Monday, February 27, 2012

Mentor road repair scheduled set

Here’s a rundown of the latest report on city of Mentor staff in action:

• The 2012 Road Repair Program will be advertised for bids Feb. 24 and March 2 with a bid opening on March 9. This year’s program consists of resurfacing or concrete repairs on 35 streets (approximately 7 miles) with an estimated construction cost of approximately $1.5 million. This does not include the Station Street project which will be bid at a later date. The asphalt streets included in the program are portions of the following: Beaver Creek Drive, Cole Drive, Colony Court, Firwood Road, Hoyt Court, Magnolia Drive, Seminole Trail, Seneca Road, Shawnee Trail, Stockbridge Road, Tall Oaks Drive, Thunderbird Drive, Jordan Drive, Hopkins Road, Hendricks Road, Clifton Court, Curtiss Court, Edgewood Road, Forest Road, Homewood Drive, Oak Street, Sycamore Road and Willowbrook Drive. In addition, concrete repairs will be performed on the following streets: Aspenwood Court, Cannon Ridge Drive, Canterbury Lane, Catalpa Circle, Curberry Court, Foxwood Court, Gatewood Drive, Norwood Drive, Pinewood Court, Ramblewood Drive, Snowberry Court and Yellowwood Drive.
• Two significant power outages within the city last week. The first occurred on Thursday on Heisley Road (north of Hendricks) and throughout the Headlands neighborhood. The cause was a substation in Painesville that went down impacting at least four other communities in addition to our own and lasting for approximately one hour. The Public Works Department was completing backup generator connections for traffic signals when the power was restored. The second occurred Friday as a result of a pole fire on Tyler Blvd. This fire caused a power loss along Tyler (near Worthington Precision Metals westward to Rt. 306) and throughout the Division Drive area as well.  Traffic was maintained along Tyler as the fire was extinguished and electric restoration efforts ensued. In addition, high winds were expected to cause pockets of outages through Lake County.

Fire Department
• On Feb. 17 at 9:41 p.m., the fire department was called to the Burger King Restaurant at 5725 Heisley Road for a fire in the cooking ventilation hood. Crews arrived to find that there was a fire in the hood system that had been extinguished by the built-in cooking fire suppression system. Fire crews ventilated smoke and checked for fire extension. Due to the activation of the fire suppression system the kitchen had to be closed until Saturday afternoon. It was thoroughly cleaned and inspected by the health department. There were no reported injuries.
• On Feb. 23, at 6:45 a.m., fire crews were dispatched to 7957 Mentor Ave., near Fire Station #3, for a single car vs. pole MVA. Crews arrived to find the driver (only occupant of the vehicle) trapped inside the car. The patient was extricated via roof removal and transported to Hillcrest Hospital in stable condition.
• Due to safety concerns discovered during inspections, the Fire Prevention Bureau has been working with Mall management and closely monitoring remodeling work at the Great Lakes Mall in an effort to ensure that the work is performed properly and fire protection systems are not compromised during construction.

Police Department
• On Feb. 20, there was an armed robbery in Painesville involving three males with guns. The Painesville PD radioed a description of the vehicle involved in the robbery. A Mentor officer located the vehicle driving westbound on SR2. This officer, along with two other Mentor officers, attempted a traffic stop near E.156th St. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop, eventually crashing his vehicle in the lot of a church in Cleveland. Two occupants of the vehicle were arrested and another escaped on foot. The two males and the vehicle were secured by the Painesville PD. Painesville PD will follow up on all additional charges occurring after the armed robbery, along with identifying the male who escaped.
• The department completed ethics training provided by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy. All members of the department received the training. Several members from outside agencies also participated in the training.
• A male was stopped for shoplifting at Macy’s by loss-prevention employees. A loaded handgun was found on his person during the arrest and he was charged with aggravated robbery. 

