Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More jobs coming to Mentor? That and more in manager's report

Mentor companies' expanding, a couple of hiccups in Route 2 work, changes you need to know at tax time and some recreation opportunities are among highlights from the recent weekly Mentor city manager reports to City Council:

Economic and Community Development
•    Ron Traub met with one of the city’s medium-size manufacturers regarding a potential significant expansion and another Mentor company regarding a significant building purchase and employment increase. The latter project will become public before Thanksgiving.
•    Tom Thielman prepared Mentor Incentive Grants for Progressive Insurance and Kaeper Machine.

Engineering and Building
•    SR 2 Widening Phase 3 – The central portion of asphalt paving on mainline SR 2 is anticipated to be complete by late November. Traffic will remain on the outside lanes through the winter and will be shifted onto the new asphalt in the spring when the center barrier wall has been completed. SR 2 median lighting has several repair issues and parts are on back order. It is anticipated lighting may be working by Thanksgiving. Noise wall work has been delayed as the contractor works out an issue with the support posts. It is still hoped that noise wall work can continue this fall/winter. Bridge sealing at SR 615 has been rescheduled for the spring. When it occurs, lanes on Center Street will be limited for approximately 1 week with daily temporary closures. By Thanksgiving motorists will be operating on 3 of four partial-width ramps at Center Street with full width completion of all ramps at SR 615 anticipated by mid-December.

•    Taxpayers’ use of electronic returns and professional tax preparation services has grown significantly. As a result, the Regional Income Tax Agency (R.I.T.A.) is discontinuing the automatic mailing of tax forms to individuals. Instead, the agency will mail a postcard as a reminder, encouraging taxpayers to use R.I.T.A. E-FILE or to visit the website at www.ritaohio.com. Other options for obtaining paper forms will also be offered such as obtaining tax forms at City Hall or calling the agency directly.
•    The City received $2,800 from its claim to recover costs incurred as a result of the Oct.12 incident that resulted in the closure of SR 2 due to a subcontractor striking a utility line.

•    Legislation will be on the agenda for tonight’s Council meeting for the purchase of new fire and police 800 MHz radios. Although the legislation authorized a purchase up to $646,836, all but $95,706 will be reimbursed through grants. This is needed now so that radio equipment can be delivered, programmed and installed by the expected Jan. 15 cut over to the new system.

•    The police department has been investigating the recent rash of graffiti on businesses in and around the area of Center St. and Mentor Ave. As a result of the investigation, the department was able to identify four juveniles involved. The four confessed and were connected to a total of seven separate incidents of graffiti in the city. 
•    The investigation of two night-time burglaries on Dellhaven Ave. resulted in a suspect being identified. The suspect is 38-year-old Warren Putnam of Painesville. He was arrested on Nov. 8 near his residence after a brief foot pursuit. He is being charged with several counts of receiving stolen property and misuse of a credit card. The department anticipates charging him with burglary once the case is submitted to the Grand Jury.

Public Works
•    The Public Works Activity Highlights this week were: Court parking lot resurfacing – under way; court roof project – under way; drainage improvement – Lakeshore and Coronado; storm pipe repair – Forest and Garden; basin repairs – Carter; Storm sewer repair - Dunbar/Campbell; restoration from dredging project at Whalers Cove; reviewing sewer tapes from Yorkshire/Berkshire; cracksealing – Garfield; durapatching – Hopkins Road; and contractor completed cracksealing of Heisley and King Memorial.   

•    Recreation
Superintendent Paul Hegreness developed a draft set of rules for the Community Garden program that will be starting next spring at Wildwood. There are 32 garden plots available and, to date, 23 people are on a waiting list.
•    The Senior Center Arts & Crafts Show is Saturday, Nov. 19, starting at 9 a.m. This show is open to the public and there is no admission charge.
•    The Senior Center will be showcasing the 2012 Travel Program 2-4  p.m., Nov. 30. Tour operators will be on hand to present a synopsis of each trip that will be taken next year. This Travel Quest program has proven to be a hit with participants.

-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, Twitter: @ReporterBetsy


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