Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mentor makes gains in home sales

Mentor home sales are up a bit from a year ago, a drug-buy suspect crashes into a cop, and the PD gets a high-tech computer to help enhance surveillance videos, etc. Those items and more in the latest, weekly city manager report to City Council:

Manager Comments 
• Fourth quarter 2012 single-family residential sales data for Lake County and the City of Mentor compared to fourth quarter 2011 revealed that the number of homes sold in Mentor increased 21 percent vs. an 11 percent increase in Lake County.

The average sale price increased 17 percent at the county level to $147,995 vs. a 9 percent increase at the city level ($143,322).  The number of days a home was on the market declined 47 percent at the city level vs. a 13 percent decline at the county level. Data was supplied by Todd Crockett of Howard Hanna-Mentor.

Police Department
• On Feb. 7, the narcotics unit set up a buy/bust involving the purchase of heroin and a handgun. After the purchase was complete the arrest team moved in to secure the suspect. The suspect drove his vehicle toward an officer who was driving an unmarked vehicle with red and blue take-down lights, striking the officer’s vehicle. The suspect stopped and was taken into custody. The suspect was charged with trafficking in heroin and cocaine, weapons under disability and assault on a police officer.

• The police department was awarded a federal grant of more than $11,000 for the purchase of a new video forensic computer. This computer is utilized to enhance surveillance video to identify suspects, vehicles, license plates or other objects that assist in the prosecution of criminal cases.

Fire Department
•  On Feb. 8, Mentor, along with several other departments, provided assistance to Willoughby at a major house fire on Code Avenue. The fire extensively damaged the basement, first floor and attic. One occupant of the home was transported to the hospital with smoke inhalation.

• On Feb. 10, the Fire Department responded to two MABAS requests. The first was to Willoughby for a medical building fire at 6025 Commerce Circle that was reported at 7:37 a.m. There were no injuries; damages are estimated at $750,000.  The second was at Golden Living Center in Kirtland. Golden Living is a large assisted nursing home at 9685 Chillicothe Road. The fire was reported at about 4:25 p.m. and was controlled by the fire sprinkler system.

The MABAS request was made due to the high life hazard at the facility. About 30 occupants were evacuated from the floor above the laundry room to other areas of the facility until the fire could be completely extinguished, smoke removed, and the sprinkler and fire alarm system restored. The fire started in a large commercial dryer and extended to the exhaust system. It appears accidental in nature. 

• On Feb. 13 at approximately 12:53 p.m., paramedics were called for an unresponsive male/reported heroin overdose.  Narcan was given and the male was transported to the hospital in stable condition.

• Ohio Department of Transportation has recently authorized the city of Mentor to begin “incidental” right-of-way activity for the Newell Creek Bikeway.  “Incidental” work includes all acquisition activity up to, but not including, owner contact.  Essentially, it includes title and appraisal work. Once the Environmental Document approval is received, property acquisition activity may begin.

Parks and Recreation Department
• The Wildwood Basketry Guild will host Winter Weave 2013 next Friday through Sunday at the Wildwood Manor House. This event brings basket weavers from all over the country together to design, weave, learn and share the art of basket weaving and is free for observers.

• The 2013 Summer Camp Guide was distributed to homes with school-age children in the 44060 zip code. The guide lists over 150 camps offered throughout the summer.

• Black Brook Golf Course is taking advantage of the below average temperatures to get the clubhouse spruced up for the coming golf season.

• The Senior Center is experiencing problems with the main boiler. To date, we have had two companies look at the system and supply us with quotes on repair and/or replacement. It appears that it will be more prudent to replace the units with newer, higher efficiency units than to repair them.

• The Mentor Senior Center mailed out annual membership renewal reminders this past week. At the end of January, we had 2,332 members renewed. This represents about half of our normal membership.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman and Terry Botirus participated in a webinar hosted by the National Association of Development Companies regarding the upcoming switch in central servicing agencies from Colson Services to Wells Fargo. For the past 25 years, Colson Services has managed the collection of payments and disbursement of fees to the Community Development Corporations involved in SBA lending.

• Tom Thielman attended the Painesville City-State of the City address. Doug Lewis, acting city manager, and Cathy Beiterman, economic development coordinator gave presentations on the city’s current financial condition and economic development projects.

Employee News
• Mentor Senior Center Recreation Coordinator Nick Standering and wife Karyn welcomed their new baby boy, Cooper Stephen Standering Feb. 8.  Cooper weighed in at 7 lbs., 10 oz. and 20.5 in. long.

Public Works Department
• Pothole patching
• Completed construction of storage unit at Garfield Ballroom
• Senior Center painting
• Civic Center ball fields restroom painting
• Replacing drop ceiling at Fire Station #5
• Constructing new tables for Black Brook Golf Course pavilion
• Completed design and cost estimate for 15 drainage assistance projects
• Testing conflict monitors – 50% complete
• Ordered and received 3,000 tons of salt

• The City’s current General Fund Annual Budget for 2013 that corresponds with the appropriation ordinance that Council adopted on December 4 is posted on the City’s Wiki site. The actual amounts for 2012 have been added to this final version.  We are making copies for users that prefer a published printed version. The current Capital Improvement Program should be completed next week.

-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, @ReporterBetsy


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