May 8, 2017 Summary

MARION CITY COUNCIL MEETING

City Hall – Council Chambers on May 8, 2017, 7:30 PM

ROLL CALL - 10 members answered – Mr. Cumston, Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Thomas, Ms. Blevins, Ms. Cunningham, Mr. Huddle, Mr. Norris, Mr. Daniels, Ms. Gustin, Dr. Gray.

 

PRAYER LED BY PASTOR JASON QWAST OF FAMILY LIFE CHURCH

 

Summary of Proceedings from April 24, 2017 – Mr. Cumston moved to approve, Mr. Thomas 2nd. Roll call: Ayes all, motion carried. Summary is approved.

 

Mr. Cumston moved to add Ordinance 2017-25, Ms. Blevins, Mr. Thomas 3rd. ORDINANCE 2015-25 IS ADDED TO TONIGHT’S AGENDA.

 

Discussion: Mr. Chris Albanese presented Marcy’s Law – Equal rights for Victims.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

ORDINANCE 2017-21:

ORDINANCE TO REPEAL CODIFIED ORDINANCE SECTION 618.15 BEE KEEPING IN ITS ENTIRETY AND CREATING NEW CHAPTER 1128 “AGRICULTURAL USES” WITHIN THE ZONING CODE IN THE CITY OF MARION

            Mr. Daniels stated that this came out of Legislation Codes with a 3-0 approval, I’d like to suspend the rules, then open for discussion. Mr. Thomas 2nd. Roll call: YEAS: Mr. Cumston, Mr. Thomas, Ms. Blevins, Ms. Cunningham, Mr. Huddle, Mr. Norris, Mr. Daniels, Ms. Gustin; NAYS: Mr. Ratliff.

            Mr. Don Jones of 866 E. Mark St. spoke:  Have been a bee keeper for 7 years. A couple of things should be changed, but overall on the new Ordinance, I don’t see any reason why you don’t have bees in the City. I like it. Mr. Huddle asked where he keeps his bees now.  Mr. Jones said in Marion. I do cut-outs, people try to kill them, I go over and cut them out and save them. Mr. Daniels said the loss of the bee population. We don’t have the number of bees like we had years ago. Without pollinators and bees there is a lot of our crops that don’t exist any longer. 80% of loss. Mr. Jones said 30-40% die off each year. In Ohio, we had 360,000 bee hives, at this present time, we have 36,000 state wide. They are in a decline. Colony collapse disorder, there is a lot of things that affect them. It’s hit and miss for a bee keeper. We need the bees for pollination.

            Mr. Ratliff said there was a couple of things you said you didn’t like. What were they. Mr. Jones said 20’ from a dwelling. From my house what’s the difference, I understand from the neighbor’s house. That’s the only thing I saw that I didn’t like. Mrs. Gustin said we put that in for utility people coming and going. Mr. Ratliff said a Police Officer or a Fire Fighter.

            Mrs. Gustin asked what do you use for the water source. Mr. Jones said I use a bird bath. My neighbor has tires out there, and they have water in them. They will get water wherever they can. Mr. Huddle asked about certification. Mr. Jones said I’m a Journeyman Bee Keeper. I go to classes every year. Mr. Huddle said if you are good bee keeper, if you had bees, people pass away and left them there. Bees will go anywhere. Have you heard of situation like that? Mr. Jones said you get in touch with a bee keeper and they will take care of them.

            Mr. Dave Roush spoke: I’ve been a bee keeper since I’ve been 10 years old. I live out in the County. This weekend I took 4 swarms out of this town. They are already here; people don’t know it. 36,000 – that is actual beehives that are registered with the department of agriculture. That’s not including the wild hives. In the 60’s. something like 1 million. Lost about 80% of our bees in 2006 in Ohio. There is a lot of things that won’t be produced if no pollinated; Fruits and Vegetables. We have more problems with yellow jackets and so on. Honey bees are very docile. The law you wrote up is very good except the fly away and barrier. The front of the hive – I would not put a barrier, put it behind the hive – the entrance. That puts the bees high above the neighbors. They should drop down to the hive. Honeybees travel 2-1/2 miles.  If you would put a hive in your yard, I would notify your neighbor of it. Everyone should get a state license, that’s good. It’s law. You should have that done by June 30th. People that want to do this, there are all kinds of Federal, State and Local Grants for this. They will give you the money to set up a beehive.

