Tired of seeing multiple cardboard signs screaming "sale" as you make your way down Route 20 near the mall in Mentor? Apparently, those are no-nos, according to city sign code.
Friday's Mentor City manager report to City Council noted that,
due to an increase in the number of sign code violations reported along the stretch, the city would be increasing its enforcement efforts during the holiday season.
A code enforcement officer worked Saturday and Sunday to monitor the commercial corridors and to remove signs placed in the right of way. Violations were be documented and processed.
"At the manager’s recommendation, we had one of our planners go out and canvass the retail corridors and meet with those business owners and representatives regarding signs that were in violation," Economic Development Director Ron Traub said. "The officer indicated what can and can’t be done. The offending signs were removed immediately."
Along with signs in the right of way, violations included multiple signs and retailers posting signs on private property. "Multiple signs, banners, pennants, search lights - that whole gammet of advertising parephernalia - can be a distraction to motorists passing by," Traub said. "Our requirements are fairly standard ... and it presents a cleaner, more business-like environment to the shopper."
Other highlights from last week in the city of Mentor are as follows:
Economic and Community Development:
• An analysis of single-family home sales data for the City of Mentor and Lake County for the second quarter 2011 (versus second quarter 2010) revealed:
o The number of homes sold declined 22% at the County; 10% within the City.
o The average sale price declined 6% at the County; less than 1% within the City.
o The average number of days a home is on the market increased 8% within the County and 20% within the City.
• SOLD – Closings occurred on two more Neighborhood Stabilization Program homes this week, bringing the total to eight vacant homes renovated and sold to low- to middle-income buyers under this grant program. Three additional vacant homes are expected to be renovated prior to the expiration of the grant in March of 2013. Down Payment/Closing Cost assistance of up to 10% of the purchase price is available for qualified buyers. Interested persons can contact Tom O’Hara, Economic & Community Development Department at ext. 2454.
• Tom Thielman met with James Moll, President and owner of Sunbright USA, Inc., a Mentor business which is participating in the MEACO SBA 504 loan program to purchase a building located at 8909 East Avenue. Sunbright currently leases space on Tyler Boulevard and are experiencing 20% year to year growth. Sunbright USA is a wholesale OEM parts supplier.
• On Dec. 2, the Police and Fire department responded to two separate cases of suspected heroine overdoses. The first incident involved an 18 year old female who, while operating her vehicle, passed out at a red light on Plaza Blvd at Mentor Ave. The two responding officers found her not breathing, and immediately began CPR. Paramedics arrived and administered Narcan to successfully revive her, after which she was transported. Hypodermic needles, suspected Heroin, and marijuana were found in her vehicle. The second incident involved a male staying at Value Place Inn, 5650 Emerald Ct. The male was reported not breathing at the time of the call. Police and Fire arrived at the same time and found him conscious but unable to speak. Narcan was again administered by paramedics and he was transported. A female friend in the room was arrested after attempting to dispose of hypodermic needles used by the male to inject Heroin. She also had unused hypodermic needles on her person.
• The City received a Bronze Award for our “Special Edition” community newsletter through the 2011 APEX Awards. Hosted by the Lake Communicators, the awards recognize exceptional advertising, public relations and marketing work.
• The Finance Department was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers’ As-sociation of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its most recent 2010 comprehensive annual financial report.
• On Dec. 1 at 4:35 p.m., the department was called to West Jefferson for a child stuck in a tree. Paramedics arrived to find a small child wedged in a tree. A chain saw had to be used to free the ten year old girl. She was not injured.
• On Dec 3 at 12:36 a.m., the fire department responded to an injury accident (van vs. pole during police pursuit) at Hopkins and Lakeshore where a male was extricated from his vehicle, treated by paramedics and ground transported to the helipad at Lake Health West and then airlifted to Metro General Health in Cleveland.
• On Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7:53 p.m., the Department responded to a roll-over injury accident on Center Street at Station Street where the driver was trapped in his vehicle. Fire Crews extricated the driver, provided treatment and ground transported him to Hillcrest Hospital.
• Adults and juveniles were located at Uncle Bob’s storage, 8650 East Ave. All involved were located inside a storage unit which one of the adults had rented. The adults were cited and released while the juveniles were cited and released to their parents.
Public Works Department
• The Public Works Activity Highlights this week were: Two town ditch sedi-ment removal ongoing – completed section near St. Johns (phase 1), now working near Carter (phase 2); Drainage assistance project – Enfield/Erie; Storm sewer repair – 7646 SR 84; Resolved drainage problem at Mentor Lumber by removing slat/calcium buildup in city storm sewer; Began drain-age improvement at 6910 Roosevelt (Mrs. Blevins); Interior painting – WWCC; Installing holiday lighting; Replaced lights at Ice Arena; Installing additional flexset on SR 615 bridge over RR; Applied brine to hills and bridges (Thurs) in anticipation of snow on Friday; Durapatching and cold patching – throughout City of Mentor; and, Secured traffic signal pole at Lakeshore/Hopkins and scheduling replacement.
Parks and Recreation Department
• The Mentor Senior Center had 70 people attend the Back to School Dinner Dance at Mentor High School. This event was sponsored by the Mentor High School National Honor Society. The high school students and the seniors alike danced the night away to the music of the Billy Kaye band. This was a truly delightful interactive evening with the seniors and the students. Dr Hoynes, Principal Bill Wade, and Food Services Supervisor Jenny Lange all volunteered their time to serve our seniors. We plan to continue the relationship with the National Honor Society group; we will host a slightly different event next year at the Senior Center.
• Safe Routes To School (STRS) coordinator Maggie Kuyasa started a new “Pedometer Take Home Program” at Orchard Hollow and Sterling Morton. The pedometers can be checked out from the school librarians. The children fill out a walking punch card, which they turn in for a chance to win prizes. The SRTS grant has provided traffic safety books and DVDs to the two elementary schools as part of the continuing education program for each school. Each of the schools has embraced the program and has permitted us to have a SRTS bulletin board.
-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, @ReporterBetsy