FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
FEBRUARY 22, 2016
Committee Chair Mr. Evers opened the meeting at approximately 6:00 p.m. Members of the Committee in attendance were Mr. Evers, Mr. Hoefle and Mr. Zuren. Present from Council were Mr. Meyers, Mr. Kasunick, Mr. Spotton and Council President Ms. DePledge.
In attendance from the Administration was Mayor Morley. All of the Directors were absent and excused.
Also in attendance were members of the public.
2016 Budget Review
Lease Agreement with the American Croatian Lodge
Mr. Evers: The meeting tonight is to discuss or have a question and answer period concerning the Lease Agreement with the American Croatian Lodge. This has been referred to this committee as of last November 2015 and it is still in the committee and it has not moved forward yet. With that I would like to turn it over to Mayor Morley.
Mayor Morley: Thank you Mr. Evers. I believe that all of you are aware of all the items that we have done in the City over the last few years due to our financial issues. One of the items is the agreement with the YMCA to run our pool. There is no cost to the residents of our City. We are also in an agreement with EPAL to run our Community Center. With the complaints and concerns that we have had about Central Park I was approached by the Lodge and they want to put some soccer fields and put in a park back there. I imagine that everyone in this room knows about our financial situation. We can’t take care of it ourselves and we aren’t getting any initiatives passed. This is the way that I thought that we could try and go so that we have some nice things in our City. I know that there are a lot of things that are on social media saying that we are going to fence off the fields and that no one is going to be allowed in. With those questions we can haveMr. Mazar explain more about it. Some of the other items were the fact that why don’t we sell it. The reason for my conern on trying to sell it is yeah we could try and sell it for $300,000.00 but by the end of the year that money will be gone. My thought process on it was who knows maybe in fifteen years the City will have some money and maybe our residents will pass an initiative. The older Councilmen know my thought on that area. One day it could be a Senior Center, a swimming pool and a Community Center all in one area. I don’t know if that will happen in my tenure but that’s the goal and I think the City should continue to have that goal. In the mean time instead of it looking the way that it does I believe that this would be a good thing for our City. I am open for questions from Council.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Zuren?
Mr. Zuren: I did have questions and they did get answered. I did have a question about the new lease compared to the lease that was presented in December 2015. Under Section 9 there was a sub section that talked about…to accomidate new soccer leagues and I see that it has been removed from the current lease. I just wanted to see if I could get an explanation as to why it was removed.
Mayor Morley: I don’t think that we removed it.
Mr. Hoefle: It’s in there.
Mr. Zuren: I thought that it was the other way around.
Mr. Hoefle: It is the other way around. Sub section B has been added.
Mayor Morley: We added B.
Ms. DePledge: Sub section B is missing from my copy too.
Mr. Zuren: This is the December one and this is the current one.
Ms. DePledge: Mine goes from A to C.
Mayor Morley: This is the one that I sent and it is the current one.
Ms. DePledge: Actually these numbers are off all together. It goes A B and then A, B and D.
Mr. Hoefle: We are talking on page four of seven.
Mayor Morley: This is the one that I have been going off of.
Mr. Zuren: That is the one that I used.
Ms. DePledge: I am not sure as to why we have the wrong leases in our mail box tonight.
Mayor Morley: What I did is I emailed them and this is not the one that I sent over. The one that you guys are looking at is the most current lease. So I don’t know why that one was put in your box. It is not from me.
Mr. Kasunick: So this is the most current one right here?
Mayor Morley: Yes.
Mr. Evers: There will be time for the public to have their input after Council has had all of thier questions answered.
Mayor Morley: Speaking aboutthat I did invite the Eastlake Soccer to tonight’s meeting and he said that he was going to try to make it. My discussions with Mr. Mazar have been if the Eastlake Soccer wants to take it over they have no problem paying them. Again it comes down to the fact that the fields will have to be fixed along with everything else. No one else has come up with any money to do that.
Mr. Evers: The Mayor has brought up a good point and I think that it is very relavent for the new people to be aware of this. Those fields have been empty for two years and we started taking a look at this back in April about trying to get a City League in there. We have contacted the Eastlake Boys Softball league and they are not interest in re-establishing that organization. Those fields belong to them. We have also contacted the Eastlake Girls Softball League and there was some interest there until they found out the cost to repair the fencing which is between $8,000.00 to $10,000.00. Once they saw that they walked away. I have contacted several other leagues in the City and none of them have the finances, the time or the effort to man these fields the way that they need to be manned. I know that the Mayor has also been in contact with several of them.
Ms. DePledge: Did you have anymore questions Mr. Zuren?
Mr. Zuren: No I just noticed…
Mayor Morley: Like I said…
Ms. DePledge: It is still in there.
Mr. Zuren: I am good with it.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Mazar maybe you could answer some questions for the public. These have popped up…fencing? How much of that do you see being fenced in, fenced off, or however you want to phrase it?
Mr. Mazar: I believe that I presented a diagram to everybody and it is a very rough sketch. We would have fencing on the south perimeter of the lot where it butts up against residential housing. We have completely fenced off …we were also looking at doing some type of fencing that would basically be a boundary from that to the property up to Washington. With the ability of an opening and the ability of a passage way and it would go to this diagram where you will have a park type setting and we would landscape it. The update would provide a pavilion and it would be an open area for everybody. Then along the side that bumps up to our facility will not be fenced. It would be fenced to the basketball court where they are at today along with a short fence that would go up and around where the playground is. That will also have a gate and it will open up. That is the intention and obviously these are just rough drafts. Quotes will need to be done along with architectural drawings. This is a rough idea of what we have in mind.
Mr. Evers: So where the property butts up to the Community Center the one acer and six thenths lot or what ever it is.
Mr. Mazar: Are you looking at our property that is on Lakeshore?
Mr. Evers: No I am looking at the City property.
Mr. Mazar: That is Washington.
