Monday, April 9, 2012

Beach fest & veterans discounts coming to Mentor?

A 2-day beach festival is proposed to promote tourism, traffic-calming efforts are in place in some neighborhoods, and discounts are being proposed for veterans, according to the April 6 Mentor City Manager memo to City Council. Details on those items and more below:

Manager comments 
• I recently met with Dick Bennett, Executive Director of the Lake County YMCA, to discuss its mission in Lake County and how Mentor can better be served. We discussed our respective views on the needs of Lake County and Mentor, opportunities for the Y in Mentor, and our participation in future strategic planning processes.
• The Engineering Department is preparing letters that will go out next week to persons on the Drainage Assistance Program who have yet to return an application and those who have not returned contracts sent in the past. Home owners will have 30 days to comply or will be removed from the program list.
• Kathie Pohl attended a daylong Town Hall meeting this week hosted by the Ohio Dept. of Tourism to learn more about the significant impact tourism has on a local economy. Some interesting facts: An average day visitor spends $100, but that increases to $285 if the visitor stays overnight. For every $1 spent on tourism advertising, 14 new tax dollars are generated. The number one reason visitors come to Ohio is to attend a special event. Kathie is seriously exploring the feasibility of a two-day event for 2013 to attract visitors from outside the immediate area centered on Headlands Beach. She and Abe Bruckman recently shared details of our proposed “Headlands Beach Fest” with state tourism director Amir Eylon, who was extremely encouraging because an event like this would be so unique to Ohio. If feasible, we would very likely apply for a grant through the Lake County Visitors Bureau.
• I met this week with Willoughby Mayor Dave Anderson and Lake County Port Authority Director John Loftus.  We discussed the level of interest in establishing either a JEDD or JEDZ if a portion or all of the Lost Nation Airport were developed for non-aviation uses. All concluded that it would likely be in everyone’s interest to continue the discussion as the issues in question regarding airport operations are worked through. I also initiated a discussion with both on exploring a possible business incubator on a countywide basis. There was interest in this as well. We will continue discussion on both issues and report to Council.

Fire Department
• On April 1 at 3:57 p.m., the department responded to 8465 Tyler Blvd. for a two vehicle head-on injury accident involving three patients. Two were treated and transported to Lake West where they were then air-lifted to Metro General Hospital with significant injuries. The third patient was ground transported to Hillcrest Hospital, treated and released. The City was busy with other calls during this time.
• On April 2 at 2:15 a.m., the department responded to The News-Herald for a report of smoke coming from the building. Crews arrived and determined that the smoke was coming from a duct, however, there was no fire. The problem stemmed from a transformer on a roof top HVAC unit. The unit was isolated with no disruption to operations.
• On April 4 at 7:27 a.m., paramedics were called to the home of a 65-year-old male with severe chest pain.  -During transport by paramedics to LakeWest, he went into cardiac arrest four times and was successfully resuscitated each time. He went immediately to the Cardiac Cath lab for Heart Catherization and placement of three stents. As of Thursday evening, he was recovering in ICU at West.

Police Department
• There was a head-on collision on April 1st on Tyler by Classic Ford. A suspected intoxicated driver, driving westbound, crossed over to the eastbound lane and struck another vehicle. The driver and passenger from the suspect vehicle were seriously injured. The innocent driver from the other vehicle sustained only minor injuries.
• Last week an officer conducted a traffic stop and recovered a backpack full of jewelry, coins and two air soft guns. The two female occupants of the vehicle could not explain how they came in possession of the bag. The officer secured the bag believing it was stolen property. An investigation was initiated and it was discovered the property was stolen from a house burglary in Madison. Both female occupants of the vehicle were interviewed this week and arrested for receiving stolen property. A male accomplice came to the police department with the females and claimed ownership of the property. He was interviewed and also arrested for receiving stolen property and tampering with evidence. Another male will also be charged in Madison for his participation in the burglary.
•    This week begins the Traffic Calming program in the city along with the deployment of both SMART trailers. Below is a list of locations for the Traffic Calming program:
April 2 through May 14
Ward 1 – Chillicothe Rd. (Mentor Ave. and Johnnycake)
Ward 2 – Adkins Rd. (Reynolds Rd and city limits) 
Ward 3 – Ohio St. (Reynolds Rd. and Champaign)
Ward 4 – Plains Rd. (Hopkins Rd. and city limits)

