Monday, May 21, 2012

Mentor reaching out to young & old...

Mentor officials are finding ways to further reduce energy costs, road work is pending on a main drag, and the city is finding new ways to reach out to young and old. That and more in the latest city manager memo to City Council:

Manager Comments 
• On May 14, Mentor resident Raymond Gabor went missing in the Lagoons area and was thought to be suicidal. An extensive search was completed that night and extended through the following day, which included members of both the Police and Fire departments. The U.S. Coast Guard also assisted in the search by deploying their rescue helicopter from Detroit. Mr. Gabor was not located until Tuesday evening after being spotted by a Mentor Lagoons worker who contacted the Police. The Police responded to the area and were able to apprehend Mr. Gabor in the wooded area of the Lagoons. He stated that he slept in the marsh overnight and was hiding in the Lagoon and marsh area, but never saw police searching for him. He was transported to Lake West for further treatment and review.
• This week the City entered into an agreement for the purchase of electricity used at its largest metered facilities. Competitive price quotes were solicited from several suppliers. The city was able to lower its current energy charge significantly, resulting in almost $100,000 of cost savings over the next two-year period. The new agreement is with AEP Retail Energy.
• In trying to find new ways to promote Mentor beyond our borders, the city has recently launched a YouTube site. One hundred million Americans currently watch videos online daily. Last year, YouTube had 1 trillion views, and that number is doubling every two years. For now, we plan on taking select video segments that we produce for The Mentor Channel and placing them on YouTube. We believe that by utilizing this extremely popular social media, we will increase our ability to communicate with more people (especially younger people), who turn to the Internet for their news and entertainment
• I had a chance to discuss several important city initiatives and capital with guests at the Senior Center this past Tuesday in a new program intended to solicit feedback and engage our senior residents. The “Conversation with Ken” went well, and we plan on expanding it to include participation from other department managers in the future.
• The Memorial Day Walking Parade & ceremony will take place on Monday with the parade stepping off at 9:30 a.m. from the Heinen’s parking lot and proceeding to the Mentor Cemetery. The parade will culminate at the Veteran’s Memorial with a memorial ceremony beginning at approximately 10 a.m. This year, the featured speaker will be retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Bob Zonneville.

Fire Department
• On May 10 at 8:48 p.m., Paramedics responded to the CSX tracks at the south west end of Industrial Parkway where a male had been hit by a train. The male was in critical condition and was ground-transported to Lake Health Hospital West where he was then airlifted to Metro General Hospital. Sadly, the male died on Tuesday.
• On May 14 and May 15, Mentor Fire crews assisted the police department in the search for a missing male in the area of Mentor Headlands Road and Mentor Lagoons. Male was found in good health Tuesday night.
• On May 16 at 4:32 p.m., Mentor Fire Station #1 responded to a vehicle fire at 9570 Mentor Ave., the parking lot of The Winking Lizard. Crews arrived to find a fire in the engine compartment of a 1998 Ford Ranger. The fire was quickly extinguished; however heat and smoke from the fire damaged three other vehicles. There were no injuries and total loss is estimated at $15,000 for all 4 vehicles.

Police Department
• Last week was National Police Memorial Week to honor officers who have been killed in the line of duty.  Each year, between 140 and 160 officers are killed in the line of duty. All Mentor officers wore black mourning bands on their badges during the week. 
• On May 10, a male was struck by a westbound CSX train near the western end of Industrial Park. The male survived and was transported to Metro hospital. He died the following day from his injuries. At this time it is unknown if this was a suicide attempt or an accident. We are continuing to investigative.
• Three officers received awards on Friday for their actions in apprehending three armed robbery suspects from Painesville. Officer Bruening receive the Departmental Excellence Award, and Officers Myers and Fiorilli received a Letter of Commendation.