Mr. Evers: At the other end there is…and you had mentioned some playground equiptment.
Mr. Mazar: There is playground equiptment that is actually towards the Community Center.
Mr. Evers: The Community Center.
Mr. Mazar: There were some remarks on social media that I made a public statement saying the intention is to get rid of it. The intention is to put a small short fence there and to keep that playground area for the Community Center.
Mr. Evers: That clearifies that.
Mr. Mazar: We do not want to get rid of it in fact we would look into upgrading it. To make it look nice and clean.
Mr. Evers: That answers my questions. Mr. Hoefle?
Mr. Hoefle: Just to let you know that once this has all started I have taken several trips over there to take a look at the property along with taking several photos. I have been in contact with the Mayor and I was going to get in contact with Mr. Mazar if I did have some questions. I am not sure if everyone else on Council was able to go over and see everything. I have questioned through out the contract stating as to the landlord and I asked who is the landlord is? Is it the City of Eastlake or is it Council because it was going back and forth. Our Law Director did say that Eastlake will be and that is fine. In regards to the playground equiptment I did have a question and it did get clarified. I believe that one of the parcels towards the far side western side…Mayor it already looks like the one parcel is right up against the Commuinty Center which is the 1.4 acres and then there is the larger one which is the 5.74 acres. The next one over actually belongs to Willoughby-Eastlake Schools and the next one belongs to us. Are they looking at possibly…if this goes through flip flopping it or are the schools goint to….
Mayor Morley: We have talked to the schools and they will work with us as to how or what we need back there. If there is any land that we need we have sat down and talked with them about it. It is weird how that is set up to where you have the Board of Education, then the City of Eastlake, then the Board of Education, the Board of Educatio, the Board of Education and the Board of Education. I don’t know how the City parcel got in the middle of all of it. We haven’t gone through the auditors to take a look at that yet. Just to comment we weren’t going to have the Croatian Home have an architectural firm do anything if this wasn’t going to go anywhere. We have been talking about this and if the City wants to move forward on it then we will and if they don’t then we won’t. There is one other thing that we need cleared up…are you done?
Mr. Hoefle: I was letting you finish.
Mayor Morley: Mine is to clear up something else that is on social media.
Mr. Hoefle: What I was just looking at as far as that lot right there…that section right there…some of the off field fence does go into the Willoughby-Eastlake’s ball field so I just wanted to make sure that it was going to get removed.
Mr. Mazar: The intention that we were looking at and to see if it is feasible is to flip it so that everything joins together and it is one large space. I think that we would be…it would obviously be properly surveyed and then we would look at what we could use and what we can’t use. We would up grade and install new fencing.
Mr. Hoefle: Like I had said throughout this whole thing which is in regards to who is the landlord and Mr. Klammer commented that it would be Eastlake and not just Council. I think that we are good to go with all of my other questions and I am fine with everything.
Mr. Evers: Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: Could you clear up was on social media about the 501 C-3 and the private American Croatian Lodge? Because it is being portrayed that we are going to go and do business with a for profit organization and that is part of the reason as to why there are some issues with some of our residents. Could you clear that up?
Mr. Mazar: To a certain extent it is true that the American Croatian Lodge is a for profit business. However there are many non-profit groups that are affiliated or associated with our group. One of our groups is the Croatian Soccer Group. It is a youth group and adult group. They are a non-profit group and they run under us. We donate a significant amount of money to them. Basically they have discounted rent and their coaching staff is a premiere coaching staff. They do it on a part-time basis. It is not a for profit business. The lease agreement was intended to be with the lodge fora reason and the purpose of the financial implications that were involved. The Croatian Soccer Group doesn’t have a $100,000.00 or even $50,000.00 to invest in this kind of project. So we would do it on their behalf. They do have a lot of significant cost which would be off set with this project. Essentually we would be liable through the City of Eastlake. I think that it would work out for the interest of the City of Eastlake. Considering that we are the ones with the asset and the cash and we would be sponsoring this non for profit group. I don’t know if that is clear for everyone.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Kasunick?
Mr. Kasunick: You work with non-profits with the respect to the soccer leagues or teams that will be playing there are they all non-profits or just certain groups that are for profit?
Mr. Mazar: They are all non-profit.
Mr. Kasunick: They are all non-profit.
Mr. Mazar: There are many non-profit organizations…
Mr. Kasunick: Are they C-3 organizations or do they get some other….
Mr. Mazar: I think that they are a 501 C-3…I don’t know the actual.
Mr. Kasunick: The people who make contributions to them do they get any tax deductions? Or are they for charitable organizations.
Mr. Mazar: I believe so and I do not know exactly how they operate. I am not on the board of directors there. They have a membership fee as well. A lot of the parents go there and they cover by 99% of the cost.
Mr. Kasuncik: Also a follow up to the fencing question. With respect to pedstrians and cyclist that would be coming from the area over by Washington School to where the Commuinity Center is would there be any obstructions that don’t currently exist? Or is there still going to be a pathway to walk their dog or ride their bike?
Mr. Mazar: We are open minded as to how this is going to be designed. We are willing to change and work with the City of Eastlake to see what is in the best interest for everybody. We could make a path off to the side or at the one end. We can try and figure something out. The diagram that is given here is rough draft. It is something that we were hoping to develop a report with. You guys are…more hand in hand with you guys on this project. The risk would be on our end. We would be able to manage it and maintaine it for the longevity of the contract. However the design work is very rough. If we want to flip the fields, or change the park a certain direction, or make a path a certain way as long as it is in a certain scope and a certain budget. We can’t get to lavish with this project or it will become a quarter of a million dollar project. Because at the end of the day who is going to pay for it. It is going to be the kids and their parents who are paying for this. I have to amertise the cost of this project over the longevity of the contract. So if it fifteen years than it is fifteen years plus the maintance on a year basis to maintane the fields. Then I have to absorb that and pass that cost on to the kids and their parents. We are intending and hoping that the program is going to grow in order to elevate some of that cost…and the Lodge would obviously donate help to maintane.