Parks and Recreation Department
• The first meeting of the Mentor Cruise In Committee was held this week. The group reviewed the ideas for sponsorship and vendors for this year’s event. The next meeting was set for mid-May with advertising and fliers being reviewed and approved for publication.
• The Recreation Division festival committee met this week to further address the ideas for revamping the city festival for 2013. The committee has some very good ideas for making adjustments to the current event and involving the community in the operation of the event. The committee is scheduled to meet with the City Manager next week to review the proposals and make sure we are on track.
• The Department has forwarded a list of opportunities to the City Manager’s office to provide discounts to resident veterans and active military as part of the Chamber of Commerce Vet’s Net program. Upon approval we will start to publish the new fee structures.
• The Senior Center is preparing for the annual Garage Sale at the Senior Center on Saturday April 28.  This event is so popular that all vendor space has been sold out, but you can call and be placed on the waiting list, just in case a table opens.  With all the vendors you know you should come and shop because there is surely something there you need.  The event runs from 9AM until 3PM, and it’s free!
• Starting next week Wildwood Cultural Center will be hosting a series on Family and Personal Security. This free program is open to all and we encourage families to attend these very informative sessions.  Each week facilitator Frank Krupa will lead you through issues you should know about and local law enforcement professionals will tell you how to best protect yourself and family.  The program is free, but you need to register.  Call the Recreation Department at 440-974-5720 to register.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman participated in the statewide conference call of the Ohio Small Business Development Centers Advisory Council. Updates included an outline of the Ohio Department of Development’s Strategic Plan for Ohio SBDC’s.
• Tom Thielman met with representatives from Citizens Bank regarding the SBA 504 and the Mentor Small Business Loan programs.
• MEACO continues to have a very robust fiscal year. Four new SBA 504 loan applications have been received in the past 30 days and two Mentor Small Business Loans. 
• Ron Traub met with representatives of a Mentor company currently receiving a MIG regarding a potential of additional jobs.
• Traub met with representatives of a company currently located outside of the City regarding a potential relocation.
• Traub met with representatives of the Ohio Department of the Treasurer regarding four initiatives; two involving economic development and two energy conservation. Information has been forwarded to the Director of Marketing & Public Information.

Finance Department
• Beginning April 9 and through the end of the tax filing season, the RITA office located on the second floor of the Municipal Center will offer double staffing during their regular business hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to accommodate the increased demand.
• Due to extensive changes in how funds and fund balances are reported in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) required by the recent Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 54, and staffing shortages resulting from retirements, the Finance Department requested and was granted a thirty day extension for filing the 2011 annual report.

Engineering and Building Department
• Shown below is Building Division activity comparing the month of February with the month of March, 2012:
                           Prior Month                 Month of
                        February 2012    March  2012
New Permits Issued             187            256
Building Permit Inspections        573            619
New Plan Review Cases                61              83
Engr/Bldg Dept. Permit Plan Reviews    165            322
New Contractor Registrations          75              87

Public Works Department
• The Public Works activity highlights this week were:  Garfield Park - baseball field maintenance; Civic Center Pool – Misc. plumbing, spring clean up; Blackbrook Golf Course – Driving Range improvements; Mentor Ave. – crack seal, complete from SR 615 to Mentor Mall. (west entrance); Stop sign reflectivity upgrades and mapping – ongoing; Boat Ramp – concrete installation is complete; 6045 Harrison – replace driveway culvert – 90% complete; Basin Repairs – Wayside Dr. (Qty 1) and Brimfield Dr. (Qty 2) – complete; Farmington Meadows - storm sewer cleaning – complete; and 5881 S. Shandle – redefine ditch – 90% complete.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy


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