            Mr. Huddle asked about inspections. Mr. Roush said every state has an inspector. You must get your license, then it’s his job to inspect the bees. Making sure that hive is healthy. If it’s not healthy, then it’s destroyed. They inspect it once a year.

            Mr. Daniels said the better situation of bee survival, the existence of bee keepers. The one complaint that I had the argument of being allergic to bees. If they moved in next door. Assumption is having more bee keepers, fewer bees in places where they would sting people. Mr. Roush said your chances of getting stung is getting stung by a wasp. They only time they are aggressive is usually when you are taking their honey. Not your next-door neighbor, you. Tonight, I took all the bees out of the hive and put them all back, not one sting. Also in the fall, they can be aggressive. Wasp varieties try to take their honey before winter. They get more aggressive at that time; the rest of the time is that they are more docile. When bees come out of the hive, they fly up and out.

            Mr. Daniels said the suggestions that you make, they are good ones. Mr. Roush said I think it’s a great thing you are doing this. Step further is to get some grants; they are all available.

            Mr. Jeff George, 650 Bexley Ave. spoke: we are residents of the City, we don’t currently bee keep. I asked Dave to come here tonight. We have considered beekeeping in the past. We offer our support for the ordinance as it’s written. We think it’s great. Mr. Thomas said they are not aggressive, I agree with Ralph and Josh and amend it and re-suspend it tonight. Mr. Ratliff said if you were re-writing section 4.

            Mr. Roush said C should 2 feet from each side. A should read along the rear and side of the beehive. Not the entrance. The closer to the barrier, the higher they will stay. 5’ from property line – put that fly zone 2’ behind the hive, that keeps the bees away from your neighbor’s heads before they come into the hive. Mr.  Cumston said Section a should said rear and side. Mr. Jones asked about the 20’. Mr. Daniels said the thought behind that is this. Fire scene – one thing on their mind. Something in the way, they don’t care what it is – they will run over it. It just sounded like better sense for the 20’.

 

Mr. Daniels moved to retract my suspension, Mr. Cumston 2nd. Roll call: Ayes all, motion carried.

Mr. Daniels moved to amend the A and C section: Shall be placed along the rear and side of the beehive, remove the entrance.  C: Shall be located within 2 feet of the hive. Mr. Cumston 2nd. Roll call: Ayes all, motion carried.

Mr. Daniels moved to suspend, Mr. Cumston 2nd. Roll call: Ayes all, motion carried. Mr. Daniels moved to adopt, Mr. Cumston 2nd. Roll call: Ayes all, motion carried. ORDINANCE 2017-21 IS ADOPTED AS AMENDED

 

ORDINANCE 2017-25:

ORDINANCE MAKING AN ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION TO THE GENERAL FUND SAFETY DEPARTMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2017

 

            Mr. Cumston noted that this came out of Finance with a 3-0 approval, I’ll move to suspend, Mr. Huddle 2nd. Roll call: ayes all, motion carried.

            Mr. Cumston moved to adopt, Mr. Huddle 2nd. Roll call: Ayes all, motion carried. ORDINANCE 2017-25 IS ADOPTED

 

Matters not on the Agenda:

 

Mr. Daniels spoke about HB 5; how City collects Income Tax. Penalties and Interest rates.  This is not how the city has been operating. 6% interest on unpaid taxes. Discretionary part is the penalty – up to 15%. The word MAY is in the clause. The 15% is what City Council should address. In Legislative Codes, I would bring this forward that would set fair and equitable penalties for those that go past the 15th deadline. I don’t think we should be paying penalties on estimated quarterly payments. State Law says we pay interest on that if we don’t file. After 15th of April, everyone knows you own tax on Tax Day. It’s advertised everywhere.  This works out to about 40% with interest and penalties. Mr. Ratliff said I feel for somebody in a situation with this. It’s not a fault of anybody. We’ve addressed a lot of issues of collection of taxes. This is an example that the State can run things in the local governments, and things can get screwed up. If you file on April 15th there is no issue, Columbus went and changed the laws and rules, and nobody knew. I’m going to assume that a lot of people filed on time every year. Feeling that they were in the right, Columbus is saying wait a minute, the City should charge you more. It isn’t fair. It should stay in the local level. The local level is much more responsive with real people. I can see this is a problem. My interpretation of that code, says that the city has an obligation to publish the fees and the interest rate in October for the following year. What does publish entail. Did we do it. I didn’t even know about it. I think it’s completely unfair to assess penalties and interest.