Mr. Kasunick: When do you anticipate on starting the construction for the fence and redoing the fields? A majority of the fields are the infield to the baseball field. So when do you plan on starting all of that? Is it going to be this spring?
Mr. Mazar: We don’t know. We were under the assumption that this wasn’t even going to get passed. We have some property that is out in Chardon and we were looking at developing and to start the drawings on that. We have options and we are currently…we have cost right now. The program is leasing property on Lost Nation and they are also going back and forth with different locations in Eastlake…..
Mr. Kasuncik: The Chardon field is that property that you own?
Mr. Mazar: That is property that the American Croatian Lodge ownes and we would actually give that to our non-profit group. It is 115 acres that we have.
Mr. Kasunick: Do you have any concerns as far as assurances? This is a fifteen year lease and I know that there is a provision that is in there that says something like the parties can mutually agree to extend by five years but think that it is saperfalis provision. Of course at the end of a lease term the parties can agree to extend the lease.
Mr. Mazar: I don’t know what that means. I am sorry I don’t know what the word means that you used.
Mr. Kasuncik: It means pointless basically.
Mr. Mazar: Ok.
Mr. Kasunick: Say you were given an option for another five years as apposed to a mutual agreement of the parties. Would you be willing to pay something in rent for additional assurances or anything along those lines?
Mr. Mazar: It is something that we would consider. We would have to look at the bottom line for the cost. Right now we originally proposed it to be a twenty year deal because we looked at what the amount was going to be and what the current fees are for the program and twenty years made sense. It’s not going to be more expensive for the kids to still play and practice. Fifteen years is squeezing it and now there is a premimum if we go in this direction. This is not exactly a great business deal on behalf of the American Croatian Lodge to be investing this kind cash for a piece of property that isn’t ours. We kind of see this as global benefit for everybody and at the end of the day it is going to matter what the dollars amount too and whats feesable for us to absorb that cost is.
Mr. Kasunick: My next question is directed more towards the Mayor and for the Council members who have been here longer than I have. What are the Cities current expenses with the respected area and can you break it down. I know that in certain areas you have to pay someone to mow it.
Mayor Morley: The labor is fixed. Last year we were going to close the Community Center until we got the deal with PAL. There is no expense and our expenses here are bodies. We don’t have bodies to maintane any of the fields here. That is the bottom line we are not going to have any bodies. I know that there was some stuff on social media about summer help. Summer help can not be hired in the City of Eastlake while we have people laid off. Last year we tired to bring back a person that was laid off to do summer help and the union did not agree to that little alone bring in someone from the outside. The summer help for cutting the grass is not in the budget this year. As you guys know we can not hire unless they bring in…and in their labor agreement…summer help while people are laid off. For the people who are laid off their seniority will be cut November of this year and next year we can have summer help. I am not going to sit here when everyone in this room knows that we have six people that snow plow compared to the city that is next to us. They have eighteen crew members and the other city has twenty five crew members. Most of the complaints are about how bad our parks look and we are trying to make sure that they don’t look that way. But you can’t say that you don’t want to do something and…I will go back to 2013 when City Council didn’t open the pool. Councilman Hoefle said ok lets put it on the ballot and we put it on the ballot for $1.26 a month and it failed. So where are the priorities from the residents who are saying that we want it but a $1.26 will not even pass? We have failed eleven straight levies and as I have said in other meeting the Willoughby-Eastlake Schools Levy and Lakeland Levy passed on a whole but those levies failed in the City of Eastlake. We are trying to do is run without money and we are trying to have the somethings that the other cities have and this is one of the ways. We did it with the YMCA and we did it with EPAL. This is what my plan is and it isn’t about hey if we can sell and make $300,000.00 at the end of the year. You guys know what we are doing with the budget and that we are looking at a $300,000.00 carry over going into 2017. But again if we sell it to them for $300,000.00 it will be gone forever. This way I am saying that if we go and do this lease and it reverts back to the City the people in power then…hopefully like I have said that there is some money and they can build and do whatever they want. They are doing enhancements and we are not.
Ms. DePledge: And we get the improvements and the maintance to the property that we can’t do. We don’t have the man power and we can’t hire people to do it and we haven’t been able to do it. We haven’t done it and that is why it looks like it does. At the end of the fifteen year lease yeah we could do a mutual agreement. I don’t know if they want to go forward or maybe they don’t want to go forward. Maybe we won’t want to go forward but I think that leaving that open for discussion at that time would probably be appropriate. This is a quarter of a million dollar investment…
Mr. Mazar: We don’t know.
Ms. DePledge: I know that you don’t know. Because the last time…
Mr. Mazar: We could start drawing this up and at the end of the day if you want to get elaborate on it it’s a half of a million dollars.
Ms. DePledge: Well the thing is that nothing is ever set in stone. The last time that we were here the guy said three hundred thousand and we were talking about a twenty year lease. Whatever it is the fact is that nothing is set in stone. If we were to pass a levy or somebody wins the lottery we would get some influx of cash because lets be frank our ability to raise revenue here is really limited. We could always go back and revisit it and the money can always be set aside. As Council we always have the ability to say hey that in fifteen years maybe we could do this. Maybe we could have something down at the ballpark one of these days. Maybe if we get some kind of funding we can turn that into a Central Park area. That is dilapidated piece of property between Washington and the Community Center. We always have the ability to do things and we want to keep our assets that we do have. If we have somebody else who is willing to come in and invest in them and make our City a better place I think that we have to look long and hard at that. In fifteen years in our lifetime might seem like a very long time but in the life of the City its not that long.
