Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weather warnings coming to Mentor golf course?

Mentor wants a weather warning system for its golf course, drug arrests bring in some cash, and plans are proceeding for stormwater runoff improvements at Great Lakes Mall. Those items and more in the latest, weekly city manager report to City Council.

Manager Comments 
• We have prepared a purchase order for a lightning warning system for Black Brook Golf Course, which should greatly improve our ability to provide early warning of severe weather.

• Staff reviewed the process for moving forward with the next phase of the City’s Sidewalk Maintenance Program. We anticipate the experience gained from last year will allow the cycle to go much more smoothly. Letters will be sent to affected residents in March, with a public meeting to answer their questions in April.

• The unemployment rate for the City of Mentor increased 1.5% from 5.4% to 6.9% after having been stable for November and December. Historically, unemployment peaks in the City in January or February. One year ago (January 2012) the unemployment rate was 6.8%. In Lake County, the unemployment rate increased 1.6% to 7.9% in January 2013.  The City of Mentor’s unemployment rate ranked fourth lowest among communities with a population over 50,000, behind Cleveland Heights, Lakewood and Columbus. The State of Ohio’s unemployment rate increased 1.8% for the month of January 2013 to 8.4%.

• Council President Marn and I attended a strategic planning session for the Lake County Port Authority Wednesday morning as guests of the Board. The session was moderated by Lakeland President Morris Beverage and discussion focused on developing a long-term vision for the Port and a future strategic plan. It was a good opportunity for us to highlight the benefits and mutually served interests of cooperation and inclusion of municipalities not currently within the Lake County Port Authority’s jurisdiction.

Fire Department
• On March 8 at 6 p.m., paramedics responded to a possible overdose. The patient was given Narcan and transported to Lake West Hospital.

• On March 13 at 8:47 a.m., paramedics responded to a male in full arrest on the sidewalk. A passerby was performing CPR. Paramedics took over care and administered Advanced Life Support treatment. Patient was resuscitated and transported to the hospital.

• On March 14, Chief Harvey and Deputy Chief Searles traveled to the Attorney General’s Office to provide additional input to managing school-based emergencies.

Police Department
• Two separate narcotics arrests this past week resulted in five people being charged for various drug violations and the seizure of over $7,000 cash. One incident involved the cultivation and possession of marijuana at a Queensdale apartment. The other involved a traffic stop that led to the recovery of marijuana and cocaine.

• At the Council meeting on March 19, the department will present awards for 2012 Officer of the Year and Civilian of the Year. Recipients are Lt. Tom Powers and Dispatcher Linda Hulderman, respectively.

• The city, along with Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District and Great Lakes Mall, recently interviewed several engineering firms that bid on the design services for stormwater retrofits to be installed through a federal grant at the mall. The group settled on Cardno/JFNew as the design consultant. Cardno/JFNew is an ecological consulting and restoration firm out of Ann Arbor, Michigan that specializes in alternative storm water solutions and green infrastructure.

They will be tasked with putting together a plan that will use a combination of permeable concrete pavement, brick pavers and bio-retention cells to treat and infiltrate storm water back into the ground before it gets into the storm sewer. The goal of the project is to put in place a unique demonstration project that will reduce storm water volume in Newell Creek downstream of the mall, thereby improving the water quality in the stream. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-summer with work to be completed by the fall of this year. Chagrin River Watershed Partners will be overseeing the project management for the design and construction phases. The City will be involved in the plan review and permit compliance for the project.

• Shown below is a summary of Building Division activity comparing January 2013 with February 2013:
  Prior Month                Month of
                    January 2013       February 2013
New Permits Issued     179    174
Valued of Permits    $3,987,976    $3,198,702
Building Permit Inspections    567    599
New Plan Review Cases    50    30
Engr. & Bldg. Permit Plan Reviews    262    138
New Contractor Registrations    478    73

Parks and Recreation Department
• Final payments are now being taken for docks at the Marina. All payments are due by May 1.

• Registration for the last session of the Bus Program and Learn-to-Skate are going on now at the Civic Ice Arena.

• The Senior Center is looking for travel escorts for the senior travel program. Anyone interested, please contact Senior Center Manager Renee Ochaya at 440-975-5725 for more information and an application.

• The Mentor Headlands Baseball League has disbanded. Other leagues are working with Recreation Superintendent, Paul Hegreness, to determine future use of the fields at Morton Elementary.

• Community Garden plots are filled this year and there is a waiting list.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman, Aric Spence & Ron Traub met with the owner of a commercial recreational facility contemplating extensive renovation of their facility.

• NEO Success Award winners announced in the March/April 2013 issue of Inside Business recognizes 96 businesses which have grown in revenue, added employees or both (from 2010-12) while at least breaking even on profitability.  Twenty-seven companies were from Cleveland, six from Akron and five from Mentor and Hudson.

• Tom Thielman attended the monthly Lake County Development Council luncheon. Ivan Schwartz, Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission presented an overview of its organization’s economic development efforts and how the State of Ohio’s Film Industry Tax Credit has created a viable new industry for Ohio.

• MEACO is in the process of closing two SBA 504 loans and one Mentor Small Business Loan. MEACO’s turn-around time for processing loans with the U.S. Small Business Administration is 2.5 days, which tied for 3rd among all 212 active Community Development Companies in the U.S.

• Legislation has been prepared to advance approximately $1 million of cash from the general fund to various capital project funds and grant funds. The advances are temporary and will be returned to the general fund upon project completion.

Public Works Department
• Citywide cold patching
• Began street sweeping
• Snow control
• Hauled dirt from Garfield Park parking lot project
• Repairs/painting – Wildwood Cultural Center
• Replaced restroom floor at Krueger Park
• Completed annual conflict monitor testing
• 60% complete with Plaza Blvd. signal upgrades
• Replacing restroom floors at Garfield Park pool
• Installed 56’ of 4” PVC pipe and r-o-w inlet - 8061 Stockbridge
• Cleaned and televised storm sewers on Brooks Blvd. and Raymond
• Drainage improvements at Black Brook Golf Course

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy


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