Mentor cops nab vehicle theft suspects
Mentor police recently busted up part of an organized vehicle and equipment theft ring, and the city administration is researching a method to perform a citywide deer count. Those items and more in the latest weekly city manager memo to City Council:
• On March 8, two males were arrested for stealing a pickup truck from the Home Depot parking lot. The males were stopped on Diamond Center at Heisley in two separate vehicles (one being the stolen truck and the other vehicle they drove to Mentor). Both males are part of an organized theft ring responsible for numerous thefts of vehicles, motorcycles and landscape equipment in Lake county and surrounding counties. Our investigation is continuing to identify other suspects.
• On March 10, a male was involved in an accident on Beaumont Dr. After the accident, the male fled on foot from the scene. A K-9 track was attempted but failed to locate the male. He was eventually found at the Speedway gas station at Center/Tyler. The vehicle the male had been driving was reported stolen out of Indiana which appears to be the reason he ran from the scene. He was charged with receiving stolen property, driving under suspension and hit/skip.
Parks and Recreation Department
• We are working on the methodology to conduct a citywide deer count to be able to comply with the requirements of the ODNR permit process.
• The Recreation Department programming staff met last week to discuss the IBIM Festival. It was a good first meeting with the staff discussing the length of the festival, location of the event on the property and some discussion on possible programs, events and activities.
• In less than 2 weeks, the Recreation Department will begin the pre-season pool pass sales. The sale of pool passes will take place at the Recreation Department’s offices in the administration portion of the Municipal Center during normal business hours with extended evening hours on April 17 and 24. As a service to our renewing pass holders you will be able to renew online, provided there are no changes in the account. This registration, like all online registration is free.
• The City received notice this week from County Auditor Zupancic informing us that the Lake County Budget Commission is appointing a committee pursuant to the County Commissioners’ Resolution to abolish the 1982 agreement establishing an alternate formula for distribution of Local Government Fund revenues. The committee is charged with either abolishing the current alternative formula or to recommending an alternative. Each party to the agreement is offered one representative on the committee. I have suggested to President Marn that I might represent Mentor. We must inform the Auditor by March 30, 2012. The Committee will then be asked to submit a recommendation to the Lake County Budget Commission by July 2, 2012.
• We recently met with the Mentor Yacht Club to review dredging estimates for this year and discuss an additional scope of work for both dredging and channel repairs. The Administration is evaluating the MYC request and will keep Council informed.
• Tony Zampedro attended the Mentor Port Authority’s meeting Thursday at which time John Konrad was appointed the new chairman and Tim Andrassy was appointed vice chairman. Among other things a discussion was held regarding possible missions for the Port Authority which the chairman described as securing financial support for improvements/repairs in or adjacent to the navigable waters abutting the marina; the entrance channel to Lake Erie; implementation of the coastal plan prepared by and in cooperation with the LCPA; involvement in the removal of the bridge structure; and channel dredging and debris removal/prevention in all connecting channels. Tony, on behalf of the administration, suggested consideration of a role in erosion control along the lakeside northern boundary of the marina and eastward along the City’s shoreline where the beach is now either gone and/or submerged. The meeting adjourned following a motion to have their legal counsel consult with the Law Director about how best to secure authority to perform these roles.
• On March 9 at 4:29 p.m., paramedics were called to assist the SWAT team while they made entry into a home to make an arrest. Paramedics stood by without incident and were returned to service by the police.
• On March 13 at 9:40 p.m., the department responded to a chimney fire on Stockbridge. Crews quickly extinguished the fire with no damage to the home. The first due Engine Company remained on scene to remove logs and ash from the fireplace and thoroughly check the fireplace, as well as, the crawlspace and upstairs attic to make sure that there was no further extension into the home. The home was turned back over to the homeowner at 10:29 p.m.
• On March 8, the Fire Prevention Bureau performed inspections of 50 vehicles at the Great Lakes Mall after closing hours for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Racecar display event that was held on March 11-12.
Economic and Community Development
• Ron Traub met with a prospective developer regarding a commercial site on the east end of the city.
• MEACO is working on a Mentor Small Business Loan in partnership with Lake National Bank to help a Mentor business purchase equipment.
• Tom Thielman and Ron Traub prepared an Economic Development Grant agreement for DMI Manufacturing.
• Representatives from the Ohio House recently introduced legislation (H.B.471) which would increase Local Government Fund distribution to equal, for the remaining months of fiscal year 2012, 3 percent over fiscal year 2011 levels and, for fiscal year 2013, 6 percent over fiscal year 2011 levels.
Public Works Department
• The Public Works activity highlights this week were: Painting Senior Center kitchen — complete; Garfield Park & Civic Center — grooming baseball fields; Wildwood Cultural Center — prep work for garden project, water supply and fence; Ridgeside Dr. at Trian Ct. — concrete slab replacement, westbound lane complete; Garfield Road — started crack sealing, south of Rt. 84; snow fence has been removed for the season; stop sign reflectivity upgrades and mapping — ongoing; Lakeview Drive — drainage improvement project complete; and started sod clean-up in all areas, topsoil and seed scheduled for mid-April.
-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, @ReporterBetsy