Mr. Evers: One more point before I turn it back over to you Mr. Mazar. Mr. Kasuncik the one acre parcel that is right behind EPAL was maintained by EPAL. Last year EPAL had a landscaper mow from the basketball courts all along the fence line and along the far fence area. We were the ones who kept that cut not the City. Mr. Mazar you may go ahead I didn’t mean to interrupt you.
Mr. Mazar: I don’t think that I have anything else to say….
Mr. Evers: Mr. Hoefle?
Mr. Hoefle: I missed one of the questions that I had asked Mr. Mazar and that question was would there be any night games that will be played? His answer to that at this time is that they are not looking to install any kind of lights or polls. Because my concern was if anything was being played at night do we need to create some kind of buffer zone for the neighbors around there? Your comment was that at this time that they are not looking to do that.
Mr. Mazar: Lighting is a huge investment and it is something that we have already looked into for our current field right now and it is pretty significant.
Ms. DePledge: We would be looking at that as more of an annoyance to the residents. So the fact that you’re not interested in it makes it better. It makes the package more appealing.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Mazar you stated that you have some drawings on the Chardon property?
Mr. Mazar: That’s correct.
Mr. Evers: Who is doing them?
Mr. Mazar: Who is doing the drawings?
Mr. Evers: Yes.
Mr. Mazar: We actually had Mr. Shoester who is an architect started along time ago and he provided the original drawings. There are some modified versions that were proposed to us by the non-profit organization. I don’t know who did those drawings or those diagrams exactly. There is a lot more excalvating and topography being done according to their drawings. There are a lot of different proposals and nothing is concrete yet.
Mr. Evers: My question is would it be possible to get some type of architectural drawings presented to this committee or to Council on the proposal for Central Park?
Mr. Mazar: I could look into it.
Mr. Evers: Look into it.
Mr. Mazar: I don’t know what the cost would be.
Mr. Evers: Ok.
Mr. Mazar: To provide proper architectural drawings with topography. You are looking at not only the landscaping but also for the drainage, plumbing, irrigation and everything else that is going to be included in there. I don’t know what the price is going to be.
Mr. Evers: Ok.
Mr. Mazar: For something that we don’t know if it is going to pan out. I could look into it.
Mr. Evers: Ok.
Ms. DePledge: That would be a big investment for you to put into that property and not knowing if you are evening going to have the use of it.
Mr. Mazar: Not to mention that we don’t know what you guys have in mind. We were actually looking for this to be more of a joint effort. To sit down with everybody and say that this is our proposal and is there anything that you guys were looking at or anything that you guys wanted in a different space. Then we could go back and forth on it and have more of a dialog. As apposed to having something that is in black and white. There is a lot of gray in this and we want to make sure that…we are a part of the City and we do not want to ruffle any feathers. We want to be conjoined with the City not to go back and forth with the City.
Mr. Evers: Ms. DePledge?
Ms. DePledge: Just to address some of the social media issues there was a reference that this contract was written by the Croatian Center to favor them. This contract is a standard contract that the City has used before. We have used this standard contract with the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library to take over the use of the west end of City Hall. Just to make it clear and to put it on the record the Croatian Lodge and their attoreny’s did not draft this lease at all. It has been a mutual document that the City has had ample oppritunity to review and to have input on along with the Croatian Lodge. They should have had more input and oppritunity to review it seeing that they are not the ones who draft the contract. I just wanted to clear that up for the record.
Mr. Evers: Mr. Hoefle?
Mr. Hoefle: Mayor I have a question for you. If this does move forward when it comes to the drawings I know that Mr. Mazar had mentioned that it would be with us. Would the decisions be made as far as to what goes in there and how things are going to get laid out or would that strictly be between you and the Service Director? Or would that be something that could be moved over to the Recreation Committee?
Mayor Morley: I have no issues with it going to the Recreation Committee.
Mr. Hoefle: We wouldn’t be holding anything up. I was just wondering if there was anything that you wanted to design or do and would we have some input on it.
Ms. DePledge: Not to step on your toes Mr. Mazar but I think that what ever they are going to do and it would depend on the significance of it they are going to have to go through the Building Department. If they are going to put up a gazebo they are going to have to get a permit. We are always going to have input to look and see what they are doing and how the design is. If we don’t like something then we can work together on it. I see them coming to the table as a partner.
Mr. Hoefle: I agree.
Ms. DePledge: They are still going to have to follow the same ordinances that everybody in the City follows. If they are going to put any type of development there or change the drainage they will be in here talking with the Building Director. We are going to make sure those things are done properly and that the residents are protected. We will make sure that none of their property is damaged and that it is used for the proper purpose.
Mr. Mazar: While we are doing the drawings I assume that there will be multiple revisions prior to giving the green light on our end to proceed with it. Obviously there are going to be appraisals, budgets and bids that are going to be proposed along with who will be doing the work. If this comes out to be a lot higher than what we anticipated it will still give us the flexability to walk away from this and to say that this has become too much for us to invest in.
Mr. Evers: This is directed towards the Mayor. I know that PAL had requested a section in the lease about parking and it was taken out and that we came back and said that we would be willing to work with them as long as they have the written consent. I do not see that back in the lease.
Mayor Morley: Mr. Mazar and I talked today and their plans are not to use the parking lot at all.
Ms. DePledge: Not to use the EPAL parking lot at all.
Mr. Evers: Ok.
Mayor Morley: Unless something comes up they will talk to you about it but other than that.
Mr. Mazar: It would be great to have the flexiablity to work with you on it. If it is a crazy weekend for us it is in our best interest to use our parking lot for our local business, restaurant and banquets. To drive more traffic through there and we would love for them to park at our place as apposed to using your parking lot.
Mr. Evers: Ok. I have no other questions. Does anyone else have any questions?
Mr. Klammer was absent and excussed.
There were no further questions or comments.
Mr. Schindel was absent and excused.
There were no further questions or comments.
Mayor Morley had nothing to report.
There were no further questions or comments.
There was nothing under Miscellaneous.