Parks and Recreation Department
• The Ice Diamond Classic was held at the Civic Ice Arena last weekend. The event featured 39 synchronized skating teams competing. The event is in its 5th year and has been steadily growing each year. We anticipate over 2,500 people coming out on Saturday to enjoy this competition.
• The month of February is the start of summer for the Recreation Department. The department has started to contact last year’s staff to see who will be back this season and reviewing applications to fill the positions that are or will be vacant this summer.
• The Marina sheet piling project by the floating docks will be completed this week. The custom cap is being installed; the cap allows us to pour the concrete walkway behind the wall. We will complete the walkway at a later date when the remainder of the bulkhead in that area, approximately 100 feet is installed.
• The “Parma” Zamboni’s wiring harness problems continue to escalate. Over the past year this problem has resulted in the machine burning up several harnesses. The zamboni may need to be replaced before next year.

Economic and Community Development
• On Feb. 21 and 22, the department embarked on a clean-up of yard waste (leaves/brush) at 8000 Garfield Road by a private contractor. The home was determined to be vacant and the owner absent. The homes owner will be billed for the services. If not paid within 30 days the costs will be placed on the property’s tax duplicate. This is the first time the Department took enforcement action all the way to abating the problem directly.
• Ron Traub met with a national re-seller of clothes and soft goods regarding a potential location in the City.
• Tom Thielman met with Christine Blake, President and CEO of Cardinal Community Credit Union, regarding her placement on the Mentor Economic Assistance Corporation’s Board of Director’s for a two-year term retroactive to Jan. 1. John Krueger’s election to City Council created a vacancy on the board.
• MEACO had its first SBA 504 Refinancing Loan approved. This loan program began in October of 2011 which allows MEACO to refinance existing debt on fixed assets. This gives businesses the opportunity to lower interest rates and extend terms on fixed asset financing. The current SBA 504 interest rate is 4.7% for a twenty year loan.

Finance Department
• The City provided employee salary information to the Auditor of State for all employees on the city payroll during 2010 and 2011. The records request was made by the State Auditor as part of a pilot data project involving the collection of salary information from all Ohio cities.

Engineering and Building Department
• Crossfield Avenue Waterline Replacement — The Crossfield Avenue waterline replacement project is scheduled to begin construction the week of Feb. 20. The contractor for the project will begin replacing 850 feet of 6-inch cast iron pipe with 8 inch ductile iron pipe. Construction will begin at the intersection of Broadmoor Road and continue westerly to Midland Road. Weather permitting, Aqua Ohio anticipates that the installation of the waterline will be completed in six weeks.

Public Works Department
• The Public Works activity highlights this week were: 50% complete with Inlet basin survey in anticipation of repair program; Interior work at WWCC; 85% complete with Senior Center kitchen work; Stop sign reflectivity upgrades and mapping — ongoing; 70% complete with annual program to test conflict monitors; Marina boat ramp — steel rails are installed; Walking/ inspecting ditches in southwest and northwest quadrant’s of city; Senior Center generator installation project to begin within the next 3 weeks; and, HVAC consultant is reviewing bids for City Hall project.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some Mentor cops had a tough week

Recent Activities in the city of Mentor include a police officer getting pinned by a vehicle, blood spatter analysis training and closer look at retail vacancies in the city. Those were among items in Friday's city manager memo to City Council:

