years.
Mr. Ratliff said that Silver St. School has 260 kids @ Silver St. School. I was going to get a season pass for every kid in my ward, with the help of some businesses. They need that pool.
Dave Troutman said you put off spending money for the phone system. The reason was a bad time to spend that kind of money. It would be hypocrisy to approve this issue.
Zulu Kelley, 365 E. Farming, how many people would you service different people? Mrs. Brewer said 960/day. What percentage of Marion County would that be? In a 2-mile radius – 33%.
Juan Pickens 779 S. State St. in favor of the pool, it would attract different cities to come in here.
Dan Miller – Leetonia Rd. in favor of the Pool – working with Jeannie for 6 years. Who is going to benefit from this? Babies to extremely older persons us it. MRDD was using it. Pre-schools, water awareness classes, swimming lessons.
Troy Jarvis said we need this. It would be a big improvement.
Anthony Fosnaugh, Roberts Ave. Mayor Schertzer do you believe the pool will pay for itself? Mayor Schertzer said he has a lot of faith in the study. I have more faith in this when the local economy is in a better state than what it’s in now. There is a good possibility that it can work. I have concerns about the conditions. 10% unemployment – build the pool. Anthony said building the pool will add jobs, what is stopping the process of building the pool, and when it’s done – keep them. I believe the pool will pay for itself.
Mr. Hines said if the center is not built, are you going out to break windows. Anthony said no. It’s walking distance to me. I’m always busy. It covers all age groups.
Mr. Forest Osborne, 127 Camby Court asked what the capacity is of that pool. Mrs. Brewer stated the new pool, 1100 people. You’ll have to eliminate people coming in. Mrs. Brewer is worried about the people in Marion first, then some of the outside communities. We are taking the study of the professionals.
President Edwards spoke, he believes in this pool.
Mr. Cumston made the motion to adopt, Dr. Gilsdorf seconding. A yes vote is to override the Mayor’s veto. YEAS: Mr.Cumston, Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Thomas, Mrs. Blevins, Dr. Gilsdorf; NAYS: Mrs. Masters, Mr. Hines, Mrs. Gustin, Mr. Schaber.
MAYOR’S VETO IS NOT OVERTURNED
Mr. Cumston made the motion to table Ordinance 2011-15, Mrs. Masters seconding. The roll call: YEAS: Mr. Cumston, Mr. Ratliff, Mrs. Blevins, Mrs. Masters, Dr. Gilsdorf, Mr. Hines, Mrs. Gustin, Mr. Schaber; NAYS: Mr. Thomas. ORDINANCE 2011-15 IS TABLED
With no further business to come before council, President Edwards adjourned the meeting.
______________________________ Dave Edwards President of Council
Clerk of Council