Mr. Daniels said 718.27 Interest and penalties – that this law requires that we charge 5% over the federal short term rate as is published in July and that is what will establish the unpaid taxes for the year following. 15% penalty – no ordinance to back that up. With respect to unpaid income tax – MAY impose a penalty of 15%. It’s discretionary. That’s the discussion that this body needs to speak about. Mr. Cumston said he agrees. Uniform Tax Code – that was the beginning with the master plan – take away our collecting. If we are going to charge a penalty, we can define it. Whatever Council decides, it should be uniform across the table. The whole thing is over 900 pages long, this portion is about 160 pages. There is a lot of information in there. Mrs. Gustin said its unfair if you do it quarterly, you’d never catch up. Mr. Huddle said it’s impossible to know how much you owe locally. I tried last year, I withheld quite a bit more tax money but I came above the 200.00, so I was penalized right away, and I’m on quarterly payments, I don’t think it’s fair.

            Auditor Carr said Mr. Daniels and I spoke today, we work very hard to make sure we do everything right and what is required. I’m only here to follow either your legislation or the ORC. How that works out, you have the authority, I’m more than happy to have that guidance, it makes my life a whole lot easier. I’m not unopposed on things we do locally. I will continue to work on looking at this. I don’t make the rules, it’s the rules you give me. As we progress through this, if there are things we can do, I will definitely support it. Mr. Daniels said the urgency on this is important. The late penalty was dropped on this particular return. State law only allows a 15% maximum, should we continue in the intern to send out those late penalties, it’s likely that we might have to make refunds. I don’t think anybody is going to say let’s charge the 15% and that’s a good idea. I’ve come to the conclusion so as we don’t have to have refunds made.

            Ms. Cunningham thanked Mr. Daniels for bringing this to our attention, I had no idea – we should take this to Committee? Mr. Daniels said it’s a code change. Mr. Cumston said it should go to Committee. Mr. Daniels said next week I’ll call a Legislative Codes. Everybody will have a chance to put in their input.

            Mr. Ratliff asked about the gas stations on N. Main. I’m happy to see they are working on the old Swifty Station, but nothing has been happening on the old Clark Station. At this point the city has moved the issue as far as the City can move it. A. an issue with the LLC who owns it and B. Bigger issue with the County’s lack of desire to foreclose on the property so that we can take the property like we should and get the grant money to clean the property up. They have put another property out on the County near River Valley School District ahead of this one, make it that there will be no money available to deal with this. Call your County officials, call your prosecutor’s office, call every office in the County, Auditor, Treasurer; because they are not doing anything. Something can be done. There are tanks under the property, the grant money can be gone, and won’t be able to use it. The County has to step up and help us out on this.

Mayor Schertzer said you are on the right track Mr. Ratliff. LD Russell and I have met Assist. Prosecutor 2 weeks ago. Asked him about doing a tax foreclosure on 770 N. Main St. The LLC makes it very difficult for the prosecutor, LD or anybody to find a responsible person (s) to abate the nuisances at 770 N. Main. We can’t legally go on that property. Its BUSTER – specific money that will allow us to clean up abandoned gas stations. We need access to that property to go the next step for the grant BUSTER. We also met with him last week, we asked again and he said I think we are moving on it. LD is meeting with him tomorrow afternoon and will ask him then.

Mr. Norris asked what going on with the traffic lights on Columbia and Blaine? Mr. Bischoff is waiting for repair parts to come in.  Normally its about 2 week to get the wire and new stuff in. Hopefully will get that fixed sometime this week.

 

 

COMMITTEE DATES:

                                                                                    Reference

Finance:                     5-16-2017      @ 6:30 pm     Regular Bus.

Legislation Codes:    5-16-2017      @ 6:45 pm     Income Tax Penalty

Regional Planning:    5-24-2017      @ 7:00 pm     County Building

Streets & Sewers:     5-16-2017      @ 6:40 pm     Alley Vacation on W Center St

           

 

With no further business to come before Council, Dr. Gray adjourned the meeting.

 

                                   

                                                                        ____________________________                                                                         Dr. Scot Gray                                                                                                             President of Council

_________________________     

Clerk of Council