Monday, July 30, 2012

Mentor faring well in hunt for OPWC funds

OPWC money could be coming Mentor’s way for some major road projects, the city’s unemployment rate sneaks up, and H&M opened at the mall. Find out what else is going on in the city in the latest Mentor city manager memo to City Council:

Manager Comments 
•    Pre-applications for Ohio Public Works Commission Issue 1, Round 27 funding cycle were filed on June 15, 2012.  The results of the applications were very successful for the City of Mentor.  Both the SR 306 Concrete Repairs (Funding amount - $99,900) and Hoose Road/Kings Hollow and King Memorial Rd. Resurfacing and Culvert Replacement Project (Funding amount - $282,400) were approved.  The Plaza Boulevard Extension (Funding amount $900,000) is partially funded and perhaps will become fully funded pending availability of funds.  Final applications will be filed in early October.

•    The unemployment rate for Mentor increased 0.3% (5.8%), ending a three-month decline in June 2012 (Mentor’s rate was 6.8% in June 2011).  In Lake County, the unemployment rate also increased 0.6% to 6.5%.  Despite the increase, the City has the lowest unemployment rate for any community in Ohio over 50,000 in population.  The unemployment rate in Ohio also increased 0.5% to 7.4% in June 2012.

 •    The City’s financial audit exit conference was held this week.  The City’s independent auditor rendered a favorable, “unqualified audit opinion” on our financial statements for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31.  The audit scope covering grant activity revealed no significant audit deficiencies or findings.

Fire Department
•    Friday, July 20 at 10:31 a.m., paramedics responded to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot injury.  They arrived on scene to find their patient DOA and evidence of a single penetrating injury.  The scene was turned over to the police department for their investigation.

•    On Friday, July 20 at 8:47 p.m., paramedics responded to an intentional drug overdose. Paramedics provided advanced care and transported the patient to Lake Health in stable condition.

•    On Monday, July 23 at 10:49 a.m., paramedics responded to an apparent suicide from a single gunshot wound to the head.  The patient was found DOA and the scene was turned over to the police department for their investigation.  This was the second fatal self-inflicted gunshot injury in four days.

•    On Monday, July 23 at 2:50 p.m., the Fire Department was requested via MABAS Box 1711, along with 10 other fire departments to assist Eastlake Fire with a house fire.  A homeowner and two males working in the home were injured in the fire.  The fire was ruled accidental and appears to be the result of a worker’s leaky propane torch.  The home suffered major damage.

•    On Tuesday, July 24 at 9:06 a.m., the Fire Department was called to assist Mentor-on-the-Lake Fire Department with a house fire.  The fire was quickly brought under control and the cause is under investigation.  There were no reported injuries.

•    On Tuesday, July 24 at 4:31 p.m., paramedics responded to another attempted suicide involving a male who was located inside the home with pills ingested and a vehicle running inside the garage.  Paramedics provided advanced care to the male and he was transported to Lake Health in stable condition.  Fire crews ventilated the carbon monoxide from the home.

•    On Wednesday, July 25 at 7:41 a.m., paramedics responded to a motorcycle accident on Blackbrook involving a male who was treated and transported to Lake Health in stable condition. There were no other injuries reported.

•    Three days of Incident Command Training was conducted at Concord Fire Department (July 23– 25) for officers from Lake County Departments including three officers from Mentor. 

•    The 4th Annual Matt Henk Baseball Tournament was held on Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29 at the Mentor High School fields.  The International Association of Firefighters Local 1845 (Mentor Firefighters’ Union) began the tournament to raise money for the family of Matt Henk, a Mentor Fireman who died from cancer in 2009.  He left behind a wife and twin daughters. 

Police Department
•    A female was arrested after an investigation into recent thefts of sterling silver jewelry at Kohl’s.  The suspect stole 116 pieces of jewelry, valued at over $6,000, over the past month.  She was arrested at her apartment and charged with Receiving Stolen Property.

•    Suspect Philip Crouse was arrested for stealing items from vehicles.  Crouse stole items from vehicles parked at Longo’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.  Crouse was out on bond from a previous Mentor theft case when he committed the recent thefts.  Officers immediately identified Crouse from surveillance video.

•    The police department held its annual auction  July 21.  There were 94 registered bidders for the auction that sold 154 items.  We collected $2,536 from all the items sold.  Items sold included forfeited, abandoned and found property, along with evidence from criminal cases that have been adjudicated in court. 

Economic and Community Development
•    Ron Traub met with representatives of several companies contemplating expansions within the city or relocations from elsewhere.

•    Ron Traub attended the “ribbon cutting” for H&M at Great Lakes Mall.  This 17,000 sq. ft. retailer will employ approximately 95 individuals on a part & full-time basis, and represents a “major step” in re-tenanting the Mall.