Police Department
•    An officer was injured during a traffic stop on SR 2. An undercover officer observed a driver of a vehicle possibly completing a sale of narcotics. During the traffic stop the driver was ordered out of his car but did not initially comply and was moving around inside the driver’s area. He eventually began to exit the vehicle but did not put the car in park. An officer tried to enter the vehicle, after it started rolling, to stop it. The vehicle, which was pulled off to the left of the highway, moved left and struck the median wall with the driver’s door, pinning the officer between the door and the car. The officer injured his ribs, but was able to enter the car and place the car in park preventing it from entering the lanes of travel on SR 2. The driver was charged with Driving Under Suspension, however no narcotics were found.
•    Two officers were injured while arresting a juvenile male for domestic violence and underage consumption of alcohol. The juvenile punched and headbutted officers during the fight. After being handcuffed he still resisted until secured in the back of the patrol car. The officers were able to return to work the next day.
•    On Feb. 11, there was a five-car accident on SR 2 because of the heavy snow fall. An officer was on another accident on SR 2 at the same time and was struck from behind by a vehicle because of the road conditions. The officer sustained some injury as a result, and the vehicle sustained minor scuffs/scrapes on the rear bumper.
•    On Feb. 7, two houses were burglarized in the city. One house was at 5552 Hillcrest Ave. and the other house was at 8242 Lakeshore Blvd. Nothing was stolen from the Hillcrest home but items were stolen from the Lakeshore address. One of the items stolen was a credit card. The card was used at two stores in Mentor and one in Willoughby. Video surveillance was obtained from the Willoughby transaction. A still photo of the suspect was released to the media and on the Police Facebook page. The male was identified via Facebook and an anonymous call. Through our investigation another male was identified as being involved in the burglaries. Both men were arrested by Willoughby PD on Sunday for unrelated charges. The lead detective interviewed both males on Sunday and obtained confessions. Both men are involved in several burglaries and car break-in’s throughout the county. They will be charged with all involved crimes in Mentor in the near future.

Manager Comments 
•    Last week the Police Department participated with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to provide free evidence technician training on the topics of Touch DNA and Blood Spatter Analysis. The course was taught by an agent from BCI’s Crime Scene Unit and held in the Woods Room of the Ice Arena. The class was opened to other area departments, including the Lake County Prosecutors Office. Seventy-seven officers attended from 18 different departments. 
•    Next week the Police Department will begin department-wide Ethics training. The training will be provided at no cost by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy.  Mentor PD has opened up the training to other Lake communities who plan to send officers to participate.
•    Grants Coordinator Abe Bruckman has been communicating with representatives of ODNR’s Abandoned Mine Land Program, which resides within the Division of Mineral Resources Management. They have expressed an interest in participating in the City’s working group committed to Mentor Marsh restoration. DMRM could be a very effective partner for our future efforts.
•    Jay Luteran and I met with School Superintendent Hoynes and their IT Director, Hank Hartman, to discuss a possible joint project that could include linking school and city facilities with fiber optic cable. We are just beginning to explore the advantages to both organizations with such a project, and more detailed cooperation will continue.
•    I attended the Northeast Ohio Mayors and Manager’s Association quarterly meeting last Thursday, and much emphasis was placed on the coordinated efforts being made to stop efforts for state municipal income tax collection. The organization plans on advancing a resolution in opposition, and they are reaching out to the various legislators representing our respective communities for support. I expect to introduce a similar resolution at the Lake County Mayors and Manager’s meeting.

Fire Department
•    On Feb.15 at 5:40 p.m., the department was called to State Route 2 west of Center Street for treatment of an injured Mentor police officer. Reportedly, the officer was injured as he attempted to stop a slow-moving vehicle and then became trapped between the car and the retaining wall.The patient was treated for injuries and ground transported to Hillcrest Hospital in stable condition.
•    During the Feb. 14 Mentor School Board meeting, the Mentor Firefighter’s Historical Association honored Mrs. Marion Lipinski for all of her work with developing the Mentor Fire Museum and the Mentor Safety Village.  Retired Mentor Firefighter Ernie Johnson representing the Mentor Historical Association presented her with a plaque and a picture frame of some of the old Mentor Fire Department patches. Mentor City Council President Marn presented Mrs. Lipinski with a proclamation from Mentor City Council. Some of the noted highlights of Mrs. Lipinski’s continued support of the Mentor Firefighter’s Historical Association were her development of the curriculum used at the Mentor Safety Village. Also she has supported fundraisers to help fund the cost of busing the students to the Mentor Safety Village. Also noted was how her work on the curriculum taught to the third graders for their visit to Mentor Safety Village has impacted on average 1,000 third graders every year for the past 10 years. More than 10,000 students reached.

