February 12, 2007



The City of Union held their February 12, 2007 council meeting at 7:30 p.m., Monday night.  Mayor Beyer called the meeting to order.


            Attendance was taken and the following council members were present: Mr. Bruns, Mrs. Terry, Mrs. Kyle, Mayor Beyer, Mr. O’Callaghan, and Mrs. Perkins.  Other city staff members present were John P. Applegate, City Manager, Denise Winemiller, Clerk of Council, Michael Blackwell, Director of Public Safety, and Joe Moore, Law Director.


            Mrs. Goudy was excused from attending the February 12, 2007 council meeting by a vote of the council that occurred during the council meeting of February 26, 2007.


            Mayor Beyer asked for a moment of silence.


            1.         Mayor Beyer asked if there were any additions or corrections from the minutes of the January 22, 2007 council meeting.  There were no corrections so Mr. O’Callaghan moved that the minutes be accepted as prepared.  Mr. Bruns seconded the motion.  All concurred and the motion was passed.  The minutes were accepted as prepared.


            2.         There were several citizens and visitors that indicated that they wanted to address the council. 


            Mr. Jeffrey Hyman said he was present to answer any questions concerning Ordinance 1409, the rezoning on Old Springfield Road.


            Ron Jackson, from 1810 Old Springfield said he was present also, if there were any questions.


            Tom Hellard, 1909 Jackson Road said he and his wife were present to support the passage of Ordinance 1409. 


            Richard Oaks said he was willing to answer any questions concerning Ordinance 1409, the rezoning ordinance.




            Mayor Beyer asked if there were any additional comments from the council or Mr. Applegate concerning Ordinance 1409.  There were none.


            Mr. Bruns moved to have the second reading of Ordinance 1409.  Mr. O’Callaghan seconded the motion.  Mrs. Terry voted against the motion and the other council members voted in favor of the motion.  Ordinance 1409 was passed to the third reading. 




            Mr. Applegate said this resolution would authorize the city manager to enter into a four year agreement with Dayton Power and Light for the street lights.  Miami Valley Cable Council, of which Union is an affiliate, has negotiated this agreement.  Mr. Applegate said most of the communities in Montgomery County will be adopting this agreement. 

            The city had been in negotiation for a six year agreement with some increases but that agreement was not brought forward to the council until after the Miami Valley Cable Council competed their negotiations.  This new agreement has a discount of four percent in 2007 and a three percent discount in 2008, 2009, and 2010.  Mr. Applegate indicated a page attached to the resolution showing the difference in the contracts. 

            Mr. Bruns noted that on this contract, if Dayton Power and Light is late on major or minor repairs, the city receives money back.  He asked if that was on the previous agreement.  Mr. Applegate said this was not included in the earlier agreements.


            Mr. Applegate said he had presented the council with an analysis of the monthly bills for 2006 showing the cost for electricity to operate streets lights for $24,786 if owned by the city.  The city currently pays 247,000 dollars a year.  If their study comes out the way Englewood’s did, the city could possibly save sixty percent of what they currently pay. 

            One of the things the study will look into is the age of their system such as the light poles, etc.  Mr. Applegate said that the cities continue to pay for the light poles indefinitely through Dayton Power and Light.  Mr. Applegate said he wanted the council to know that they were proceeding with the study.

            Mr. Applegate said they will be waiting to see the result of the lawsuit filed by Englewood.     Mr. Applegate said other communities are looking into this also. 

            Mr. Applegate said it was staff’s recommendation that the city adopt this resolution and enter into this contract with Dayton Power and Light for four years. 


            Mr. Bruns moved to have the one and only reading and adopt Resolution 07-01.  Mr. O’Callaghan seconded the motion.  All concurred and the motion was passed.  Resolution 07-01 was adopted.




            Mr. Applegate said this resolution just extends the city’s depository agreement.  The city has been with Fifth Third Bank for quite sometime so they would like to continue this agreement.

            Mr. Applegate said they have been corresponding with various banks and have received a favorable response from one so they hope in the future, they could end up with a bank in the city. 

            Mr. Bruns asked if the city would be locked into this agreement until December 31, 2009 or if they could get out of it.  Mr. Applegate said they would be able to get out of this agreement if necessary.


            Mr. Bruns moved to have the one and only reading and adopt Resolution 07-02.  Mayor Beyer seconded the motion.  All concurred and the motion was passed.  Resolution 07-02 was adopted. 


            6.         Open Agenda


            Mayor Beyer said he read the story about snow removal in the Dayton Daily News on line and he read the various comments from people.  He said that the city employees were out until 1:00 or 1:30 a.m. plowing snow.  He said the people would have complained if their streets were not cleaned.  He praised the workers that spent their time plowing the streets and also the police department.


            He said there were comments that the Union Police Department has nothing else to do.  He said that is one thing that they have to do.  He said there was an ordinance about a snow emergency and having cars off of the street.  He said the police usually knock on doors and ask people to move their cars and they were accused of not doing that.   Union has always had a policy of clearing the streets curb to curb and taking off the snow as close to the bare pavement as they can get.  Mayor Beyer felt that a lot of the comments were rude, out of line, and personal.  Mayor Beyer added that most of the citizens move their cars and do not throw their snow into the street. 


            Mr. Bruns reminded everyone that in two days, (February 14) chocolate was always appropriate.


            Mrs. Terry thought that the article on the snow plowing was terrible.  She said she thought that the police do a good job, but she thought that in this instance, they could have walked over and said something or gone to the door and knocked.  She said she felt it made the city look bad and she would have done it another way.  She asked how much snow was put into the street.


            Police Chief Michael Blackwell said the snow from the entire driveway was put into the street.  He stated again that the person blew the snow from the entire driveway into the street.  The property is located very close to the school zone, at the bottom of the hill.  He said the cruisers have video cameras running showing him blowing the snow on to the street.


            Mr. Applegate reminded Mrs. Terry that this incident took place the following afternoon, after the road had already been cleared to the pavement.   It did not happen during the night or while they were still out snow plowing.  The street had been perfectly clear and the snow had been blown all the way out into the street.

            Mrs. Terry suggested that they give in to people a little more in certain circumstances.  She felt this looked bad for the city. 

            Chief Blackwell said that hopefully since this came up, people now know they are not allowed to do this and won’t do it again.   Chief Blackwell added that less than four percent of what you read in the newspaper is true. 

            Mrs. Terry asked if they could have just gone up and talked to him.  Chief Blackwell said they had been talking to people for six years.  He said the officers get out of their cruisers and warn people about parking cars in the streets and not pushing snow into the street.  He said that the city manager had decided that they had to do something about it and send a message.  Chief Blackwell said it was unfortunate that the homeowner was ill but it was his son that did it.  He said it was a matter of using common sense.  He asked why would people intentionally create a hazardous situation and put themselves into a liable situation.  He said it was not just a few inches of snow, it was snow from the entire driveway.  He said he knew that the newspaper made it sound like it was a small amount of snow but it was not. 

            Regarding moving the cars off the street, Chief Blackwell said that information was put into the fall newsletter and it was on the web site.  He said they do everything possible to notify people.  He said they could not go door to door and call everyone.  He said that they have been doing this for years and it has not worked. 

            He said all of the police officers and maintenance people are out, trying to have the roads clear so people can make it to the doctors or to the grocery and so the fire and ambulance crews can respond.  He said this is to provide service to their citizens. 

            Mrs. Terry still maintained that the article did not come out in a good way.  Chief Blackwell said maybe eventually it would be a good thing for the city.  Chief Blackwell said most of the cruisers have the on car video and they have tape of the incident.  Chief Blackwell said Channel 2 came out and they put the video on the news.  He said the Channel 2 reporters were surprised at the amount of snow shown in the video because that was not accurately represented in the newspaper article.  Chief Blackwell said that it took the person fifteen minutes to move the snow out of the driveway.

            Mr. Applegate said 99 percent of the residents help by moving their cars and are in good compliance.  He said that makes their job in plowing snow easier and safer.  Mr. Applegate said their streets are better than any other community.  He said every street, alley and cul-de-sac is cleaned. 

            Mrs. Terry asked about putting the snow back into the driveways.  Mr. Applegate said that is unavoidable.  The snow is plowed to the curb, whether there is a driveway or not.      

            Mr. Applegate said the maintenance crews do an excellent job.  He said they receive comments from residents that they do an excellent job and a huge majority of the citizens like what the city does. 

            Mr. Applegate said that some of cars that the city tows off of the street are inoperable or not licensed and people have complained about them. 


            Mrs. Terry said that the person that put the snow in the road was not a Union resident.  The Chief said the property owner was there. 

            Chief Blackwell said that he had received numerous complaints about that particular incident, and that information was not included in the Dayton Daily News article.  

            The citation was for a misdemeanor and the level of offense is set by state law.  The revenue goes to Vandalia Municipal Court, not the City of Union.  It is a serious problem that the city is trying to correct and prevent an accident.  The snow needs to go into the yard, not into the street. 


            Mrs. Kyle said she was shoveling snow and re-shoveling her drive approach after the road plows go through.  She said she was proud of the police department.  She did see police go door to door and have people move their cars.  She said her neighbor blew the snow out of the driveway into the yard.  She said she thought everyone would be that smart.


            Mr. O’Callaghan thanked the Chief, Mr. Applegate and city employees for doing such a fantastic job.  He said he appreciated it.


            Mrs. Perkins said there was another big storm coming.  She asked that everyone slow down and be safe. 


            Mr. Applegate said at the last meeting, there were some comments made during the public hearing.  Mr. Applegate said they have provided the council with the first annual report that was put together by the chief for the fire department.  This verifies what the department does.  Mr. Applegate said they do an awesome job and that is reflected by the response times.  The department was created in 1998 and they promised a response time of five minutes and they have done that.


            Chief Blackwell said there has been a slight increase in response times and he felt that was due to the amount of responses that they had on the other side of the river.   They had fourteen calls on the east side of the river.  Two of the calls had an eleven minute and a nine minute response time.  The eleven minute response time was because the call came in during the Toll Road Festival and the medics were in the Toll Road Festival area and it took them longer to respond.

            The nine minute response time occurred because the first medic was already out and it was the back up medic that responded to the call.

            Chief Blackwell said even with those two longer response times, the City of Union’s response time average is better than most other agencies in Ohio and is well below the national average.  He said they could easily respond to any new homes or developments on the other side of the river. 


            7.         Mrs. Kyle moved that the council meeting be adjourned.  Mr. Bruns seconded the motion.  All concurred and the council meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,




Denise A. Winemiller, Clerk of Council



Michael O’Callaghan, Vice Mayor