Mentor has final deer management cost
• The final cost of the city’s inaugural deer management program, from July to now, is $110,584. Most of the initial costs were related to equipment.
• Income tax collections for the month of February were down $174,000 when compared to February of last year. The current total year collections through February as compared to last year are up 9.2%.
• On Feb. 22, an officer checked on two suspicious males sitting in a vehicle in the lot of Gabriel Brothers. The passenger had a 1993 warrant for his arrest out of Puerto Rico. The warrant was for attempted murder, robbery and weapons offense. The male was taken into custody and will eventually be turned over to officials from Puerto Rico.
• The continuing investigation into the Feb. 21 bomb threat at Ridge Middle School has resulted in the arrest of a 13-year-old student. The student was charged with inducing panic, a second-degree felony and for leaving a note in a restroom threatening a bomb in the school, which caused the school to be evacuated.
• Four officers have been awarded Departmental Excellence Awards for their work in the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Unit (ACE) in 2012. This unit was responsible for 198 narcotics related arrests (30 for drug trafficking) and 121 warrant arrests. The unit seized seven vehicles and over $157,000 cash. They also assisted with making nine prostitution-related arrests.
• Public Education Specialist Nate Peters held meetings on Feb. 28 with community leaders to incorporate an anti-bullying program to present to third-graders during their annual visit to the Children’s Safety House.
• SR 2 Widening — Coordination efforts between the city and ODOT resulted in the addition of a change order for noise wall construction along SR 44 adjacent to the new southbound right turn lane. It is anticipated that the work will occur this spring as part of the current SR 2 widening project.
• Improvement plans for the Corduroy Bikeway Connector (Phase 1) have been submitted to the Ohio Department of Transportation for a Stage 1 plan review. Based on the expected timeframe to complete the 3-stage review process and receive environmental clearance, ODOT is expected to release funds for this project in the summer of 2014. However, there is a chance the project could be ready for bid sooner if the process moves faster than anticipated.
Parks and Recreation Department
• The Recreation Department had a very productive first CITYfest Committee meeting with department heads last week. In the next several weeks, the Committee will meet for an update with the Oversight Committee. Also, the Cruise-In Committee has begun to look at logistics for the “Cruise-In,” which will be held on Aug. 25 on the grounds of the Municipal Center following CITYfest. A Cruise-in Committee meeting will be scheduled within the next week.
• Advertising for “Take Pride in America” is in the design stage. Given the new date of June 19, advertising efforts have been accelerated to ensure the public is aware of the date change.
• In this 50th anniversary year for the City of Mentor, a special speaker series will take place at Wildwood that will look at the past, present and the future of Mentor. To sign up for this and other programs, see the Mentor Recreation Brochure.
• Black Brook Golf Course Manager, Tim Ausperk sent out letters to local businesses about the Tee Marker Sponsorship Program, which was designed to offset the cost of tee markers on the golf course. This is an affordable sponsorship program for many smaller businesses. If you know of a business that would be a good sponsor or have any questions about the program, please contact Tim at Black Brook Golf Course.
• Facilities Manager, Bob Zaluski has been very busy working on new signage for the Civic Ice Arena. He is also developing a design for a new vestibule for the lobby of City Hall that will improve the energy conservation of the facility and will be starting a lighting conservation project at the Senior Center that will afford us better control of the center’s light fixtures.
Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman attended training provided by JobsOhio and TeamNEO regarding the uploading and maintenance of local real estate availability information in the Ohio InSight site selection catalog. This service is of importance because business “leads” that come into TeamNEO are filtered through this system. It has been problematic in the past to have many of our city sites listed.
• In excess of 150 emails were sent out to prospective retailers advising them of their “retail match” in the city and inviting subsequent contact or a meeting at ICSC.
• The Finance Department is currently reviewing all existing Mentor Incentive Grant (MIG) agreements to determine eligibility for incentive payments. MIG disbursements will be made by April 15 for all entities that successfully met the grant agreement terms.
• The Finance Department received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers’ Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its most recent 2011 comprehensive annual financial report.
Public Works Department
• Received and piled additional 2,000 tons of road salt
• Began installing perforated drain pipe at Black Brook Golf Course
• Televised storm sewer - Brooks Blvd.
• Pot hole patching
• Monitored drainage areas
• Conflict monitor testing
• Completed stop sign upgrades; moving onto warning sign replacement
• Constructing new tables for Black Brook Golf Course pavilion
• Facility improvements - ongoing
-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, @ReporterBetsy