Economic and Community Development
•    Data assembled from CoStar shows Mentor’s overall retail vacancy rate at 4.5% or approximately 199,000 sq. ft. of available retail space. The Department of Economic Development conducts its own windshield survey and analyzes retail in two categories: large shopping centers greater than 50,000 sq. ft. and convenience style centers less than 50,000 sq. ft. in size. The vacancy rate of large shopping centers is consistent with CoStar at 4.5%. The convenience centers are experiencing a higher vacancy rate of 17%. The overall retail vacancy rate for Mentor is 8%, a 1% increase over 2011.
•    Tom Thielman met with a Mentor CNC and milling company regarding their desire to purchase a new facility to accommodate continued growth. Various incentive programs and financing opportunities were discussed.
•    Ron Traub visited Lincoln Electric Euclid facility to discuss the impact of the Baltimore company acquisition on the NE Ohio facilities.
•    Ron Traub and Tom Thielman visited CRT (Component Repair Technologies) a large Mentor business specializing in the repair of gas turbine engines used in industry and in aviation. CRT has been experiencing rapid growth and various State and local opportunities are being explored to accommodate their continued growth.

Engineering and Building Department
•    Aqua Ohio Scheduled Projects and Activities: The following waterline improvement projects or activities are scheduled for 2012:
o    Their first project involves relocation/replacement of a waterline under the culvert on Stoneybrook Lane in conjunction with the Stoneybrook Lane/ Garfield Road Culvert Improvement Project. This project should be completed by the end of February.
o    At the end of February, work is expected to begin on Crossfield Avenue from Broadmoor Road to Midland Road.  This project will be re-placing 850 ft of an existing 6-inch waterline with an 8-inch waterline. The project should take three to four weeks to complete.
o    In March, Aqua Ohio will relocate approximately 40 feet of a 16-inch waterline in order to accommodate ditching work on the SR2 project. The work should take one week to complete.
o    In April, work will begin on installing 1,100 feet of 8-inch waterline to replace an existing 6-inch line on Prospect Street from Center Street to Hart Street.  Project should take approximately 5-6 weeks to complete.
o    Beginning in May or June, work will begin on replacement of 2550 feet of 12-inch waterline on Hopkins Road from Chillicothe Road to Highland Court.  This work should take approximately 2-3 months to complete.
o    Beginning in June, Aqua will replace 1800 feet of 6-inch waterline with 8-inch waterline on Headlands Road from Lakeview Drive to the west.  Work should take 7 to 8 weeks to complete.
o    Throughout the year, Aqua is also planning to replace 30 to 40 two-way fire hydrants with three-way hydrants.

Parks and Recreation Department
•    The Civic Ice Arena debuted its new mascot at the public programs recently.  The mascot is a skating mouse brought to life by Arena staff member Valerie Bosch. Val loves her role and from all the hugs she gets when appearing at the programs she is well loved in return. The Arena held a contest to name the mouse and the winning name chosen was “Mischief.”
•    The Marina is busy preparing for the boating season. Work continues on the boat ramp widening project with the I-beams arriving this week. Once they are cut to the appropriate length and welded together concrete footers will be poured and they will be set in place. We have had some trouble with electric on “B” dock and we will be swapping a transformer out with a larger one that we have on site. This change out should make things run smoother on “B” dock this season.
•    As part of the energy conservation projects taking place throughout the city the solar shades are being installed in the Municipal Center Administrative Office Lobby over the next weekend. The new shades will help save on heating and cooling the area throughout the year.  We also will be fixing the brick walk in front of the Administrative Office entrance.  Since the installation of the new canopy we have had some shifting in the creation of voids under the brick.  The areas will all be leveled to correct the issue.
•    Learn to Skate Director Colleen Thomas has been working with a couple of the elementary schools on a program that will run as a trial during the month of March. The program is called “Mentor Has Manners” program.  The concept is to reward elementary school children for demonstrating courtesy and manners on a repetitive basis.  Each teacher at the selected schools will award up to five gift certificates, for a free pass to an open skate, to the students that do the best at remembering their manners and to be courteous.  We are hoping this program is a success and we will be rolling it out to all elementary schools in the fall. 

