Monday, February 4, 2013

Mentor burglar bungles badly

A botched burglary, an update on a major bridge project and a website launched for the city’s new summer celebration — those items and more in the administration's latest weekly report to Mentor City Council:

Police Department
• A male was arrested on Wednesday and charged with burglary for breaking into a house on Victoria Lane. While the suspect was inside the house, the homeowner arrived and found the suspect holding a television. The homeowner tackled the suspect, but eventually let him go because he knew him. He called MPD and the suspect fled. The suspect was captured a short time later at his residence. The male is also a suspect in a theft of items from a vehicle in the lot of Drug Mart and another burglary. These two cases are currently being investigated.

• The police department increased patrols over the weekend due to the Super Bowl. There was a focus on traffic violations, especially drinking and driving. The increased patrols were part of the High Visibility Traffic Enforcement Grant.

Manager Comments 
• Mentor CITYfest has been added to the Mentor City website. Information will be updated as the festival draws closer.  Currently, the website is broken down into four headings: Get Involved, Entertainment, Parade and Vendors.  This will be an ideal way to convey CITYfest information; links are provided to view some of the planned entertainment. Vendors and parade participants will be able to download applications.

• Earlier this week, the city requested an additional 63 deer tags from ODNR Division of Wildlife to continue with the culling effort. This is the first and final request for additional tags, and after the tags are exhausted, the city’s culling program will come to a close for the year. As a reminder, the bow hunting season in the City concluded Feb. 2. At the conclusion of both programs, the administration will report to council on the overall program results and costs.

• High winds caused isolated power outages over the last couple of days. The largest and longest outage was on Garfield Road from a tree that knocked down wires on Wednesday morning at approximately 3 a.m. The street was completely blocked. CEI responded to the scene within an hour. CEI was able to replace the damaged poles and wires by 3 a.m. on Thursday and reopen the road.

• Due to a momentary power outage at Aqua Ohio’s Mentor-on-the-Lake water plant, numerous water breaks were reported throughout the City. Water line breaks were reported at Olde Farm Lane at Farmingdale Lane, Sycamore Road at Oak Street, Adkins Road at Kittery Lane and at 4803 Willowbrook Drive. Follow-up activities regarding restoration and/or pavement repair will be coordinated with Aqua Ohio.

• Legislation was introduced on Jan. 31 in the Ohio House of Representatives to standardize the way Ohio communities levy and administer their local income tax. The legislation, HB5 is a reintroduction of HB601 from the previous General Assembly, addressing the same areas of municipal tax practices, in the same manner that will result in tremendous hardships through significant reductions in revenues and loss of critical local control for Ohio cities and villages. It appears that the new bill does not make any changes from last session’s legislation that would make the tax reform bill less onerous to cities.

Fire Department
• On Jan. 26 at 11:38 a.m., Mentor Fire Department responded to a garage fire on Robinwood Drive. The detached garage was fully engulfed in flames. Two acetylene tanks stored in the garage had safety relief valves that were activated and caught the escaping gas on fire and blew out the side of the garage door. Contents of the garage included a motorcycle. The fire was brought under control and there were no injuries. Loss is estimated at $45,000 and was insured. The investigation indicates that the cause of the fire was the wood burner too close to combustibles.

• On Jan. 31 at 2:08 a.m., paramedics responded to a possible overdose in a hotel room. The patient was unconscious, administered Narcan, woke up and was transported to Lake West Hospital.

• On Jan. 31, a tree fell on Meister Road between two houses. One suffered damage to the soffit, fascia boards and gutter. Fire Station #2 covered the hole to keep out snow and rain until more permanent repairs are made. The homeowner was contacting his insurance company.

• Fire Lieutenant and Fire Battalion Chief promotional testing job posting was announced on Jan. 25. The written test is March 13. The Assessment Center portion of the process will be scheduled for mid to late April.

• ODOT’s contractor continues to work on the replacement of the Heisley Road bridge deck. Currently, the contractor is sawing the southbound bridge deck in preparation for its removal. Saw-cutting operations can only occur when the deck temperature is above freezing. To date, the number of calls and or complaints regarding the southbound lane closure and resulting detour have been minimal.

Traffic-signal timing adjustments are being implemented at the intersection of Heisley Road and Jackson Street to account for increased traffic in the westbound direction in the morning rush hour. Further traffic observations and analyses will occur at this intersection and others throughout the project and adjustments will be made as necessary.

• Eleven bids were opened for the 2013 Road Repair Program on Jan. 30. Based upon the favorable bids received, it is anticipated a recommendation for award will be placed on the Feb. 19 council agenda.

• The Engineering Dept. staff has begun compiling parcel data for the 2013 Sidewalk program.  Zone 3B, which consists roughly of the area between Bellflower Road, Lake Shore Blvd., Melshore Drive, and Reynolds Road will be inspected.  This area also includes Reynolds Road to the north of Lake Shore Blvd. and Brambleside Lane.

• Shown below is a summary of permits issued by the Building Division in December 2012 and through January 30, 2013:
                           Prior Month              Month of
                             Dec 2012        Jan  2013
Total Permits Issued     160    167
     Value of Permits Issued    $3,059,333    $3,579,376

Commercial Permits Issued     41    58
     Value of Com’l Permits Issued    $1,350,290    $2,774,000

Overall, in 2012 there were 3,629 building permits issued, with a total valuation of $77,983,925. Of this total, approximately 636 were commercial permits with a valuation of $55,643,392.

• In a News Herald article published on Jan. 30, the “number of new residences” constructed in Mentor in 2012 was incorrectly reported as 425. The City issued 32 new single family dwelling permits in 2012. The newspaper cited their source as the Lake County Auditor’s Office. Most of other communities listed were in the 30 to 70 range. The News-Herald has been contacted and informed of this discrepancy.

• The Engineering Department staff met with Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Lake Co. Soil and Water, and the City’s Public Information Office to discuss how to best implement a public information program for residents within the Newell Creek watershed. The public education program is a secondary aspect of the storm water quality improvements for Great Lakes Mall and will be funded by a portion of the grant money that has been awarded for the project. The focus of the program will be on water quality education with best management practices such as rain barrels and rain gardens for residential properties.

Economic and Community Development
• The Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently released a study entitled, “The Geographic Concentration of Manufacturing Across the United States.” The report notes that manufacturing has contributed more than 25% of the overall growth in GPD between 2009 and 2011 and added over 500,000 jobs between 2010 and 2012. In Lake County, 28% of the earnings paid in the County were to workers engaged in manufacturing; 16% of the work force is engaged in manufacturing.

• Staff prepared Economic Development Grants for BurgerFi and Fredon Corporation and a Mentor Incentive Grant agreement with Safeguard Properties.

• Tom Thielman met with representatives from a local brew-on-premise company regarding the Mentor Small Business Loan program. The prospect is interested in a vacant property in Mentor.

Parks and Recreation Department
• The 8th annual Chili Open was held Jan. 26. Weather conditions were perfect — 4 inches of fresh powder! More than 200 golfers enjoyed the day, spending quality time looking for their orange golf balls in the snow. The Chili Open has become a great fundraiser, producing over $10,000 for the United Way.

• The Father-Daughter Skate is on Feb. 9 from noon to 3:30 p.m.

Public Works Department
•    Snow and ice control
•    Monitoring drainage concerns
•    Cold patching
•    Assisting with deer culling program
•    Painting at Senior Center
•    Constructing new tables for Black Brook Golf Course pavilion
•    Finalized ARRA submissions to U.S. Dept. of Energy
•    Began annual testing of conflict monitors

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy


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