Mentor government back in full swing post-holidays
Those are among the highlights from the weekly report below:
• While patrolling through Studio 6, 7677 Reynolds Rd., an officer saw a woman scream for help and saw her go into a room with two males. The officer responded to the room with another officer and found two males fighting on the bed. One of the males was arrested for assaulting the female who had been screaming for help. A search of the room by the new K-9, Titan, led to the discovery of cocaine and prescription drugs. The male was charged with assault, aggravated possession of drugs, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
• An elderly couple was the victim of the “grandson” scam in which they wired $3,500 to Peru via Western Union. They received a call from a male claiming the couples granddaughter was arrested in Canada and needed money for an attorney. The couple believed the caller and wired two separate payments to “help” their granddaughter. They were suspicious of sending the money to Peru and not Canada but the suspects convinced them it was what was needed to be done in order for their granddaughter to receive the money. The police department has signs posted in all Western Union sites in the city warning of this type of fraud. We will revisit all of the sites to ensure the signs are still present; we posted a warning on the department Facebook page and will send out a press release warning people of this type of fraud.
• The police department responded to The Garden Apartments, 7559 Mentor Ave., for a male with a gun. A male was arrested without incident for threatening his former girlfriend with a shotgun. The shotgun was recovered from the suspect’s apartment.
• In preparation of the new Waste Management refuse contract and curbside recycling implementation, a letter has been prepared to all Mentor single-family homes from the Mentor city manager’s office informing them of the changes. The letter will be mailed by Waste Management prior to Jan. 11 and will be accompanied by a brochure providing necessary detailed information. Recycling cart distribution will begin Jan. 16 and all carts will be delivered directly to homes in time for the program start Feb.1.
• Phase 3 of the Heisley Road widening project has received STP funding at 50 percent through NOACA (estimated at $2.6 million). Upon learning that there may be additional funds available, the city recently submitted a request to the governing board to increase the funding level to 80 percent, which would result in about $1.5 million more.
• The total year income tax collections for 2011 exceeded $33 million and were favorable by over 8.5 percent as compared to 2010.
• On Dec. 30 at 11:58 p.m., the department responded to 7278 Justin Way for several active fire alarms at the “Old Towmotor” complex. Police and fire crews arrived a short time later, found the sprinkler protection system activated and smoke coming from the building. A fire was located in the northern portion of the manufacturing area of Interpak and was brought under control within a half hour. Crews remained on scene until after 3 a.m. ventilating smoke, protecting stock and “mopping-up” the excessive water from the sprinkler system. The cause of the fire appeared to be accidental and electrical in nature. It started in the lighting cable just before the transformer for the high bay ceiling lights. Damages are estimated at $50,000 and there were no injuries. All businesses were able to resume normal operations.
• On Dec. 31 at 4:47 p.m., fire crews responded to 9411 Hamilton Drive for a report of smoke in the multi-unit commercial building. Crews arrived and learned that the owner of one of the businesses reported smoke “banked down” to near the floor in his garage bay. A thorough check of the entire building was performed with no fire source found. A follow-up investigation revealed that another tenant had been melting metals and caught some plastic on fire prior to the smoke being reported. That tenant was gone upon our arrival and fire prevention has since followed-up with him.
• Assistant Tax Administrator Shearin Ferguson will be retiring effective Feb. 29 after more than 12 years with the city.
• The City received $112,500 from NOPEC for the energy savings grant to be used for the replacement of the 800 MHZ radio equipment used by the safety forces. The check equals another 25 percent of the total $450,000 grant.
Engineering and Building Department
• Bellflower Outlet Sewer Project: Lake County Department of Utilities has advised that the bids for the Bellflower Outlet Sewer Project were opened on Dec. 14. The bids came in high and the project will need to be rebid. The County is expecting to advertise for bids in the next several weeks.
• The Engineering Department has been working with ODOT to transfer about 7 acres of land at the southeast quadrant of the SR2/SR615 interchange to the city for storm water management purposes. It is expected that the property will transfer this winter. When transferred, the existing detention basin outlet pipe will be modified to better utilize the capacity in the basin. It is expected that up to 16 additional acre-feet of storage can be utilized with the modification. The proposed work is scheduled to take place this year. This improvement is expected to provide relief to an existing 60 inch storm sewer trunk line that runs south to north between SR 2 and Munson Road, west of Center Street, thereby, minimizing surcharge events and impacts to neighborhoods (Edgewood, Yorkshire, Berkshire, etc.) connected to the line.
Public Works Department
• The Public Works Activity Highlights this week were: Snow and ice removal — Jan. 1 and 2; Two town cleaning — SR 306 to Savannah; drainage improvement at Chase Drive/bike path; installed section of 6” storm sewer — Meadowbrook; cold patching — SR 306, Jackson, Hoose; remove Christmas decorations; assist cemetery with burials; interior work at WWCC; interior painting at Garfield Park; and replacing restroom doors at Civic Center pool.
Parks and Recreation Department
• The Snow Fun 2012 will kick off on Thursday Jan. 12. So far, 29 students have registered and will head to Alpine Valley for downhill skiing and snowboarding lessons and more. The six-week program involves transporting students in grades three, four and five to and from Alpine Valley.
• The Lake County Chili Open is Jan. 21 at Black Brook Golf Course with tee times starting at 9 a.m. This United Way fundraising event is a sellout every year.
Economic and Community Development
• Staff has been coordinating with the Building & Engineering Department and, to a lesser extent, IT and Parks, Recreation & Public Lands, regarding the transition of code enforcement officers to the Economic & Community Development Department. The physical relocation is scheduled for this week.
• MEACO is coordinating loan closings for Parker Precision and Affiliated Podiatrists. The Mentor Small Business Loan Fund (revolving loan) was capitalized with $245,000, which was a combination of CDBG and MEACO dollars.
Currently there is $79,844 available for lending and maximum loans are capped at $25,000.
-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, @ReporterBetsy