Public Works Department
•    Eclipse Company will complete Tyler Blvd. inlet basin repairs in the spring.
•    The Public Works activity highlights this week were: Beginning inlet basin survey in anticipation of repair program; Snow and ice control; Interior work at WWCC; Senior Center kitchen work; Stop sign reflectivity upgrades – on-going; 60% complete with annual program to test conflict monitors; Traffic pole at Lakeshore and Hopkins was replaced; Marina boat ramp - preparing to install steel rails; Lowered inlet to improve drainage - 7354 Bauer; R-o-w drainage improvement - 6121 Cedarwood; Walking/inspecting ditches in southwest quadrant of City; Dye testing - 6831 SR 306; Held pre-bid meeting for City Hall HVAC upgrade phase 1; and Processing work or-der/payment for FE re: FS #4 generator installation.

Finance Department
•    The City received an advance of funds $870,000 from the Lake County Auditor for collections from real property tax collections for the first half 2012 collections.
•    The Finance Department is currently reviewing all existing Mentor Incentive Grant (MIG) agreements to determine eligibility for incentive payments.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Monday, February 13, 2012

A tale of Mentor police heroes, power outages & drainage woes

The latest Mentor City Manager report to City Council contains news about a potential sewer camera purchase to aid in alleviating drainage problems, the culprit for power outages in part of Mentor, clues that the city’s industrial strength is returning and some heroic efforts by police.

City Manager
• The Engineering and Public Works Departments coordinated the televising of approximately 3,000 feet of sanitary sewer pipe on SR306 from Ohio Street to approximately Bellflower Road. This was done, in part, to demo a sewer camera being considered for purchase and also to facilitate the sanitary sewer investigation on SR306. The Lake County Department of Utilities was also present during the investigation. A follow-up meeting was held Feb. 8 with Lake County Department of Utilities to review results and share information received since the last meeting. Dave Swiger, CT staff, and City Manager Ken Filipiak discussed with County staff cooperative efforts to reduce the factors contributing to sanitary sewer backups.
• Matt Schweikert, Councilman Landeg and the city manager met this week with representatives of CEI to review their recent efforts to identify the reasons for what appears to be a higher than normal occurrence rate of power loss in the “Presidents streets” area. The investigation revealed the main culprit is tree maintenance, which will be addressed as needed in the short term and to a greater extent in 2013. They are also evaluating other means to make smaller sections of the circuit in the area more reliable. Also discussed were preliminary plans for addressing the disruptions on Division Street.
• Grants Coordinator Abe Bruckman is helping to draft a resolution to submit to affiliate outside groups (Mentor Marsh Board, Audubon, and CMNH) for consideration of support of a proposed Wildlife Management Strategy within the city.
• Industrial vacancy in the City declined approximately 32 percent, from 1.9 million sq. ft. to 1.3 million sq. ft. compared to the same period last year.

Police Department
• On Jan. 31, the Lake County Association of Chiefs of Police presented Patrolmen Kuret, Gerber, Smelcer, Bruening and Alvord with its Life Saving Award. This award was presented to Ptl. Kuret and Gerber for keeping a female alive with CPR after being pulled from a car until the Mentor Fire Department arrived. Ptl. Smelcer, Alvord and Bruening administered CPR and used an AED on an unresponsive male with no heartbeat until the Mentor Fire Department arrived. Both outcomes were favorable.
• During a routine traffic stop last week an officer smelled the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from a vehicle. A search of the vehicle resulted in more than 100 ecstasy pills, marijuana and $5,180 dollars. The driver was arrested and charged with trafficking in drugs, possession of marijuana and various traffic offenses.