•    Stoneybrook Lane/Garfield Road Culvert Replacement:  The culvert under Stoneybrook Lane is now installed.  The contractor has currently completed about half of the culvert installation under Garfield Road.  Two-way traffic is being maintained on Garfield Road with temporary signals installed on each side of the culvert work zone.

•    SR 2 Repair Work: ODOT is preparing to begin the concrete pavement repairs (cracks in pavement) on SR 2 between SR 91 and SR 306.  The construction work will occur primarily at night between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.  Their contractor is currently mobilizing and setting traffic maintenance signs.  Work is scheduled as follows:

o    The work in the eastbound direction involving lane closures will begin this week during the night time hours between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

o    The westbound work involving lane closures will also occur primarily at night.  However, some daytime hours are listed.  This work is scheduled to begin Aug. 20.

o    Short-term SR 306 ramp closures and part width construction are scheduled to begin Sept. 28 and are scheduled to be completed by November 2012.

Parks and Recreation Department
•    The new vending machines are being placed in the facilities that were serviced by Sanese.  The machines should be operational by the end of the week.  The new company is ABC Refreshments and the contact is Patrick McGinty.
•    Our Natural Resource staff has created a Deer Survey for residents to complete.  Information regarding the survey will be placed on the website, Channel 12, Facebook and the quarterly Special Edition.  You will be able to complete the survey on the website.  It will be a 20 question survey and should not take any longer than 3 to 5 minutes to complete.  

•    Due to the great weather we have seen this summer, our camps are proving to be the best summer fun for the kids with our numbers up by 200 over the best year we had for camps.  The pools have seen an increase in attendance from the 40,865 5-year average to 54,077. 

•    The Senior Center’s monthly lunch event is now being sold out with 160 people attending each month.  The Mentor High School Baseball Team helps serve at these events and the Mentor High School Football Team helps with special events.  On Sept. 15, the Senior Center will be holding its annual Volunteer Luncheon.  Don’t forget the Senior Center serves lunch daily. 

•    The Sunshine Skating Competition was held at the Mentor Ice Arena this past weekend with 250 competitors and went very well.

•    The Ice Arena is holding one additional week of camp called the “Last Hurrah Camp” during the week of 8/20 – 8/24.  There are 26 children signed up and they will be skating each morning and then taking a field trip.  There are plenty of openings and you can sign up your child or grandchild for one day or all five days.   

•    The Ice Arena will be holding its 30th Anniversary Party on Sept. 15.  They are planning to have inflatables and games in the East Rink before they get ready for ice.  The staff is holding a brainstorming meeting later this week to start preparations for the event. 

•    The Ice Arena/Figure Skating Club is putting in a bid to the United States Figure Skating Association for the Adult Nationals Competition to be held in April 2013.

Public Works Department
•    7311 Colt – Drainage Improvement Project – complete
•    9283 Cherrystone – Drainage improvement Project - complete
•    6573 Forbes Court – storm sewer repair – complete
•    Deer Ridge – repair of four inlet basins – 90% complete
•    Plaza Blvd. at Dillards – emergency repairs made to traffic cabinet due to vehicle accident
•    Center Street Bridge over the tracks – removed thirteen sidewalk panels as part of the sidewalk program – scheduled for concrete pour next week
•    Walsh Park – entrance sign construction – ongoing
•    6605 Pear Tree – removed sediment at outlet cage
•    Storm Sewer Cleaning – St. James and Pear Tree

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Monday, July 23, 2012

Drainage improvement on way in Mentor (it'll rain again someday)

Mentor PD solved a burglary, local government funds from the state continue to shrink and a ‘much-needed’ sanitary sewer project will be getting under way in the city — those items and more in the latest weekly city manager memo to City Council:

Manager Comments 
•    After an extensive investigation, an arrest was made regarding a June 8 burglary on Prospect Street. A male, familiar to several officers, who lived in the area and who has been responsible for thefts in the past, was developed as a suspect. Witnesses were able to identify the same male from a photo lineup. Once he was interviewed, he confessed to the crime.

•    The impact of the state cuts made to local government funds continues to compound.  Year-to-date revenues from this source through July 2012 are now $400,000 less than the same period last year.  This equals approximately a 25 percent reduction in revenue.

•    The Lake County Utilities Department has applied for an emergency pavement open cut on Brooks Boulevard to begin the Bellflower Outlet Sewer Project on or before July 30.  This project is located between St. James and Brooks Blvd. in the Bellflower Meadows Subdivision and includes construction of roughly 300 feet of 15-inch sanitary sewer.  The project has been designed to minimize disruption to the neighborhood by employing boring methods.  The project is expected to provide much needed-relief to the sanitary sewer capacity for the area which has experienced problems during wet-weather events.  Fabrizi Trucking and Paving will be the general contractor for the project.

