Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Updates on Mentor's trash service, Route 2 work & more in latest manager memo

A shortened work week due to the Thanksgiving holiday resulted in a short, but sweet Mentor city manager report to City Council Friday. Below you'll see some good news about more savings for recycling residents the first year of the new trash-hauling contract, the latest on Route 2 construction, and some interesting police and fire incidents:

Manager Comments 
• Because of significant logistical issues confronting Waste Management, it is likely we will have to delay the implementation of the curbside recycling program until Feb. 1 instead of Jan. 1. This will allow the 14,000-plus recycling carts to be produced, delivered and distributed. It will also allow the city to better inform the public of the changes. The terms negotiated for the delay will require Waste Management, at their expense, to continue collecting recyclables from the estimated 4,000 households voluntarily recycling now and keep the city’s drop-off site open through January. Because the majority of residents will not get recycling in January, the $2.66 savings will be absorbed over twelve periods, lowering the monthly rate from $7.64 to $7.42 in the first year.
• As reported earlier during our budget discussions, the city will be renewing its agreement with Medical Mutual to provide health insurance to city employees. The renewal rate is a 10 percent increase over the current year, but the administration has crafted language on a “contingent premium,” which will allow the city to realize up to a 5 percent discount from the renewal rate if our ratio of claims incurred to premium payments is favorable. The administration also decided to accept bids this year for both fully insured dental plans and access to dental plans as a self-insured product. The city is currently self insured for dental. The city accepted the quote of Delta Dental for its PPO plan. In addition to offering a few more preventative services than those currently offered under the city plan, employees will not be billed for balances through the providers beyond what is paid toward usual and customary charges. The change is also expected to save the city approximately $100,000.
• The unemployment rate for Mentor declined to 5.3 percent in October 2011 (Mentor’s rate was 6.4 percent in October 2010). The city’s unemployment rate was last at 5.3 percent or lower in November 2008. In Lake County, the unemployment rate declined 0.4 percent to 5.9 percent. The city has the lowest unemployment rate for any community in Ohio over 50,000 in population; six of the 20 communities still have unemployment rates over 10 percent. The unemployment rate in Ohio declined to 8.4 percent (a 0.1 percent decline) in October 2011.

Fire Department
• On Nov. 19 at 0058 hours, the department was called to assist Painesville City with an apartment fire at 1288 West Jackson Street, Apartment 102. One occupant was significantly burned, transported to TriPoint and flown to Metro burn unit. Mentor Squad 1112 transported three victims with smoke inhalation to TriPoint. The estimated damage was set at $250,000 and the cause is under investigation.
• Fire Inspectors will be checking retail stores to insure the safety of shoppers during the Thanksgiving Holiday/“Black Friday” event. Special attention will be given to fire lanes, exit ways and occupancy loads.

Police Department
• Two females were arrested for shoplifting at Target. One of the females had in her possession credit cards stolen the previous week from an employee at Millers Pools. Both females were charged with the theft from Target with an additional charge of receiving stolen property on the female in possession of the stolen credit cards.
• On 11/19/11 there were two burglaries on Seneca at the same house. During the second burglary a juvenile was captured inside of the house. The juvenile had on shoes stolen from the house earlier in the day. This juvenile along with three other juveniles were charged in connection with the two burglaries.

Engineering and Building
• SR2 Widening Phase 3 — SR2 median lighting parts remain on back order.  It is anticipated lighting may operational during the month of December.  Motorists are now operating on the reconstructed portions of the ramps at Center Street with full width completion of all ramps at SR615 anticipated by mid-December. Striping on SR2 has been placed for the winter configuration. SR2 westbound has been striped and paved three lanes from SR306 to the west corporation line. SR2 eastbound has been striped and paved three lanes from the west corporation line to SR615, at which point the third lane becomes an exit lane. The contractor is currently in the process of wrapping up a majority of the work for the winter. Minor work will continue throughout the winter with a majority of the operations resuming when weather breaks in the spring.

Public Works
• Work continues on dredging the Two Town ditch.

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


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