Fire Department
• On Feb. 9 at 8:37 a.m., paramedics were called to Pathways Inc. located at 7350 Palisades Parkway for amputated fingers. A female worker at the facility suffered an amputation injury of two fingers when a heavy door was accidentally closed on her hand. Paramedics transported the patient to Cleveland Metro General Hospital in hopes that a micro surgeon will be able to reattach the digits.
• Interviews for Part-time Firefighter/Paramedics are being conducted with 25 candidates scheduled for interviews.

Finance Department
• Audit field work was completed this week for much of the compliance phase of the city’s 2011 audit, including single audit work for federal awarded grants. The city had expenditures of close to $2 million during 2011 for projects that received federal assistance. The auditors will vacate city hall after this week and return in April to complete the audit of the 2011 financial report.

Engineering and Building Department
• SR2 Widening Phase 3 — The contractor has removed the wall section located inside the northeast corner of the SR 615 interchange. In addition, lighting work is proceeding on the SR 615 ramps and may be functional by mid-March.

Parks and Recreation Department
• The Lagoons Marina has rented almost all of the wet slips for the upcoming season. This usually doesn’t happen until just before the season begins. The work is moving along on the addition to the boat ramp, and should be complete well before the mid-April deadline.
• The pre-bid meeting for the Senior Center roof replacement was held Feb. 9. The meeting was attended by five prospective bidders. The bid opening is Feb. 23.

Economic and Community Development
• Ron Traub, Kathie Pohl and Tom Thielman met with representatives of Burges & Burges Strategists regarding the City’s Economic Development advertising strategy and formulating a marketing plan for 2012.
• Tom Thielman participated in his monthly Small Business Talk Radio Show on WELW 1330 along with his co-host Dale Stefancic. Dale is owner of “Entrepreneurs on Call” a small business which helps motivate entrepreneurs and provides them with business consulting services. This month’s show included highlights about recent Mentor Incentive Grants, as well as, information regarding other new developments in Mentor.
• Ron Traub met with a Mentor business owner interested in purchasing and redeveloping a retail property in the Old Village.

Public Works Department
• The Public Works Activity Highlights this week were: Marina boat ramp — ongoing; storm sewer repairs — Chapelway at Johnnycake, 9445 Beavercreek and 8726 Warrendale; walked and cleaned ditches — Catalpa to Hoose, Hoose to Goodell and Bellflower to Sycamore; completed cleaning of box culvert under SR 306 carrying Two Town ditch; located residential lateral — 5976 Galaxie; pothole patching; lowered inlet and regraded swale — Bernard at Little Mountain; drainage improvement at 6121 S. Cedarwood to keep water from driveway; conflict monitor testing 30 percent complete; fabricating “For Sale” signs for Ron Traub; tree pruning on city property; Senior Center ceiling tile replacements.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Monday, February 6, 2012

The latest goings-on in Mentor government

The weekly Mentor City manager memo to council includes a big traffic stop, a suspicious typewriter and a report on a problem bridge:

• One of our Mentor Police Officers conducted a traffic stop on I-90 as part of our Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (ACE) detail. The traffic stop resulted in both occupants being arrested for traffic and drug offenses, along with the seizure of $15,000 dollars located in the vehicle and on their persons.
• An intoxicated male forced entry into an apartment at Mentor Mall Village Apartments, 7950 Mentor Ave. The male confronted the female resident and asked if an unknown male lived in the apartment. The female ran to her bathroom, locked the door and called police. The suspect fled but was located behind another apartment building in the complex.The male was charged with burglary and carrying a concealed weapon (8” folding knife). 
• A press release was sent out to the local media attempting to identify a male responsible for a shoplifting/robbery at Macy’s from Jan. 10. The day after the article was run in The News-Herald, which included a photo of the suspect, an anonymous tip was received and the male was identified. The male was arrested and charged.