Engineering and Building Department
• Corduroy Road Streetscape Improvements: T.C. Construction is currently installing storm sewer and removing asphalt pavement in the tree lawn on the east side of Corduroy Road at the IGA Market. Aqua Ohio Water Co. has relocated a fire hydrant to make room for the new concrete sidewalk along the east side of Corduroy. Concrete curb will be constructed next, followed by asphalt and concrete work for the sidewalk and drive aprons.
• Stoneybrook Ln./Garfield Rd. Culvert Improvements: Three J Construction is anticipating starting work the week of May 29. The contractor will be placing the stone fill in the ditch line behind several residential properties and constructing the footing at Stoneybrook for the culvert. They expect to be able to transition right into the culvert work with no down time once the culverts are delivered to the job site.
• 2012 Road Program: Work continues on the 2012 Road Repair Program. Portions of 26 streets are currently included in the asphalt portion of the 2012 Road Repair Program. Residents on the affected streets have received a notice distributed by the contractor describing the work and providing contact information for the contractor and a City representative. As of May 17, the following asphalt streets have been paved: Edgewood Road, Clifton Court, Curtiss Court, Hopkins Road, Willowbrook Drive, Homewood Drive, Forest Road, Jordan Drive, Sycamore Road, Oak Street, Thunderbird Drive, Tall Oaks Drive, Hendricks Road, Beaver Creek Drive, Hoyt Court, Colony Court, Magnolia Drive and Cole Drive. The remaining streets included in the Road Program are: Firwood Road, Shawnee Trail, Stockbridge Road, Seneca Road, Seminole Trail, Old Johnnycake Ridge Road, Crossfield Avenue and Culver Boulevard. In addition, full-depth pavement repairs will occur on Jackson Street between Heisley Road and Mentor Avenue.
• Work on the concrete portion of the Road Program has begun in the Pinegate Subdivision. Although work has been temporarily suspended for the full-depth concrete repairs, the contractor will perform full-depth repairs on the following streets throughout the summer: Norwood Drive, Pinewood Court, Gatewood Drive, Aspenwood Court, Foxwood Court, Ramblewood Drive, Cannon Ridge Drive, Snowberry Court, Curberry Drive, Catalpa Circle, Canterbury Lane and Yellowwood Drive.
• Dominion East Ohio Gas Project: The City of Mentor has issued a right-of-way utility permit to Dominion East Ohio for the replacement of 143 feet of steel gas line with plastic gas line. The work will be located on Mentor Avenue at Middlesex Road. Work on this project is expected to begin on May 29 and should take approximately two to three weeks to complete. The work will be restricted to between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. An off-duty patrolman from the Mentor Police Department will assist with the traffic control. During construction, traffic will be maintained.

Parks and Recreation Department
• The unbelievably popular Just Kids Stuff Garage Sale is slated for May 31, from 9 a.m.-noon rain or shine at Garfield Park.
• The Recreation Department is working to gain votes in the $100,000 PetSafe Bark for Your Park contest through promotion on Facebook, Twitter, Channel 12, and the Friends of the Dog Park group. People can vote at and also on the PetSafe Facebook page daily through June 13. 
• Looking ahead, the city will be hosting the First Mentor Lagoons Perch Fishing Tournament on July 27. All proceeds from this tournament will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. This event is under the leadership of a volunteer committee of residents. 
• The Public Works Department has been down at the Lagoons completing the repairs to the chip & seal at the boat ramp. The crew will return soon to complete other needed road repairs through out the Marina. While they were on site the crew did saw cut some of the edge work around the entrance planter, boat ramp building and boat ramp area bollards to allow for the marina crew, in their spare time to remove the stone and replace it with topsoil to expand beds and green space.  This addition will serve to better delineate the roadway and slow traffic through the main entrance area.

Economic and Community Development
• Ron Traub met with Matt Fish, owner and chef of the Melt Bar & Grilled restaurant.
• Ron Traub, Ric Spence and representatives of the Building & Engineering and Fire Department had a pre-submittal meeting for a new prospective restaurant.
• Ron Traub met with the owner of a Mentor company who is seeking to purchase the building his company currently rents.
• Tom O’Hara has completed the necessary grant activities to finalize the purchase by a developer of a fifth Neighborhood Stabilization Program vacant home. The home will be completely renovated and is slated to be purchased by a qualified couple upon completion. The N.S.P. grant is also sending five individuals/families to home buyer counseling on May 19 which is the first step in creating qualified buyers for five additional homes.
• Tom Thielman and Terry Botirus worked and provided support at the Lake County Business Symposium — Road to Success held at Lakeland Community College. The U.S. Small Business Administration and MEACO were sponsors of the event. Tom had the opportunity to address several of the break-out sessions regarding the various SBA loan programs available to businesses and MEACO had a table setup in the vendor’s area.

Finance Department
• On May 14, state Auditor Yost presented to the city the Auditor of State Award with Distinction for its most recently released financial audit FY2010.
• An invitation from the Auditor of State was received this week for the city’s participation in a brainstorming session. The session to be held June 27 is related to the Lake County Capital Utilization Project.

Public Works Department
• The Public Works activity highlights this week were:  Crack sealed Mentor Ave. from Rt. 306 to Willoughby, east bound; Lagoons – Chip and seal parking lot at Boat Ramp; Durham, basin and slab repairs; Installed end of road markers at Orchard Road Extension; 6023 Sea Pines – storm sewer repair.
5969 S. Shandle – storm sewer repair; 6794 Weatherby – replace driveway apron; 6121 Cedarwood – complete asphalt repairs; Park Maintenance, mowing and lining of baseball, soccer and football fields; and Garfield Park, in process of painting pool.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy


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