CITY OF PROSPECT
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
March 15, 2010
(A complete transcript of this meeting is available at City Hall and on the City's Web Site, http://www.prospectky.com )
Present: Mayor Todd Eberle; Council Members Loretta Ertel, Sandra Leonard, Stuart Miles, Mike Scott, Alan Simon, and Sandra Tucci; City Attorney Grover Potts; City Administrator Ann Simms; Police Chief Marvin Wilson; Recording Secretary Debra Skaggs; Court Reporter Carola Strijek.
Mayor Eberle called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Council Member Alan Simon moved approval of the minutes of the regular City Council Meeting of January 11, 2010; Council Member Loretta Ertel seconded; passed unanimously.
Mayor Todd Eberle noted that the a ccountant's end of February monthly financial reports had been distributed to Council Members prior to the meeting. The internal budgetary analysis for that period is included with the Council Members meeting materials. He thanked Deputy City Clerk Debra Skaggs for her efforts in collecting delinquent property taxes. He advised the Council that revenues from property taxes continued to exceed budgetary expectations, though insurance premium tax proceeds remain short of budgetary expectations. The overall financial picture is positive with roughly 80% of budgeted revenues received and 65% of budgeted expenditures disbursed at the close of eight months of operations. The Mayor noted that the 2010-2011 Budget Committee had met twice and a balanced budget will be presented at the April City Council Meeting. Care has been taken to contain expenditures wherever possible. At present, for non-salary/employee benefit line items, the budget reflects 51 expenditure lines being reduced with only 16 expenditure lines being increased.
Ethics Commission disclosure statements are currently due and should be filed with Commission Chair, Susan Nicholson as soon as possible. Most all forms have been received.
The Prospect Forestation Board is working with the Kentucky Division of Forestry to remove a stand of Tree of Heaven (an invasive and forest-destructive tree species) from city lands near Harrods Creek. The Kentucky Division of Forestry is conducting the removal at no cost to the city and will be using the opportunity to create an educational model for training city staffs to repeat the treatment in coming years in order to ensure complete eradication. The Forestation Board is also investigating various methods for treating ash trees to prevent destruction by the emerald ash borer which has now been found in Jefferson County. There are roughly 110 ash trees on city lands which could be treated. Treatment methods are being explored and cost estimates will be available soon. The information will be shared with private landowners who wish to treat ash trees on their property.
City Administrator Ann Simms has been attending meetings of the River Road Scenic Byway Corridor Management Study Group. The group's most recent meeting was hosted by the City of Prospect at City Hall three weeks ago. Another is scheduled to be held at City Hall on Monday, March 29 th . Prospect is pleased to be represented in the Study Group and to have had the opportunity to host the Group's meetings.
Mayor Eberle has attended recent meetings concerning the possible termination of Transit Authority of River City (TARC) Bus Routes 59 and 68X which currently serve the city. He is hoping to save at least one of the two routes for the Prospect area.
The Prospect Library Spring Book Sale is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 14 and 15. The Library Committee is asking residents and friends of the library to clean their shelves of unwanted books for donation to the sale. Sale proceeds directly benefit the library.
The Putney Pond and Woodlands Advisory Committee has undertaken a fundraising campaign to collect funds for the construction of a boulder stairway descending off the main hiking trail to an area which will be used as a gathering space for environmental education and other activities. Pledge and contribution forms have been distributed through the efforts of Committee Chair Linda Wardell, City Council Liaison to the Committee Stuart Miles, and other members of the Committee. Financial contribution forms are also available at City Hall. Mayor Eberle expressed deep appreciation to Prospect residents Harry and Doris Hardin who donated the lead gift for the project covering fully one-half of the cost. It is hoped that the remaining amount of the expense for the Boulder Stairs Project can be collected by April 17, 2010. This would allow the stairway to be completed in time for the Advisory Committee's Putney Pond and Woodlands Open House scheduled for Saturday, May 8, 2010 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The Open House will feature guided tours of the woodland trails and distribution of interpretive information regarding the Putney Pond and Woodlands natural area.
Mayor Eberle introduced Doug Heberle of Louisville-based Qk4 Architecture / Engineering / Planning for a presentation regarding the recently completed Prospect Mobility Study. Mr. Heberle thanked the Council for their support of the Study. It was conducted over the past year and culminated in a Final Report published in February 2010. The Study was funded through a grant from the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency and guided by a steering committee consisting of representatives of the City of Prospect, the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency, Louisville Metropolitan Government, the Transit Authority of River City, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and the Qk4 project consultant staff. Mr. Heberle noted that the basic purpose of the Study and resulting plan is to enhance vehicular, bike and pedestrian mobility within the city and to create a multi-modal transportation network connecting residential areas to each other as well as to the commercial center. Mr. Heberle's presentation was accompanied by slides illustrating twenty-one recommendations made to City. Discussion followed with questions and comments from City Council Members Ertel, Leonard, Miles, Simon and Tucci as well as Mayor Eberle, City Administrator Ann Simms and City Attorney Grover Potts. It was suggested that an ordinance be prepared adopting the Study as an official plan for the City with adoption of its recommendations. City Attorney Potts suggested that the City may then wish to send the city-adopted plan to the Metropolitan Louisville Planning Commission with the suggestion that it be used as a basis for amendment to the Land Development Code.
The Police Report was presented by Chief Marvin Wilson. Monthly statistics were noted which reflected an increase in house watches compared to statistics for February 2009. He noted that the Department is working with several neighborhoods on Block Watch activities. The first Block Watch was organized in the Sutherland neighborhood in 2001. Since that time Block Watches have been added in Bridgepointe, Hunting Creek, Fox Harbor, Hunting Hills and The Woodlands and Innisbrook is currently working to establish one in their neighborhood. Chief Wilson noted that Officer Pat Timmons, the Department's Community Resource Officer, is attending monthly meetings with other law enforcement financial crime investigators to coordinate efforts in preventing and investigating financial crimes. The Chief also noted that the back entry gate of the Bridgepointe neighborhood has been malfunctioning. The Police Department has been working with Bridgepointe resident Tim Cahill to remedy the problem. In response to citizen concerns expressed at the February Council Meeting, the Department is conducting traffic studies in the Deep Creek Drive area as well as the Fox Harbor neighborhood. Mayor Eberle expressed appreciation to the City's police officers for their efforts in advising citizens of City Code violations on their property. Most code violation problems are easily resolved when officers point out them out to residents.
COMMENTS FROM CITIZENS:
Mike Hague, a resident of The Landings neighborhood addressed the Council regarding "bench billboard signage" on U.S. Highway 42 near the Timber Ridge Drive intersection. Mayor Eberle noted that the bench billboards are off-premise signs prohibited under Prospect's Code of Ordinances and, though the realtor billboard advertisement was removed at the request of the City, the benches themselves carry advertisement for the Bench Billboard Company of Cincinnati. The City has been in contact with the owners of the company. If the benches are not removed in the near future, the City will take action to have them removed and store them at City Hall for the owners. Mr. Hague also expressed concern over turn lane signage painted on the road surface at the Timber Ridge Drive exit from The Landings neighborhood. Police Chief Marvin Wilson agreed to study the traffic patterning for the most safe and efficient configuration.
Mayor Eberle and City Attorney Grover Potts indicated the need for an Executive Session to discuss pending litigation. Council Member Alan Simon made a motion to remove to executive session; Council Member Sandra Leonard seconded; passed unanimously. The Council went into Executive Session at 8:20 p.m.
Upon return from Executive Session, Mayor Eberle stated that discussions had occurred but no decisions had been made by the City Council during the session. Council Member Stuart Miles moved to adjourn; Council Member Mike Scott seconded; passed unanimously.
Mayor Eberle declared the meeting adjourned at 8:47 p.m.
Todd B. Eberle
Ann R. Simms
March - 2010