REGOGNITION OF PUBLIC:
Angelo Trivisonno, 34186 Waldmere Dr., Eastlake, OH
Mr. Trivisonno: First I would like to thank everyone and I think that the question and answer session was really helpful. There were a lot of questions and based on some of the comments that were made there were questions that I haven’t even seen. You keep mentioning social media apparently there is something there that we didn’t see and that was very helpful. I think that all of the residents that are here and who are not apart of Council or a part of the Croatian Lodge are thankful that you were able to come by and answer some questions. I know that there have been a lot of questions and comments have been thrown out there. The first comment that I would like to make is that all of the documentation, leases, the letters and the comments for anyone who happens to be reading the minutes after the meeting they are going to be on….just in case anyone whats to look at them later. The second comment that I have is the Croatian of Juniors is that the non-profit organization?
Mr. Mazar: Correct.
Mr. Trivisonno: I think that a letter was sent to the cities Administration that it is a 501 C-3. Do you know if it is still a 501 C-3? I tried to look it up and I did not see it on the IRS website. There was also another document that was included and it shows all of Eastlake’s non-profit organizations and the Coratian Juniors is not on that list. I figured that it was an older list so I double checked the list and it still isn’t showing up. I know that you said that you were on the Board of Directors of that Organization Committee if you don’t know for sure…I guess that it is still a loose end and this lease is not with the non-profit. I don’t want to get hung up on that fact but…
Mr. Evers: Either Mayor Morley or Mr. Mazar could answer the question for the 501 C-3 because I have seen the documentation.
Mayor Morley: It should have been in the records requests that you had asked for and do you have them?
Mr. Trivisono: I do have it.
Mayor Morley: It shows the Croatian American Heritage Foundation, Heart Croatia and the September 15th 501 C-3 with the group that we talked about.
Mr. Trivisonno: Ok.
Mayor Morley: That is what was given to me was the Croatian Juniors Inc. I don’t know why…or if this is the document that is signed off by the Federal Gevernment.
Mr. Trivisonno: So there are potentially three non-profits that will us this? It won’t be just one soccer organization?
Mayor Morley: It is through the IRS. That was the last one that I gave you.
Mr. Trivisonno: Ok. In the email it said Croatian Juniors.
Mayor Morley: Did you get this Mr. Mazar? Was that on there?
Mr. Trivisonno: I got that part too. I just didn’t know if you were trying to show that the Croatian Juniors was a non-profit? That is the alternative explaintion is that there are three organizations. Because we don’t know if it is a glitch with the IRS maybe it’s just a glitch with the IRS or something.
Mayor Morley: You work for the Federal Government you should know.
Mr. Trivisonno: I work for the Federal Government. I didn’t see it.
Mr. Evers: The easiest way to answer that question is their EIN number on that form?
Mayor Morley: Yes there is.
Mr. Evers: And the date on the form?
Mayor Morley: September 29, 2015.
Mr. Evers: Ok. They are legitimate and they have been issued a state id and it is the EIM. Under the 501 C-3 they have to have that and it has to be recognized by the State and the Federal Government.
Mr. Trivisonno: Right. It’s not an important point.
Mr. Evers: Ok.
Mr. Trivisonno: Ultimatly.
Mayor Morley: In a way it is because social media is continually saying that they are not a non-profit organization and again I am good with it. I have told both of you that I am good with social media but when there are things that are on there and we are getting phone calls and people are saying the opposite. Because social media is saying that they are non-profit and that is an issue.
Ms. DePledge: It needs to be fixed.
Mayor Morley: It needs to be fixed.
Mr. Evers: Is there anybody else?
Jessica Trivisonno, 34186 Waldmere Drive, Eastlake, Ohio
Mrs. Trivisonno: So than I don’t think that it is inaccurate anymore because it’s not a accurate decision. The lease is between a for profit organization and the City. Even though a non-profit is going to be making use of the field it is still a for profit entity. That is like if you had a lease with Wal-Mart and then they said don’t worry it’s our non-profit organization that is going to use it. I don’t think that it is an inaccurate statement.
Mayor Morley: You come to the meetings and understand everything because you hear everything. What is on social media people read it and they run with it and that is the problem sometimes.
Mr. Evers: Is there anybody else who would like to speak?
Chris Proniack, 1278 Waverly Raod, Eastlake, Ohio
Ms. Proniack: I haven’t heard anything about ti and this is the first time that I am hearing about it.
Mayor Morley: It is not on Facebook it is on a different site.
Ms. Proniack: It is a very good point though. I think the thing that we’ve seen and is that there are a lot of people saying why only one dollar? If in fact we are and as we have done with EPAL and the YMCA by giving it to non-profit organizations and saying ok in knowing of this wonderful sharing we will charge you a dollar. These are not for profit entities. I am greatful and it is fantastic that you are assuring us that the original park like setting will be the way that Central Park was designed for. That is reassuring for some people and we don’t want to see that loss. There is a feeling of giving away green space and getting nothing in return. My concern is in fifteen years and it is a wonderful thought to say fifteen years we may be in a better place and certainly we could do something with it. What happens if we are in a worse situation and you guys back out? Now we have a $250,000.00 field back there when we can’t take care of the fields that we have there now. Now we are stuck with all of the land lock space that is back there and we can’t take care of it. The only way to get to it would be from your property. I think that those are some concerns from the residents. I think that another good question that was brought up and it was about Storm Water easement? All property owners are required to pay strom water assessment to the County. It is only a dollar a year that we are going to be charging you. Who is going to be taking care of that? I am assuming the City will be taking care of it.
Mayor Morley: We have to pay it regardless and we pay it now.
Ms. Proniack: This isn’t something that could be built in as their cost?
Mayor Morley: I guess we could look at that. I think that is was $215.00.
Ms. Proniack: A year or a month?
Mayor Morley: Something like that.
Ms. Proniack: Ok.
Mayor Morley: I will look at the number. We are paying for the one that is at the YMCA.
Ms. Proniack: Does EPAL pay?
Mr. Evers: I’m sorry?
Ms. Proniack: Does EPAL pay the Stormwater?
Mr. Evers: No they do not.
Ms. Proniack: So the City is paying for that one as well.
Mr. Evers: That is being looked into at this time.
Mayor Morley: The way that we are looking at it is that is our property and we are paying for it. I guess from my end is that they are putting in the improvements. Whether it is a quarter of a million or one hundred thousand and that is the way that I look at it. Instead of the dollar…Ms. DePledge had something that she said that it is $1,700.00 a year. From my end this is something that we can be proud of. We’ve gone through the thing of…and you are well aware. We are just trying to do that in a different part of the City. I can’t say it any clearer that I wish that we could do the drawing that they sent over to us. This drawing is not free nor is it free to maintaine but if we had the money then we would have different parks. We are just trying to do things…and I think that we have done a good job over the last few years of having people pay for everything that we can’t want to pay for. I think that everyone misses the big picture sometimes. We don’t want to do something but the alternative is that we are trying to get it to where someone else is paying for it. We have gotten that done. I am good with the banter and with everyones concerns. We are here to do what is best for the City and that is all that I can say about that. That has been my goal and we can continue to do what is best for our residents.
Jessica Trivisonno, 34186 Waldmere Drive, Eastlake, Ohio
Mrs. Trivisonno: The way that I see it is that Council really has two choices. You can either vote for this park to have an esthetically clean space but when that isn’t open to the residents and they can’t freely use.
Mr. Evers: I think that we have clearified that. He stated very clearly that this park will be open to the residents. There will be a walkway through there and a pavilion area. Correct me if I’m wrong Mr. Mazar.
Mr. Mazar: That’s the intention and at the same time we are very reluctant to sublease this out, or allow the football team or anyone else to use the actual fields. We are very concerned that we are going to put a huge investment into a piece of property that is not ours and that it will be…by something that we don’t have huge control over. It is essentially protecting our investment. We have stated before that we would love to have the Eastlake Recreation to come over by us. We would love to figure out what the cost would be to run the whole thing and to rent it out for what the cost is. Too just absorb the cost. We would love to have more of the Eastlake kids in our group and that would essentially drive our cost down for the entire program. We would love to grow the group; however, we are not open to allowing the Eastlake Rugbee Team to use the fields. That is the intention.
Mrs. Trivisonno: I think that if you were buying that property then that would be wonderful and finding a great…if they were buying the property. It is City owned land and I think that those fields should be acessable to the EPAL kids who want to play on the land or to the kids who live at…place or for anyone who wants to freely go over and use those fields. I think that your choice is really between esthetic soccer fields that look nice and hopefully they will look nice in fifteen or twenty years when we get them. Or keeping that land open and accessable to the public and those are just values that you’re going to have to…as Council.
Chris Proniack, 1278 Waverly Road, Eastlake, Ohio
Ms. Proniack: I can completely understand that and I am on the fence with that. I get why you would not want people and I understand that those fields have irrigation. They are mounded up so that the water drains off and you will put a lot of money and time into them. They are far superior to the fields that are over by First Energy. I understand why they would not allow that. I don’t think that anybody just allows anyone to use EPAL. They have specific juristdiction over their property and the same thing goes for the YMCA. In Section (9)(b) which is where you first started off. It is a tentative reason of good faith effort to accomidate properties that are affliated with the land. What specifically would you have in mind? Say that Eastlake has a soccer tournament at the end of the year if it is feasible could they use the fields? Is that what you’re talking about or are you talking about…why specifically was that put ibn there if you’re not open to having our soccer leagues play there?
Mr. Mazar: I don’t quit understand the question. It wasn’t quit clear what you just said. We are open to having the Eastlake Soccer programs. That is the intention but at what cost.
Ms. Proniak: You are open to having them play soccer there.
Mr. Mazar: It is going to cost us at the end of the year $20,000.00 to maintain the fields.
Ms. Proniack: Ok.
Mr. Mazar: That is for every year too cut, fertilizing, lining them up and doing everything else that is necessary. It is only going to be used for about 25 to 30 weeks out of the year. When we do the math it is about $1,700.00 a weekend. Would we be willing to give it to the small kids at that cost for the weekend for a small tournament? Of course if the wear and tear is minimal and we have no intention of charging a premium for something like that. We are also looking at revising some of our internal group to say that if they are Eastlake residents then lets give them a discount on our program. This will give them the insentive to grow the program and to say hey this is a part of their property that they are paying for anyway. We are trying to come to the table with some solutions and nothing is set in stone so please keep that in mind. We are trying to come up with and to work with different options of things that we can do.
Mr. Evers: Is there anyone else who would like to speak?
Agnelo Trivisonno, 34186 Waldmere Drive, Eastlake, Ohio
Mr. Trivisonno: The only other comment that I have is that I didn’t know that the fields have been vacant for two years. Is that correct?
Mr. Evers: It has been approximately two years or more.
Mr. Trivisonno: Two years.
Mr. Evers: Or more.
Mr. Trivisono: It looks like they have been vacant for much long than that. I was thinking of at least like ten or twenty years. The fact that it has only been two years it just seems like a very short time to just immediately let go of it. I could see if there were trees that were growing back. Two years just seems…I would love to…as I have written in my letter to Council… I would love to see that property be made into a proper park. Were residents could use it and enjoy it. If that can’t happen then I think that the Lodges soccer facilty plan is a really good alternative. I think that a public park could be used and it would be better. While it has been stated that we don’t have the money and at least to my knowledge we haven’t applied for any grants. We contacted any…like we did with Best Supply for the pool and the County for the $75,000.00 grant for additions. I mentioned Fraturnal Order of Eagles who resently moved in the new bingo. They have expressed in public meetings that they were looking to contribute to the City of Eastlake and its organizations. I guess that really stuck out to me that it has only been two years. I know that you need to move and that money is a big thing.
Mr. Evers: Let me answer a couple of your questions. I have contacted Pepsi and Coke Cola and they have no interest not even as a sponsor. None of the leans in this City want anything to do with that property. The City cannot maintainthat property anymore. You see the conditions that it is in right now and you thought that it has been closed for ten years and it has only been two years. How is it going to look in another year? The fencing in that area is becoming a safety hazard. It is falling over and it will cost between $8,000.00 to $10,000.00 to repair or replace the fencing. EPAL looked at it and we can not afford it. To answer your question yes corporate sponsors have been looked at. I have not personally looked at any grants to maintain that property. I can’t speak for the City and I am sure that they have. The thing to remember about grants is for every one grant that you find how many people or cities do you think are appling for that same grant. Is there anybody else who would like to speak?
Chris Proniak, 1278 Waverly Road, Eastlake, Ohio
Ms. Pronioack: I can understand what you are talking about and I was shocked that it has only been two years. I understand the state of it after two years and it looks pretty decrepid. I was shocked to understand that we still have a boy’s baseball league and they play at different fields. I don’t know if anyone has approached the boy’s baseball league to see if we could get them back over there. Or even add a softball league because there are a lot of private softball leagues. I don’t know I am kind of on the fence with it. You guys have answered quit a few things and some people have questions about the numbers of the parcels being switched with letters and that’s just sumatics. You guys can fix that and I have no issues with that. The thing that I am really pleased with is that you are willing to work with the park and the surroundings. If in fact that you do and this does go through….the integrity of the park and the green space will still be there and to have it accessable for the residents. That was really, really important. The only other question that I have is does the City have any intention of sending letters to any of the residnets that butt to those those parcels? To notify them that there is going to be construction and that there may be some noise when there are soccer games?
Mayor Morley: I do not have an issue with doing that. I think that with the noise or after the construct is has always been a park. I would hope that the residents who live there know that already but I do not have an issues sending out any letters.
Ms. Proniack: I wasn’t sure if that was something that you guys did.
Mayor Morley: The thing with the leagues…right now I had to ask the Law Director for a decision. I just went into the building back there and we have been trying to get ahold of the softball league and no one has responded. We are getting ready to put a sticker on it to say that the belongings are going to the City of Eastlake here shortly and we will possibly put it in the news paper. We will say that if someone doesn’t step forward to come and get the contents then it is ours. The pavilion that is back there along with the area where they sold candy and gum out of that is what we’ve talked about with them. They will inprove it and make it a very nice place for our residents to visit. As most of you know that the fields are not being used at all right now. The cities intentions will be that if this deal doesn’t go through we are just going to have to start taking all of the fencing down. When we do that we will have to try and make them field’s agains and that is going to be a major cost. As Mr. Evers has said the fencing is falling down and we don’t want anybody to get hurt so we are probably going to start tearing the fence down ourselves as time permits. I have told everyone to at least walk back there and tell me what you think. Maybe I should have used the…the first time because that offended some people but I am embarrassed of it too. As a Coucilman and as a Mayor I am embarrassed about how some of our areas look. We are trying to make do with working on outside entities. This is a good group and they are a big part of our City. The Croatian Lodge wants the best for the City and if you saw the article about a month ago about the improvements that they have done at the Lodge that they plan on staying here. I’m not saying that you have to say hey…that we need you to stay here but we need to work with them. That is what all of these meetings are intended for and I am glad that we’ve had some residents that have attended them. The keyboard strokes are driving me crazy when people send me links of things on everything that is going on out there. I just shake my head and when you come here and you hear everything and it is still going to go out there and be portrayed as to how the meeting went. I would love to have this room full but it never is. It is what it is and with the four new Council members and with the three Council-at-Large they work hard for this City. I know that some people think that they aren’t but they are. I give them the utmost credit especially the four new members. The first thing that they passed was the fact that they were not going to take a pay raise. That is something that they haven’t taken the last three times. It isn’t a ton of money but f you added it all up it would be about $1,800.00 and they are the lowest paid Council members in the area. They are not in it for the money and abviously I’m not in it for the money.
Jessica Trivisonno, 34186 Waldmere Drive, Eastlake, Ohio
Mrs. Trivisonno: I have three questions and I will ask them pretty quick. The first one is and I know that you guys may not know this but is there a reason why the ACL doesn’t have sidewalks in front of the building?
Mr. Evers: What does that have to do with this meeting?
Mrs. Trivisonno: If the ACL keeps saying that they want to improve the public and that they want to be helpful with the public. I think that the fact that for some reason they are one of the few buildings on Lakeshore that do not have sidewalks.
Mr. Evers: I am sorry but I find that question to be impertinent to this Finance Meeting. This meeting is about the Lease for the Soccer Fields. That is a question that you could direct to them at another time.
Mrs. Trivisonno: In the lease it doesn’t say when the improvements are due. Is that something that Council might consider to put into the lease? So that there isn’t something that is say for one year or two years or in fifteen years. When are the soccer fields going to be built?
Mayor Morley: Their plans aren’t that they are going to build something their plans are to do it once it is passed. We could put a time frame in there if it would make people happy. Do you have an issue on the time frame?
Ante Slavic, Member of the ACL Board of Directors
Mr. Slavic: This is something and I don’t know the best way to put this but if you look at our group in general we are in immediate need for the these fields. This isn’t something that we are looking to do in five years or ten years we are looking to do this tomorrow. The opportunity is for us to stay in Eastlake and we have been here for thirty years. I was born here and most of our members are share holders and they live in Eastlake. We saw the opportunity for this park and field that is falling apart. For us seeing that it is a business that is next door it is an eye sore. Two we have an immediate need for it. Now you go back to non-profit this or that what ever it may be yes the Croatian Lodge is a for profit and we are a business. We are not doing this as a business deal for the Lodge. When we built the additional building about ten years ago we lease the bottom half and the upstairs is donated to the Croatian School and some other organizations. They are non-profits and that was the purpose as to why we built it. We didn’t build that for ourselves. The space downstairs is to hopefully pay for the costs so that it doesn’t come out of our pocket every year. The same idea is for these fields. It is going to be for our Croatian soccer friends. We understand that you guys have concerns for the City of Eastlake and like Mr. Mazar said we are vested with the City and we are not going anywhere. We prefer not to go to Chardon but the deal has to make sense. So I am just putting my sense in or maybe a different prospective. You guys are absolutely right we are here for the long hall. Mr. Mazar and I sit in on the Board of Directors and we are not paid this is all volunteer and we are doing this out of the good of our heart for our community. We were raised withing the Croatian Community that is within the City of Eastlake and I have spent half of my childhood in that Lodge. This is something that we want to continue not just for our kids but for their kids and so on. For us to ensure the next fifteen to twenty years not only for the Lodge but for the Croatian Center it is huge for us. Time is of the essense. Mr. Mazar has said that we do have other opportunities and they may not be the best but it’s an option. The youth program is growing and we need to address it.
Mrs. Trivisonno: I just have one last question. I think that it is great and my concern with the timing and it isn’t in the lease.
Mr. Slavic: I don’t think that we would be opposed to some sort of time line if the deal is made.
Mrs. Trivisonno: My last question is that I was a little unclear in the lease when the improvements become the property of the City? If it was for as soon as the improvements are added to the premises do they belong to the City technically or if it is at the termination of the lease?
Mayor Morley: I will have to talk to Mr. Klammer.
Mr. Mazar: I don’t believe that we are going to take the grass out after the lease is over. From a legal stand point I would have the lawyers deal with that.
Mr. Evers: Ms. DePledge?
Ms. DePledge: So what you are saying is that if this lease is approved that it is your intent to start work right away. Would you want it to be…
Mr. Mazar: We would want to get our architectural drawings done right away and propose it to you and go back and forth and to start getting bids on it.
Ms. DePledge: Would it be something that you would want to have done for this season or for the next season? I am just asking you what you are thinking.
Mr. Mazar: Ideally it would be great to have it finished by the fall. I do believe that I have an understanding as to how the grass grows. We might have to hold off for another full year and to not do anything. Actaully we would absorb that cost for one year and not use it.
Ms. DePledge: As an attorney I would know that those structured improvements that are embedded into the ground will become fixtures and they would revert back to the City. We could double check that with our Law Director just to make sure.
Chris Proniack, 1278 Waverly Road, Eastlake, Ohio
Ms. Proniack: Just to extrapolate on what she was saying the property that is around and that is not just the fields. When does that actually become the Cities? Even though the property around it and am I understanding…when you guys improve the property around it is that still City property?
Mayor Morley: It is always going to be our property. It is all of our property.
Ms. Proniack: Ok.
Mayor Morley: We aren’t giving any property away. The parcels will still be in our name and everything is going to be the same.
Ms. Proniack: My final question is how much and why did one dollar come up?
Mayor Morley: The one dollar is because I looked at it and the other leases and saying that they are putting the improvements in. It is like what we did with the library it was so much money a month. The library is not making any improvements they are just leasing the building from us. Here they are making improvements and that is where the dollar came from. The same is for the Willoughby-Eastlake…that is like us with the Senior Center Willoughby-Eastlake School charges us one dollar. First Energy charges us one dollar for the corner and they also charges us one dollar for the Birtha Seawall. That is where we came up with it. We didn’t come up with a dollar and say that we are going to charge you rent and you are going to put the improvements in.
Ms. DePledge: Just as a round number…if they do a fifteen year lease and if they put $250,000.00 into. Those are the numbers that we talked about tonight and it comes down to just under $1,400.00 a month in rental income. That is their investment back into the community. Just for a number and if you are looking at finances and the actual number is $1,388.00 a month. That is how we would look at their long term investment.
Mr. Mazar: Does that include the general maintiance?
Ms. DePledge: That is just your two fifty number that is not the $20,000.00 a year on top of that. It is even more money that they putting into the City.
Mr. Ever: Mayor when can we have a final contract with the corrections?
Mayor Morley: We will talk and I will have the lawyers talk. What do you need from the Law Director?
Ms. DePeldge: What corrections the parcel numbers?
Mr. Evers: The parcel numbers should be corrected. Was there anything else that was an issue that needs to be in this contract? I thought that all of the questions were answered very thoroughly.
Ms. DePledge: The only thing that I would say as far as the corrections to the lease are that the A and B’s are inaccurate as far as the subsections. Under section five it is section A, B and B.
Mayor Morley: Could you send your notes to the Law Director please.
Ms. DePledge: I will talk to him. Actually this is the old one and it isn’t the one that came up on my phone. I will send him a message to double check the numbering, section number and the lettering so that it is clear.
There was no one else who wished to speak.
Mr. Evers: At this point I am going to poll the committee to either move forward or to hold it in committee. Mr. Zuren?
Mr. Zuren: I say to move it forward. I think that it is a big commitment and they are one of the biggest partners in the City. They are putting all of the money into it to improve the property which is not being used by any of the sports leagues at this time and it is no cost to the City. It is allowing the Eastlake Youth Soccer to use the facilities and I think that it is a win win situation for City and for the Croatian Lodge.
Mr. Hoefle: I say that we should move this forward. I think that it is a win win situation for the City. You guys have been here for a long time and I have no problems with it.
Mr. Evers: Moves forward. I know that we will be getting the corrections on the contract. This committee will move it forward to Council. Just so that the public understands that there was not a vote taken here tonight to approve the contract. All we did was move it forward out the Finance Committee and move it over to Council for their vote.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:07 p.m.