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


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