Fire Department
•    On July 13 at 7:07 a.m., the fire department responded to Tyler Boulevard for a brush and trash fire apparently set off by fireworks.  The fire damaged two parked vehicles.  Police are investigating for possible criminal charges.

•    On July 14 at 7:06 a.m., the department responded to a 911 report of smoke in a house on Jody Lynn.  Fire crews arrived to find a haze and odor of something burning.  The investigation determined the cause to be smoldering cigarettes that had been discarded in the garage.

•    On July 16 at 1:14 p.m., paramedics responded to a dog-bite injury.  A female suffered a dog bite when she stepped between two dogs that were reportedly fighting.  The patient was treated and transported to the hospital in stable condition.  The scene was turned over to the police department for their investigation.

•    On July 16 at 6:54 p.m., the fire department was called on MABAS Box 1412 to assist Willoughby Fire Department with a working apartment fire on Euclid Avenue.  The fire was ruled accidental due to cooking.  There were no reports of injury.  Eastlake, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Wickliffe and Willoughby Hills Fire Departments were also called to assist.

•    On July 17 there was a prolonged power outage in the Headlands area that resulted from wires down.  The power was out for approximately five hours in the evening and early night-time hours with service returned just before midnight.  The fire department monitored the situation with little impact on calls for service.

•    On July 18 at 7:54 p.m., the fire department was called to the Headlands for a male that fell from a truck.  Paramedics arrived to find a male who was injured when he exited his vehicle.  Patient was transported to the hospital in stable condition.

Police Department
•    Dollar Bank located at 7891 Mentor Ave. was robbed July 17.  A male entered the bank and handed the teller a note demanding money.  The teller complied with his demands.  The male fled the bank on foot across Mentor Avenue, towards Barnes and Noble.  No vehicle was seen and the male could not be located.  We are working with the FBI to identify the suspect.

•    2012 Road Repair Program  — The concrete contractor is nearing completion on the concrete slab replacements.  It is anticipated that all concrete work will be complete by July 23 with restoration of tree lawns occurring during the early fall to permit establishment of grass.

•    SR 2 Widening  — The SR 2 widening project continues.  Main line SR2 excavation is ongoing in preparation for the new pavement.  Widening work on the eastern side of Center Street has begun.  It is anticipated that the Center Street work will be complete in 4-6 weeks.

•    Stoneybrook Lane/Garfield Road Culvert Replacement — To date, the contractor has installed approximately 76 percent of the culvert on Stoneybrook Lane.  They expect to finish the culvert installation for Stoneybrook Lane on Monday and also perform at least one-third of the culvert installation on Garfield Road on Monday as well.  The contractor will begin some restoration work in the rear yards of the residence where rock channel protection was placed along the bank of the stream.  Once culvert installation has been completed, the contractor will be moving over to the retention pond at SR 84 and Garfield Road to repair an overflow spillway that has been washed out.

•    Aqua Ohio Waterline Project — Headlands Road Waterline Replacement Project:  The Aqua Ohio waterline project on Headlands Road is scheduled to start construction on July 23.  The contractor, Monte Construction, will begin replacing 1,175 feet of 6-inch cast iron pipe with 8-inch ductile iron pipe.  The project is scheduled to begin on Lakeview Drive and progress to the west.  Aqua Ohio anticipates that the installation of the waterline will be completed in approximately six weeks.

Parks and Recreation Department
•    The rain on Thursday canceled the “Everything You Ever Wanted To Do, But Your Mother Wouldn’t Let You” program.  The program was moved to Thursday July 26th at 6:30 p.m., so now you will have time to sign-up.  Call the Recreation Department at 440-974-5720.

•    The Senior Center had two full busses and more than 100 seniors on a Pittsburg River Cruise last Thursday.  This week, 40 seniors are enjoying a four-day Mississippi River Cruise trip and will return on Thursday.

•    The Senior Center has 30 participants registered for Delay the Disease class. This class is geared to those with Parkinson’s disease. This is more than double what we averaged last year at this time of year.  The class is a very specialized class and the participants have shown remarkable signs of their ability to cope with this disease.

•    The North Coast Junior Tour played at Black Brook on Thursday.  The Junior Tour features 100 of the best girl and boy junior golfers in Northern Ohio.  The Mentor Firefighters Outing is on Friday with about 108 players at 9:00 a.m., shotgun.

•    The Lagoons continue to be busy with stand-up paddle board and kayak classes and outings.  In the last three weeks, more than 100 people have paddled and over 110 have kayaked.

Economic and Community Development
•    Survey work is complete as it applies to an extension of the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA), which encompasses the industrially zoned area west of Hopkins Road, either side of Tyler Boulevard and Twinbrook to the General Business zoned area off Center Street.  This CRA extension, if it is approved, would make businesses that own their own property in the area eligible for property tax abatement.

•    Tom Thielman met with Patricia Banard, Business Banking Specialist for Huntington Bank, regarding Huntington’s new Small Business Micro Loan Program and other business services they provide.

•    MEACO is working on designing a new logo for its up coming 30th  Anniversary. MEACO, a nonprofit certified development company, was formed in late 1982 and received its official certification and designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration in 1983 to participate in SBA lending programs.

Finance Department
•    The City’s financial audit exit conference is scheduled for Thursday at City Hall in the second-floor conference room.  At the request of our outside auditors, any council member is invited to attend.  This is not a public meeting.

Public Works Department
•    6013 Sea Pines – storm sewer repair - complete
•    6573 Forbes Court – storm sewer repair – 20 percent complete
•    Road Maintenance – hot patch on Munson, Center and Hidden Hollow
•    Markwood Drive – replace road slab and rebuild curb inlet basin
•    Pavement Marking Inventory – ongoing
•    Dog Park – relocated mulch, and mowed tall grass around the park
•    Morton Pool – complete table repairs
•    Lagoons – added stone to the end of the boat ramp
•    7795 St. James – cleaning of Martin Ohm Ditch
•    Storm Sewer Cleaning – St. James, Sycamore and Rutland
•    Year-to-date, 101 properties improved in response to code citations

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mentor Lagoons has its own Sugar Shack

Water rescues, a canine cop tracking down his first suspect, a Sugar Shack at the lagoons, and good news about a major Mentor road project — those items and more in latest Mentor city manager memo to City Council:

Manager Comments 
• The Bellflower Road Resurfacing Project is proceeding ahead of schedule. Chip sealing was completed July 9 and resurfacing with the intermediate asphalt course was done July 10. Westbound traffic will be switched to the eastbound lane so the contractor can complete the pavement repairs. Based on the progress to date, it is estimated that two-way traffic can be re-established during the week of July 23 and that the asphalt surface course can be completed during the week of July 30. As always, this schedule is weather-dependent.

• We were able to secure a concessions operation at the Lagoons Marina. Since opening on July 3, the “Sugar Shack II” has been well-received by our boating patrons. This year, was intended to be a pilot program to gauge demand and evaluate this new amenity. Presently, this vendor is still adjusting his hours of operation to meet demand. So far, the Administration remains pleased with this new addition to our Marina.

Police Department
• Ptl. Mackey, with K-9 “Bo,” successfully tracked a suspect who ran from officers. The male suspect was wanted for a failure-to-appear warrant and ran from his house when officers arrived. Ptl. Mackey was called to the house and deployed Bo on the search. The suspect was located hiding in a wooded area. This is the first successful track for Bo.

• A 53-year-old male was arrested and charged with three counts of criminal child enticement. The male lured four children into the woods near Western Reserve Condos. While in the woods he attempted to remove his clothes in front of one of the juveniles. The juveniles fled the area when their mother started calling for them. The male was located on Reynolds Road and transported back to the police department. He confessed to the incident during an interview by the arresting officer.

• In March of this year, an officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle and recovered over $97,000 from a shoe box in the vehicle. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency adopted the case for forfeiture of the money from the suspect. After the legal proceedings were completed, the DEA returned $77,599 to the department. The federal government seized the remaining amount. 

Fire Department
• On Sunday, July 8 at 11:24 a.m., the fire department responded to 8365 Harbor Drive, Mentor Lagoons, for a sinking boat. Crews arrived to find a boat that had sunk some, but was secured to the dock. There were no threats to persons or environmental concerns. The lagoons manager was going to notify the owner so that the boat could be removed. Fire units were returned to service.

• On Thursday, July 12 at 7:05 a.m., Mentor Fire Dispatch received several 9-1-1 calls for a person in distress at Veterans Park, 5730 Hopkins Road. Fire crews arrived to find a male stuck in the muck approximately 100 feet from shore. Reportedly, the male wandered out into the muddy area of the pond to rescue his dog that also became stuck in a muck section of the pond. In doing so, the male sunk, unable to free himself, he began yelling for help. Fire crews were able to rescue the male and the dog. Neither was injured.

• Paramedics responded to two separate reports of drug overdoses this past week.  The first was reported on Saturday, July 7 at 10:03 p.m. and the second on Tuesday, July 10 at 9:42 p.m.  Both were younger males who may have taken cocaine. Both patients were administered Narcan by paramedics, which improved their condition, allowing them to be transported to the hospital in stable condition.

• The department, with the assistance of our grant coordinator, made a grant application request to the Assistance to Fire Fighters’ Grant Program. The request was for $81,000 in equipment. It may be several months before the review process of the application is complete and a decision is made by the Department of Homeland Security.

• The Fire and Police Departments hosted Camp 911 this week at Mentor Beach Park where children ages 11 to 14 years of age experience what it’s really like to be a firefighter or a police officer. Eighteen kids were enrolled in the camp program.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Grab everybody and sign-up for “Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Do But Your Mother Wouldn’t Let You … Family Style.” We have been asked many times to do this program so adults could join in the fun. Well, here’s your chance to join the kids and just get messy! From the infamous shake & bake to the wildly popular Mud Slide, families will get to do it all! If you can’t participate, you should stop by the Civic Center Amphitheater on Thursday, July 19 starting at 6:30 p.m. to watch the fun. The event moves to the Civic Center Pool for an hour swim starting at 8 p.m. for everyone to get cooled off and get that egg shampoo rinsed out. Sound like fun? Call the Recreation Department and register today.

• The Cardinal Café is making a summer appearance. The Cardinal Café is part of the Mentor Schools transitional work program for students with special needs. This summer, they have some students that need the experience to train them for future employment. The students bake the cookies and brownies and make the coffee, then bring them over to the Administration building to sell. The café will be open over the next month every Thursday morning from 8:30 until 11 a.m.

Economic and Community Development
• Departments met for a pre-review of a financial institution exploring a branch operation at the corner of Midland and Mentor Avenue.

• Tom Thielman attended the Lake County Development Council Board of Trustees meeting. LCDC agreed to fund a new initiative by Leadership Lake County to start a professional leadership skills class that will be taught in the evenings at Lakeland Community College’s Holden Center.

Finance Department
• The City’s on-site audit is complete. We are currently proofing the 2011 CAFR and expect a favorable audit opinion. Our auditors are planning the audit exit conference by the end of July.

• Accounting Supervisor Bonnie Lingafelter is attending the Ohio Municipal League Income Tax Seminar this week.  The legislative panel on tax uniformity, which includes State Representatives Cheryl Grossman and Mike Henne, as well as Chairman Peter Beck, House Ways and Means Committee, will moderate a panel discussion on the status of tax uniformity.

Public Works Department
•    6323 Hopkins Road – storm sewer repair - complete
•    8649 Johnnycake – Drainage Improvement Project - complete
•    Road Maintenance – hot patch Rt. 84 - 75% complete
•    Sea Pines – rebuilt 2 of 4 Curb inlet Basins
•    Sea Pines – replaced existing road slab
•    Preparations for rugby tournament at Krueger Park
•    Civic Center Pool – maintenance on ladders and showers in locker room
•    Mentor Beach Park – soffit enclosure – 25% complete
•    Dog Park – added three picnic tables
•    Lagoons – creating green space in main parking area
•    Garfield Park – storm sewer repairs at field 5
•    Storm Sewer Cleaning – St. James, Pear Tree and Durham

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Monday, July 9, 2012

Another new restaurant in Mentor...

Some fireworks misfires, more good income tax return news, and $1.5 million for cleaning up Lake County’s residential landscape. Those items and more in the latest Mentor city manager memo to City Council.

Oh, and there’s a new restaurant in town: Jimmy’s Backyard BBQ just opened in the former Papa John’s at 8630 Mentor Ave.

Manager Comments
• Tony Zampedro attended the inaugural meeting of the Lake County Land Reutilization Corporation this week. This land bank is a nonprofit entity and will assist all of Lake County in acquiring foreclosed properties for redevelopment and reutilization. In addition to Tony Zampedro the Board of Directors are John Crocker, chairman; Dan Troy, vice-chairman; Ray Sines and Gabe Cicconetti.

One of the first projects to be undertaken by this entity will be establishing a program to disburse the approximately $1.5 million dollars in funding awarded to Lake County by the state to assist in demolishing vacant and condemned residential structures throughout the county.

• Our Fourth of July fireworks display was well received by thousands, including some who showed up before noon to claim a good viewing area and celebrate the day. The display was spectacular and went off with only one miscue. One of the firework “racks” misfired causing a shell to explode in the rack.

Fortunately, in addition to the 350-foot safety zone enforced by our fire department, we also require the additional precaution of sandbags encompassing the “racks.”  In this instance, the potential harm from such a misfire is curtailed and the sandbag placement proved effective as there were no injuries.

• Income tax collections for the month of June were up $258,000 when compared to June of last year. The current total year collections through June as compared to last year are up to 13.4%.

• Bob Martin and Abe Bruckman, our grants coordinator, were part of a local group, including the Mentor Harbor Yacht Club, Lake County Planning Department and the Lake County Port Authority, that met with a contingent from the US Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo office to review the Federal interest in a project for the Mentor Harbor Channel.

The day was spent discussing the current condition of the harbor entrance, the need for the work, possible design options and then we toured the channel, the lagoons and the west beach area of the city’s property to give the visitors a good feel for what we are dealing with. The Corps of Engineers contingent left with a better understanding of our needs and we are now awaiting their requests for more detailed information to help in the Determination of Federal Interest.

Fire Department
•    On July 1 at 6:28 p.m., the fire department was called to the Mentor City Jail for a fire alarm. There was no fire, rather an inmate pulled off a heat detector causing the alarm to activate. Since the fire protection systems in jails are preaction systems (requiring actual heat), the sprinkler system did not flow water. It did, however, require a service company to be called to reset the fire protection system. Charges against the inmate are pending police follow-up.

• On July 2 at 3:27 p.m., Mentor Fire Station #1 crews were requested by Painesville City for assistance with a fully involved garage fire on Jackson Street in Painesville.

• On July 4 at 11:10 p.m., the department responded to Jackson Street and Heisley for a motorcycle vs. car motor vehicle accident. The cyclist was transported to Lake Health TriPoint Hospital in stable condition.

• There were two reported fireworks injuries as a result of “backyard” fireworks this week. The first was reported on July 3 at 10:39 p.m. and the second on the Fourth of July at 10:17 p.m. Paramedics treated both patients and one required transport to the hospital.

Police Department
• A female was arrested for stealing $42,000 in cash from a safe in a room at Studio 6. The female and a male boyfriend entered the room and stole the safe containing the money. The female confessed to the theft and a portion of the money has been recovered. The investigation is continuing regarding the boyfriend and possibly a third suspect.

• The police department did not experience any major issues with the July 4 traffic detail. We deployed 25 officers to specific traffic posts around the event along with four bike officers and one ATV officer inside the event. The majority of the traffic was cleared out by 11 pm. The closure of the SR2 exit ramps greatly aided in the movement of southbound Center St. traffic after the display.

• On July 4, we provided officers to assist with parades at Bradenwood Homeowners Association, Pinegate neighborhood and the Mentor Headlands. Throughout the day on July 4, the police department responded to 24 calls regarding fireworks complaints. One person was injured as a result of a firework going off near his face while igniting fireworks in his backyard.  

Parks and Recreation Department
• Black Brook has had a good week with the holiday in the middle of the week. We have had steady play every day and even with our Junior League play down this week we have had steady tee times throughout each day. We did have one glitch in the week; we had to have the intake for the irrigation system repaired due to a clog. It is repaired and the system is working well.

• The Municipal Center HVAC upgrade will be advertised beginning next week. The bid opening will be in early August to allow for review and recommendation for the August City Council meeting. We are very optimistic that we will receive a number of bids on this project based on the interest we have had through the design process.

• Recreation Superintendent Paul Hegreness and Recreation Specialist Maggie Kuyasa attended the ODOT scope meeting this week for the City’s Safe Routes to School grant. The City is receiving $60,000 in this two-year grant cycle. This grant requires no local match. Maggie has been very successful promoting the program in the schools. It has been well-received by the students and teachers alike and we look forward to expanding to other schools during the upcoming year.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman and John Loftus of the Lake County Port Authority participated in a conference call with representatives from Foundation Search America which provides research tools and a fully searchable, online database of all U.S. foundations. A possible partnership between the Lake County Port Authority and the Lake County Development Council is being pursued to help assist Lake County communities with identifying foundation dollars that match existing/future projects.

• According to a study somewhat recently completed by Jon Moore of the University of Akron and Richard Bancroft of the Home Builders Association of Summit and Portage Counties, Mentor ranked No. 1 in terms of the number of small firms (10 employees or less) in the 13-county area that constitutes NE Ohio. Mentor also ranks No. 1 in terms of the number of new small firm establishments (less than 1 year old). These statistics are based on 2009 data; staff is attempting to update this information.

Finance Department
• The City of Mentor and the City of Mentor Police Department will hold a public auction on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at 8500 Civic Center Blvd. (behind the Police Department).  Unclaimed property, evidence and surplus City property will be sold including bicycles, new clothing, jewelry, cameras, televisions, microwave/convection oven, golf clubs, video games and other miscellaneous items.

Engineering and Building Department
• Flood Insurance Rate Map Amendments: FEMA is in the beginning stages for future amendments to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The amended maps will reflect a new ‘zone’ for regulatory and insurance purposes. This new ‘zone’ will be titled ‘Coastal Flood Zone’ and is being implemented throughout the Great Lakes. The purpose is to mimic the ocean coasts of the United States by analyzing storm surges and wave action to determine Base Flood Elevations.  Final implementation should occur late 2014 to 2015.  For more information, visit ‘’

Public Works Department
•    The Public Works activity highlights this week were:
o    7080 Constantine Ct. – storm sewer and sidewalk repair;
o    7300 Welland Drive – DAP is complete;
o    Road Maintenance – hot patch all main roads;
o    Park Maintenance, mowing and lining of baseball fields;
o    Preparations and clean-up for Independence Day Parade and Fire-works;
o    Storm Sewer Cleaning – Durham, Gallowae, Rutland; and
o     Raised nine buried castings on the north side of Bellflower in the King Arthur Estates.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Monday, July 2, 2012

How Mentor rec programs are like the weather

Mentor Recreation Dept. programs remain hot, according to the latest weekly Mentor city manager memo to City Council. Attendance — and therefore revenues — from day camps and pools are way up, and there are plans in place to keep traffic moving after the annual fireworks display.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Day camps are off to a fantastic start. To date, we have 1,913 kids registered in Recreation Division camps (not including Wildwood, Golf or Arena) with revenue of $175,752, making it the biggest year for camp attendance and income ever.

• Pool revenue and attendance is up. As of June 15, revenue is up $36,402 over our five-year average. Pool attendance is up 4,841 compared to the five-year average.

• The weather looks good for the annual 4th of July Fireworks display. This spectacular display starts at 9:50 p.m. and can be viewed anywhere on the Civic Center Campus and Mentor High School grounds. Don’t forget the Rock & Rev at Western Reserve Harley Davidson this year the parking lot will feature activities for young and old as well as a Dunk Tank with proceeds form the dunk tank going to the Parks & Recreation Department.

• The Mentor Senior Center along with ASA (The Association of Specialists in Aging) hosted a Health Fair on Wednesday, June 27. We had 34 vendors and a couple hundred people came through the doors.

• Tuesday night’s “Try-it Tuesday” was a success again this week, with 48 people trying the kayaks and the standup paddle boards. Recreation Superintendent Paul Hegreness was giving paddle board lessons to all that came down to try the sport. Paul’s patience helped many of the first-time users to have success by being able to stand and paddle without too many falls in the lagoon.

• Tuesday night a small leak was found in the 12 inch PCV return line at Civic Center Pool. The pool was closed at 5 p.m. to repair the leak. All the Wednesday night lessons were moved to Garfield Pool for the evening. The pool was repaired and re-opened on Thursday in time for the HOT weather.

Manager Comments
• On June 26 at 11:20 a.m., police and fire were called to 7950 Mentor Ave. for a child who reportedly fell nearly 20 feet from a third-floor bedroom window. The child was treated and transported to Hillcrest Hospital in stable condition and did not sustain any life-threatening injuries. The fire department also transported family members to the hospital as they were without immediate transportation. Police are still investigating the circumstances.

• The Police Department is finalizing operational plans for the Fourth of July fireworks. This year we will be closing both the eastbound and westbound exit ramps from SR 2 to Center St. at the end of the fireworks. We believe this will help traffic clear out more expediently. ODOT was consulted and approved the change, and Route 2 contractor Shelly Construction will assist by providing message boards and barrels. The fire department is also preparing for the fireworks display and is working with the presenter’s technicians and the Mentor Schools to insure a safe show during this dry period. The school has agreed to wet down the display area due to the lack of rain during the past few weeks.

• We were notified by the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) that the City of Mentor will be receiving $495,060 as its share of refunded retainer fees. Our total net cost of collections to the agency after the refund equals 1.50%. The refund is about $122,000 higher than last year’s refund.

• Council President Marn, Vice President Kirchner, Tony Zampedro, Kathie Pohl, and I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at Eye Lighting Friday to celebrate their new line of lighting products. After a ceremony that included all Eye Lighting employees, we toured the new areas, and ate lunch among the employees. The management staff was very complimentary toward the assistance they received from the city and grateful for our Economic Development Grant.

Fire Department
• On June 25 at 10:56 a.m., the fire department was called to Heisley Road near Diamond Center for a vehicle that leaked diesel fuel. The fire department assisted in the clean-up and hazard abatement.

• On June 26 at 11:54 p.m., the fire department responded to 6515 Hopkins for a trash compactor fire at Steris. Crews extinguished the fire and ventilated the facility. There was no fire extension into the building and no reported injuries.

• On June 27 at 10:15 a.m., the fire department responded to Nick’s Gyros at 8764 Mentor Ave. for a grease fire under a griddle. The owner was able to quickly extinguish the fire and the fire department ensured that there was no extension to the building. The restaurant was able to remain open and there were no reported injuries.

• On June 27 at 8:52 p.m., paramedics attempted to resuscitate an unresponsive male who may have fell victim to a drug overdose. This was the second drug-related call of the week.

• Again this week the fire department responded to several mulch fires. There were 15 reported mulch fires this past week.

Police Department
• The Police Department has been working this week along with the Engineering Department in closely monitoring any traffic issues related to the Bellflower Road resurfacing project which started on Monday.  here have been no significant traffic issues to this point.

• The Police Department recently recognized Special Police Officer Greg Thurier for his 25 years of service to the citizens of Mentor. Since his retirement from the Cleveland Clinic he has been assisting the Court Officer,  attending both the Planning and Zoning meetings as well as patrolling the Nature Preserve and Marina on the Department’s ATV.

Engineering and Building Department
• SR 2 Widening: Work on Center Street is anticipated to switch from the western half of the roadway to the eastern half the week of July 2. At that time, northbound traffic will be limited to two lanes, one of which will be a shared left turn and through lane at SR 2. It is anticipated that the work in the northbound direction will last approximately six weeks. Upon completion of the widening at Center Street, widening work will occur on Heisley Road. Widening work continues on mainline SR 2. At this time, it is anticipated that the contractor will finish a majority of the scheduled work this construction season.

• 2012 Road Repair Program: The asphalt portion of the repair program is nearly complete. Old Johnnycake is the only remaining street in the asphalt portion of the road program. The concrete contractor has resumed work in the Pinegate subdivision. Upon completion of the work in Pinegate, the contractor will move operations to southern Mentor. Both contracts should be complete by the Sept. 28 completion date.

• Bellflower Road Repair and Resurfacing Project: The eastbound traffic detour was put into effect on June 25. The contractor began milling operations at SR306 in the eastbound lane. Temporary mailboxes were installed by the post office at Lake Catholic and on Pine Tree Drive. Garbage pick up should be as usual. Residents should take their containers to the curb for pick up. The contractor will relocate the containers as needed to facilitate Waste Management being able to access them.  The scheduled completion date for the project is Aug. 25, 2012.

• Stoneybrook/Garfield Rd. Storm Sewer Improvements: The contractor has completed the rock channel protection along the stream for Stoneybrook Ln. The footers for the culvert under Stoneybrook Ln. are currently being constructed. The box culverts for Stoneybrook Lane are expected to be delivered to the job site this week. 

Economic and Community Development
• Population estimates released June 28 indicate the City of Mentor’s population declined by 0.07% or 33 persons, the population of Lake County declined as well (156 persons or 0.1%)

• One piece of information “picked-up” at the ICSC conference is the use of the statistic “retail sales per capita,” which is simply the total retail sales in the community divided by the population.  This computation favors a small community with a large amount of retail. Mentor ranks 27th in the State and 7th in the Greater Cleveland area.

• The U.S. Small Business Administration approved MEACO’s SBA 504 loan for Cleveland Plumbing Supply Company. This project includes the purchase and renovation of 7272 Mentor Ave. (former Clark Dodge site) with an estimated cost of $1,024,500.

• Tom Thielman met with Emily Tucker, Global Trade Development Manager for the Ohio Department of Development, regarding the reorganization of Ohio’s export/import services as well as a discussion of Mentor’s export/import initiative.

• MEACO’s Board of Director’s met June 29. Three new members were elected to the Board: Christine Blake, CEO, Cardinal Community Economic and Community Development Credit Union, Thomas Young, Vice President, Citizens Bank and Mark Fosnaught, Vice President, Key Bank.

• MEACO is working with a local restaurant start-up to evaluate if they would qualify for financing through the Mentor Small Business Loan program. Maximum loan is $25,000.

Public Works Department
• The Public Works activity highlights this week were:  Mansion Blvd. - complete repairs to curb inlet basin; Newhouse Ct. – complete repairs to curb in-let basin; Crack Seal SR 84 – westbound lanes is complete; Middlesex Drainage Improvement Project is complete; Horvitz Channel – mowing banks of ditch line; 7582 Thistlewood – complete asphalt road repair; Park Maintenance, mowing and lining of baseball fields; Preparations for Independence Day – 600 sand bags, fencing and signage; Traffic cabinet preventative maintenance is complete; and North and South side of Bellflower Road – storm sewer cleaning and inspections ongoing.

Finance Department
• This week the Finance department filed its “unaudited” financial statements for calendar year 2011 with the state. The on-site audit will be completed in July.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy