Monday, March 11, 2013

Mentor studying major corridor

Some traffic improvements could be coming to Mentor’s Route 306 corridor, some residents’ water bills could be going up a bit, and the safety forces have been responding to various acts of mayhem. Those items and more in the latest weekly city manager report to City Council.

Manager Comments 
• Aqua Ohio filed an application with the PUCO on March 5 to assess a “system improvement charge” on monthly water bills to recover the cost of infrastructure replacement made in Mentor last year. Ohio law allows such reimbursement to ensure reliability and water quality over time. Approximately $2.4 million water lines and equipment were replaced for projects on Prospect Street, Hopkins Road, Headlands Road, Blackbrook Road, Crossfield Avenue, and Stoney Brook Lane. If approved, the cost will add about $1 per month to the bill of an average customer.

• Council President Marn, Councilwoman Dowling, Ron Traub, Tony Zampedro and I met this week with new Illuminating Company President John Skory. We had a very productive discussion about a range of topics important to Mentor, most importantly reliability and response issues. We were also provided an update of the system improvements serving the Tyler/Division St. industrial area, which exceed $1 million.

After expressing our concerns that improved communication is needed following extended outages, Mr. Skory discussed several planned procedural changes designed to provide us better updating. He also reviewed possible changes in the field that will allow them to more quickly respond to immediate hazards so that risks to the public are diminished and our first responders can be reassigned more quickly.

Fire Department
• On March 2 at 4:42 a.m., paramedics responded to a possible overdose. The patient was stabilized and transported to Lake West Hospital.

• On March 2 at 3:41 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to a one-car accident where a car hit a telephone pole. The patient was transported to Hillcrest Hospital.

• On March 4 at 6:38 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to a condo where it was reported to have heavy smoke. Upon arrival, it was discovered the owner burned food, causing smoke damage to the kitchen. There was no fire and the home was cleared of smoke and ventilated. 

Police Department
• On March 2, an officer stopped a suspicious vehicle exiting America’s Best Value Inn on Broadmoor Road. The vehicle was listed as stolen out of Cleveland in December. The driver was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property.

• Three suspects were arrested for aggravated trafficking in drugs (ecstasy). The suspects were observed in the lot of Queensdale, 7191 Mentor Ave., selling the narcotics. Charges on the suspects include aggravated trafficking in drugs, possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia and criminal tools.

• The department has focused on special enforcement details the past few weeks. These details include officers specifically assigned to warrant arrests, traffic enforcement and criminal interdiction. Many officers are not on vacation at this time of year, which allows for the use of these special units. These types of details will continue throughout March. 

• Traffic counts were performed this week for the SR 306 Corridor Traffic Study. A small camera was utilized to gather count data at each of the following intersections:
•    SR 306/I-90 WB
•    SR 306/SR 84
•    SR 306/Mentor Avenue
•    SR 306/Points East
•    SR 306/Tyler Boulevard
The goal of the study is to determine what improvements may be necessary along the SR 306 corridor from SR 84 to Mentor Avenue. The analysis will include one major intersection both north and south of the core study area.

Parks and Recreation Department
• “2ba Healthy Kid Carnival” returns to the Mentor Senior Center on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. There will be activities, games, interactive displays, an obstacle course and more. This event is free and open to the public.

• The “Ice of March Youth Hockey Tournament” is scheduled Friday through Sunday at the Mentor Civic Ice Arena. This annual event features some of the best youth hockey in the area and sells out each year. First face-off is at 5:15 p.m. on Friday.

• The CITYfest Committee is working on logistics and has sent out requests for pricing for tents, chairs and tables.  Contracts are being signed for the entertainment and food. Non-food vendors are sending in their applications; commercial area space is filling up fast.

• Thanks to the Public Works staff as they complete the Garfield Ballroom rehabilitation. The room was transformed from its original 1965 décor to a much more modern look with new paint, light fixtures and the addition of storage space. The work is about 95 percent complete.

• The Senior Center has scheduled its first Beer Tasting Bus Tour and 35 folks have registered. There are still openings.

• Thank you to Dollar Bank for their $5,000 sponsorship of the Summer Concert Series this year.

Economic and Community Development
• Aric Spence & Ron Traub joined with members of the Fire Department in a meeting with representatives of a company looking to relocate in the City.

• Aric Spence & Ron Traub met with the contractor for a previously approved office building addition in the Old Village.

• The R.I.T.A. satellite office at City Hall has been very busy, averaging about 60 walk-in taxpayers per week.  Extended office hours are in place during the filing season. The office is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday during March and April.

• Finance Director David Malinowski and his staff on once again received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association for the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting and is a significant accomplishment by a government and its management team.

Public Works Department
•    Installing perforated drainage system at Black Brook Golf Course on holes 14, 15 and 17
•    Sewer televising on Ohio, Hayes, Jasani, Taft, Grant, Filmore, Jefferson and Kennedy
•    Redefining roadside ditch – Munson Road
•    Completed city-wide survey of inlet basin conditions
•    Conflict monitor testing - 95% complete
•    Pothole patching - citywide
•    Completed ballroom painting at Garfield Park
•    Began renovation of Garfield Pool restrooms
•    Assisting with review of City Hall HVAC options
•    Warning sign upgrades - ongoing

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy


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