Fire Department
• On Jan. 29, at 1:40 p.m., paramedics responded to another reported heroin overdose. This call was on Edgehill.  Paramedics arrived to find a 23-year-old male refusing their treatment. The scene was turned over to the police department.
• On Jan. 30, at 10:53 a.m., the fire department assisted the bomb squad with a suspicious package that was reported outside of 6966 Heisley Road. Bomb Squad Technicians were able to determine that the device was an old typewriter and there was no threat. Fire units were re-turned to service at 12:29 p.m.
• On  Jan. 30 at 4:46 p.m., the fire department assisted with the search for a missing 2-year-old that had been reported missing for 15-20 minutes. Shortly after beginning the search, the child was found in his house.

Economic and Community Development
• Ron Traub and Tom Thielman met with the owner of the former Little Mountain Farmers Market site regarding its redevelopment opportunities.
• Abe Bruckman and Ron Traub met with Amy Brennan, Chagrin River Watershed Partners, regarding the use of green technologies to address storm water run-off.
• Ron Traub met with the owners of the Polo building to discuss their involvement in the Mentor Technology Greenhouse initiative.
• Ron Traub attended the “ribbon cutting” for Gotta Dance Ohio located at 8824 Mentor Avenue.
• MEACO is working on producing a series of video snippets to post on its website and YouTube to help educate businesses of the benefits of SBA lending and the Mentor Small Business Loan program.

Engineering and Building Department
• The city received a much-anticipated Mentor Harbor Bridge inspection report prepared by the Lake County Engineer at the city’s request. The report indicates the overall condition of the bridge is serious, although some components of the bridge are better than others. The administration will use this report to support potential application for outside sources of funding for demolition and removal. The next step is to pursue an estimate of removal cost.
• SR2 Widening Phase 3 — All median lighting from the Willoughby Corp line to Hopkins Road has been installed and is operational. Work activity on SR2 is expected to be minimal until spring, at which time, SR615 widening will begin. 

Manager Comments 
• The city has obtained a copy of the Resolution passed by the County Commissioners requesting that the Lake County Budget Commission repeal the alternative distribution formula for Local Government Funds. It is being reviewed by the law director and administration to determine what steps, if any, must be taken by the city and when. We are also reviewing the original agreement memorializing the present alternative formula adopted in 1982. The agreement indicates that when the recent action by the Commissioners is certified to the Budget Commission, which we assume it has been, the Budget Commission must appoint a committee to recommend an alternative formula. I am intending to send a letter to the Budget Commission requesting that Mentor is proportionally represented on that committee. The administration will take no other steps without direction from the law director.
• In consideration of tax season, extended hours for the on-site satellite R.I.T.A. office at Mentor City Hall will be in effect during March and April. The office will be open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from March 1 thru April 26.

Parks and Recreation Department
• With the spring-like temps on Tuesday we had nearly 100 golfers (58 nine-hole rounds and 37, 18-hole rounds.)  The tennis and basketball courts also saw a lot of action.
• Spring registration, including registration for summer camps began Monday with an impressive first day total of $25,037. Half of all registration is now being done online.
• During the two-week holiday season the arena had 4,410 open skaters. This is an increase of 350 from last year.

Public Works Department
• The Public works Activity Highlights this week were: repaired trench drain at MMF; poured footer for new boat ramp at marina; storm sewer repairs — Culver and Arrowwood; cleaned storm sewers at Jasani and at SR 306/Two Town ditch; re-profiled ditch at 6554 Elmwood; removed restrictor plate from storm structure at 7853 Chapelway; walking/inspecting ditches in southwest area of City of Mentor; testing conflict monitors; tree pruning on Norton Parkway; prepping for installation of fence and waterline at WWCC; plumbing repairs — MPD; Coordinating electric work at FS #4 re: generator; requesting quotes for new boiler at Garfield Park building; and bids for City Hall HVAC project (phase 1) due on Feb. 26.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy