Hilliard City Council committees
Draft ordinance on alcohol policy remains in committee
During a battery of committee meetings Sept. 10, Hilliard City Council members further discussed a proposal to allow alcohol at certain events on city property.
Hilliard Law Director Pam Fox presented draft legislation at the Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee, one of four committee meetings held prior to a regularly scheduled meeting of City Council.
The draft ordinance, based on discussion at the Aug. 27 meeting of the same committee, remained in the committee.
Fox will amend it for consideration at a future meeting.
The draft ordinance allows for the sale of alcohol at "city-hosted or city-sponsored" events under "established and controlled measures," and lists five requirements.
The ordinance would require sponsoring organizations to hire two special-duty police officers; comply with state and local liquor laws; set a curfew of 10 p.m. for alcohol sales on event days; acquire a liquor liability policy; and a "hold harmless" agreement with the city of Hilliard.
Fox said the draft legislation was subject to change.
"It's a great start (and) captures what we spoke about (Aug. 27)," City Council President Brett Sciotto said.
Discussions on Sept. 10 centered on a clearer definition of "city-sponsored" events and whether or not the city desired to limit areas where permits are to be considered.
City Councilman Nathan Painter suggested one area be set aside for events to include alcohol sales, but other members identified additional locations. Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park, Weaver Park and the future Hilliard Station Park appeared to be sites where such permits are desired, but council members questioned whether "pocket parks" throughout the city should be subject for such permits.
Hilliard Police Chief Doug Francis said the cost to meet the requirements, including more than $750 for the hire of special-duty officers, likely would deter small organizations, such as a homeowners association, from seeking a liquor permit for a block party at a neighborhood park.
The committee also discussed whom would issue a permit.
City Councilman Al Iosue said he preferred the establishment of a policy that defined the requirements and ordered the safety director to issue a permit if such requirements are met.
Doing so would remove politics from the process, Iosue said.
In other business, council members accepted an amended ordinance at the Economic and Entrepreneurial Development Committee concerning the tax-increment financing (TIF) district agreement for a development at the northwest corner of Cemetery Road and Britton Parkway.
After proposing significant amendments to the agreement at the Aug. 27, committee members, the administration and council essentially returned to the same agreement City Council adopted July 9.
The only difference was a change in which fund would to be used to reimburse the school district for revenue it would have received if not for the TIF agreement, which is an economic development mechanism available to local governments to finance public infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Department of Development. A TIF works by locking in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved.
The administration on Aug. 27 proposed to lift a $4.5 million cap on the sum Hilliard will replay the developer, Continental Real Estate, for construction of the infrastructure needed to support the development.
Fox said Sept. 10 that the cap was being replaced.
Sciotto said he was pleased with the measure and "ready to move forward."
Both parties voiced a preference for the developer to have a cap and more latitude to identify necessary projects rather than no cap and less flexibility in the choice of projects.
An ordinance amending the TIF received a second reading at a public hearing Sept. 10, at which there was no discussion. A third and final reading is scheduled Sept. 24.
At the Finance and Administration Committee meeting, members accepted legislation for the purchase of new computer servers and storage area networks at a cost not to exceed $90,000.
The ordinance received a first reading at the Sept. 10 council meeting.
At the City Planning, Projects and Services Committee, members accepted legislation establishing a process for the approval of the city's capital improvement program and budget.
The ordinance is scheduled for a first reading at the Sept. 24 council meeting.