Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Construction updates, sales events & golf course news in Mentor report

The latest on several Mentor construction projects, some big outdoor sales events and break-ins Black Brook Golf Course all are part of the department head reports in the latest weekly city manager memo to City Council:

• Karvo Paving is proceeding with the work on the Station Street Resurfacing Project. Traffic loops are being installed this week at Station and Center Streets. Guardrail repairs are also scheduled to be completed. The asphalt surface course is scheduled to be done next week. The scheduled completion date for this project is June 14.

• SR 2 Widening and Reconstruction — ODOT is currently performing night paving operations on SR 2. It is anticipated that paving operations will be complete in June. Final striping of Center Street is complete. Traffic seems to be reacting much better to the improved markings. ODOT has received a design for the corrections near Classic Chevy and has provided them to the contractor for a price quote. Further updates will be provided once a schedule has been determined for this work.

• The Heisley Road Bridge project will be implementing Stage II traffic control  May 29, weather permitting. During Stage II, traffic across the bridge will remain northbound only. The northbound traffic will be shifted onto the newly placed bridge deck utilizing crossovers to the southbound side of the roadway. This traffic shift will be between the exit and entrance ramps only and all traffic will be back to its original location past these ramps. The southbound traffic detour will remain unchanged (SR 2 west to SR 615 to SR 2 east). Periodic off-peak lane closures will continue on SR 2 under the Heisley Road Bridge.

• 2013 Road Repair Program — All concrete repairs have been completed. The contractor will be scheduling joint sealing and restoration operations in the near future. All asphalt streets have been paved, with the exception of the Market Street/Munson Road area. Work in this area is anticipated to be completed next week. The contractor will then schedule work to complete restoration and any punch list items.

• Hoose Road/Kings Hollow/King Memorial Resurfacing and Drainage Improvement — This project is expected to be advertised for bid on May 31 and June 7 with a bid opening of June 14. We expect to be able to present this project to council for their consideration at the July 2 meeting. The project consists of an asphalt overlay on Hoose Road to the eastern city limits. Additional asphalt will be placed on King Memorial from Bringman Court to Hoose Road and will also include Kings Hollow Court. This project will include the replacement of a deteriorated culvert on the east end of Hoose Road.

• SR 306 Concrete Repairs — This project is anticipated to be advertised for bid on May 31 and June 7 with a bid opening of June 14. We expect to be able to present this project to council for their consideration at the July 2 meeting. The project will provide for full depth concrete joint repairs on SR 306 from Bellflower Road to SR 2. 

• Environmental clearance has been received for the Heisley Road Phase 3 project and the city has received a copy of the LPA agreement from ODOT. Engineering will be submitting legislation, which will authorize the city to enter into the LPA agreement and a real estate agreement for right of way purchase. This will allow the city to proceed with appraisals and begin the right of way acquisition process for the project. Currently, project sale is still scheduled for late summer of 2014.

• The city held a pre-construction meeting with Davis Diggers on May 16 for the Beechwood Drive Storm Sewer Improvement project. The contractor plans to begin work at the end of June and anticipates the work period to be one month. Preliminary work by Dominion East Ohio to relocate several gas service lines and a portion of the gas main that would have been in conflict with the storm sewer work has been completed.

• 2012 Sidewalk Repair Program — The city’s sidewalk contractor for 2012, T.C. Construction, has completed sidewalk repairs in Zone 2B. Estimated assessments for property owners are being prepared and will be presented to council shortly.

• 2013 Sidewalk Repair Program — The city has completed the sidewalk inspections for Zone 3B for 2013. A list of properties detailing where sidewalk improvements need to be made is being prepared and will be presented to council for a Resolution of Necessity of the proposed work.

Fire Department
• On May 16 at 3:16 p.m., Fire Station #4 responded to auto aid to Willoughby for at fire at Bondi’s Beverage and Deli on Lake Shore Boulevard. The fire appears to have started in an exterior wall and caused nearly $40,000 in damage. There were no reported injuries.

• On May 18 at 9:50 p.m., Mentor Fire Department responded to a massive industrial fire in Willoughby at 3911 Ben Hur Ave. The building was vacant with overwhelming fire, which required a 3rd alarm MABAS response to bring the fire under control. There were no reported injuries and the official cause of the fire has not yet been released.

• On May 18 at 9:54 p.m., Fire Stations #4, #5 and #3 responded to a head on MVA on Reynolds Road and Ford Drive. There were three patients treated and transported. One of the patients was extricated from his vehicle and was transported to Metro Health Trauma Center via Life Flight. Three days later, the patient came in to Fire Administration to meet his rescuers and thank them.

• On May 20 at 6:46 p.m., Fire Station #2 assisted a person driving past the station when they discovered his car smoking from an electrical problem. The electrical wiring had shorted out and burned. The wiring was extinguished by the department. There were no injuries.

• On May 21 at 10:10 p.m., Paramedics responded to a possible overdose. The patient was treated and transported to Tri Point Medical Center.

Police Department
• A male driver caused a five-vehicle accident on Lakeshore Boulevard near Mentor Family Foods. The male struck the rear of one of the vehicles, which caused a domino effect of vehicles striking into each other. The male driver displayed signs he had been drinking and was eventually arrested. His blood alcohol content (BAC) registered over four times the legal limit.

Parks and Recreation Department
• In light of several break-ins at Black Brook Golf Course, we have begun a process to increase video surveillance of the parking lot.  Over the next couple weeks, we hope to have a plan and pricing to move forward with a program to better protect our patrons.

• The “Just Kids Stuff Garage Sale” is 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 30, at Garfield Park. This annual event is always a sell out, so come early.

• The first “Farmers’ Market & Final Friday” will kick off the season on Friday, May 31 from 3 to 7 p.m. at its NEW LOCATION in the Civic Center parking lot.

• Leaking water lines were repaired in the Old Council Hall last week.  Lines located behind the walls in the kitchen were leaking from two separate occasions and appeared to have been leaking for some time.  The leaks were detected by the facility attendant; we are currently getting estimates to repair the walls and floors.

Manager Comments
• Congratulations to Police Chief Kevin Knight on being named “Man of the Year” for 2012-2013 by St. Mary’s of the Assumption Men’s Club/Holy Name Society, which is the Chartering Organization for both Cub Scout Pack 75 and Boy Scout Troop 75. The organization primarily does fundraising to support and off-set the costs of all the CYO athletic teams at St. Mary’s School, which includes football, basketball, volleyball, track and cheerleading. The organization also takes part in several spiritual activities throughout the year. This award is voted on by the executive board and prior award winners.

• Under a proposed rebate plan offered by the Governor, if approved by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, eligible local governments would receive approximately 56 percent of their 2011 insurance premium. The proposal also includes a 4 percent rate reduction. The City’s estimated rebate is $175,280. If rebates are approved on May 30 by the BWC Board of Directors, checks could be mailed as early as June or July.

• Council President Marn, Councilman Landeg, Councilman Krueger, Tony Zampedro and I joined other Lake County officials in attending Congressman Joyce’s legislative conference last week. Among the interesting topics presented, we were able to speak with Congressman Joyce and his staff in detail about issues important to the community including restoration efforts at the Mentor Marsh, the Take Pride in America event, retention of the tax-exempt status for municipal bonds, support of the Community Access Preservation Act (cable TV), and continued support of the elimination of the medical device tax. We also had a meeting with representatives of the FAA to discuss the sponsorship application for Lost Nation and to offer some alternative options for future federal involvement at the airport. County Commissioner Moran joined us for the meeting.

• Council President Marn, Councilman Krueger, Ron Traub and I were joined by Kevin Malecek, CEO, Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) conference. New this year was the Mentor booth which featured an aerial photo of Mentor Avenue with the logo or seal of national retailers doing business within our community. The City received many interested visitors and handed out business card type flash drives which contained a welcome video and a wealth of retail market information. We also gave away packets of coffee that had been contracted for by MEACO for the City’s 50th Anniversary.

In addition to “manning” the booth we had a number of appointments with brokers, developers and property owners. Finally, we circulated the convention floor making contact with desired retailers and restaurants. I would view the trip as very successful and we will be following up with contacts that seemed most promising. We were well received by many who thought our innovative approach to the conference and the decision team we brought together served us well. A copy of the flash drive card distributed at the conference has been placed in each Council member’s office mailbox.

• The unemployment rate for the City of Mentor decreased 0.3% from 6.1% to 5.8% in April 2013. One year ago (April 2012) the unemployment rate was 5.6%.  In Lake County the unemployment rate decreased 0.6% to 6.2%. The City of Mentor’s unemployment rate ranked fourth-lowest among communities with a population over 50,000, and among the top one-third (of the 65 for which percentages are calculated). Ohio’s unemployment rate decreased 0.6% for the month of April 2013 to 6.7%.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman participated in his monthly radio show on WELW – 1330 as part of their Small Business Afternoon Talk Radio. Topics of discussion included the SBA 504 loan program and the City of Mentor’s Small Business Revolving Loan.

• Tom Thielman attended the Lake County Development Council monthly luncheon featuring Christopher Galloway, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Concord Township, who provided an update on the Capital Parkway Extension Project (aka Auburn-Crile Corridor Project) and the Concord/Painesville Joint Economic Development District.

Public Works Department
•    Assisted cemetery with Memorial Day preparation
•    Baseball field work for GLBL Memorial Day tournament
•    Installed overflow at Garfield Park pond
•    Installed conduit to entrance island at Marina
•    Installed upgraded debris cage - Seneca Trail
•    Storm sewer cleaning - Ohio St. area
•    Completed drainage improvement on South Shandle
•    Completed installation of chair lifts at Morton and Garfield pools
•    Inlet basin rebuilds (3) - Sugarbush
•    Crack sealing - Rosebud, Tyler, Harbor, Warrendale
•    Hot mix - Citywide
•    Performed 24 property maintenance abatements - 52 year-to-date
•    Coordinated replacement of generator at Fire Station #1

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mentor PD sheds light on failure-to-get-help case

A Mentor police report provides more insight into the death of a woman after her “friend” failed to call for help. That and more in the latest weekly city manager memo to City Council:

Police Department
• A male was arrested after he failed to provide aid to a female friend who overdosed on drugs and died. The male was charged with tampering with evidence and obstructing official business. For more details, see:

• A female suspect was positively identified after a surveillance photo of her was posted on Facebook. The female was captured on video stealing a wallet at Mentor Family Foods. She was charged with one count of theft.

• A new community policing App was launched this week, iWatchNEOhio. This free App allows citizens to report suspicious or criminal activity via text, e-mail or voice, to include photos or video. Mentor is one of 16 law enforcement agencies from Northeast Ohio participating in this program, which is administered by the North East Ohio Regional Fusion Center.

Fire Department
• The Fire Department responded to four overdoses where the patients were treated and transported to Lake Health West.

• The Fire Department responded to three incidences for choking victims:

- On May 10 at 12:26 p.m., Paramedics responded to a male choking on a chicken bone. Patient was treated and transported to Lake Health West where he coughed up the bone.

- On May 12 at 5:36 p.m., Paramedics responded to a residence for a choking victim. Upon arrival it was discovered that a family member had performed the Heimlich Maneuver on her, which cleared her airway. The patient signed a release and was not transported.

- On May 12 at 7:03 p.m., Paramedics responded to a restaurant for a choking victim. Upon arrival it was discovered that one of the restaurant employees assisted the woman.  Paramedics treated her and removed remaining food. The patient signed a release and was not transported.

• On May 12 at 4:08 p.m., Station #4 responded to a MVA involving two vehicles on Route 306. Upon arrival, there were two patients who were treated and transported to Lake Health West. Three other people refused treatment and signed releases.

• On May 13 at 12:03 p.m., Paramedics responded to a school where a student was unresponsive in the lunch room. Patient was treated and transported to Lake Health West.

• On May 13 at 3:05 p.m., Station #3 responded to a MABAS Alarm request in Willoughby Hills for a structure fire at the Willoughby Hills Towers. 

• On May 13 at 7:18 p.m., Station #4 responded to Bellflower Park, where a small dog was found in a sewer pipe. The dog was eventually chased out of the pipe by floating a soccer ball upstream through a manhole. The dog was secured until the Humane Society rescue van arrived to take possession of the dog. There were no injuries.

• On May 14 at 6:18 p.m., Station #3 responded to a truck on fire on Norton Parkway. Upon arrival there was a fully involved truck fire. Owners stated the vehicle was unoccupied. The Fire Department extinguished the fire. The truck was a total loss; there were no reported injuries.

• On May 14 at 3:19 p.m., Mentor Fire Stations #4 and #5 responded to a structure fire.  Upon arrival it was discovered that a bag of leaves by the house was on fire. The fire was extinguished and the house was checked.

• On May 15 at 3:46 p.m., Paramedics responded to a person with a broken ankle. The person had been jogging on the Mentor Headlands Marsh jogging trail and broke his ankle approximately one-half mile into the woods. Paramedics responded and located him on a narrow trail. The patient was carried to a waiting ATV from Station #4, which transported him to the squad. He was treated and transported to Tri-Point Medical Center.

Manager Comments
• We received the first of two payments from the 2013 Lake County Community Residential Recycling Grant. The total amount of the grant is $84,619.

• The restriping of Center Street was completed this week. Final pavement markings are much clearer and easier to follow. Work was done in the overnight hours. We have not yet received the schedule for the restriping of Heisley Road.

• Dominion East Ohio Gas Open Cut Repairs — On May 20, Dominion East Ohio Gas is planning to begin final repairs of two open cuts on Mentor Avenue at Middlesex Road.  These repairs are expected to take between two to four days to complete. An off-duty Mentor Police Officer will assist with traffic control during the work hours (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).

• On May 16, Dave Swiger and Bob Kovac met with County Engineer, Jim Gills and members of his bridge maintenance division to review the condition of County maintained bridges throughout the City. The County Engineer maintains 11 bridges in the City. Mr. Gills indicated that they recently made repairs to the Hoose Road Bridge, just north of the Hoose Road Dam.

Also, the County is planning to replace the Hopkins Road Bridge over Marsh Creek, north of Hendricks Road in 2018. They are also planning to seal the concrete deck of the Hendricks Road Bridge over Marsh Creek just west of Hopkins Road. They will also be sharing GIS mapping data for us to incorporate onto our system.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Many upgrades will be made to the pools before the season starts; they include installing ADA lifts at Morton and Garfield, new large umbrella and new lane lines at Civic Center and new showers at Garfield. The Public Works crew has done an excellent job on the showers. The new safety surface has already been installed in the wading pool at Civic center.

• Safe Routes to School Coordinator Maggie Kuyasa lead a National Bike to School event at Orchard Hollow School May 15 with over 120 bikers.

• The Memorial Day Ceremony is Monday. The parade steps off at 9:30 a.m. from Heinen’s parking lot and the program begins at 10 a.m.

• The installation of the new cooling tower for the Civic Ice Arena started this week.

Public Works Department
•    Installed storm water overflow at Garfield Park pond
•    Storm sewer cleaning - Warrendale, Hayes, McKinley, Harding
•    Storm sewer televising - Edgehill, Evergreen
•    Storm sewer repair - Warrendale, Jordan
•    Asphalt road repair - Rosebud
•    Completed rebuild of 7 inlet basins - Sugarbush
•    Roadway signage retro-reflectivity upgrades - ongoing
•    Pickleball courts are now open
•    Installed flags on utility poles
•    Crack sealing - various
•    Hot mix patching - various
•    Reviewing drainage concerns at fire stations

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mentor FD went on one of its wackier calls last week

Mentor actually got a refund from its insurance company; the city is seeking funding assistance on behalf of Red, Wine & Brew for a $1.95 million building project; and things are heating up for the police, fire and recreation departments. Those items and more in the city manager’s latest report to City Council:

Fire Department
 • On May 9 at 6 p.m., paramedics responded to a 28-year-old choking patient who had a metal part of a game controller lodged in her throat. Patient was treated and transported to Lake West Health. (Fire Chief Richard Harvey said there was little more information he knew/could share about the incident.)

• On May 4 at 12:52 p.m., paramedics were called for person who was hit by a golf ball at a driving range. Upon arrival, it was discovered the person was accidentally hit by a swinging golf club. Patient was treated and transported to Tri-Point Medical Center.

• On May 5 at 7:04 p.m., Fire Station #1 responded to Longview Avenue for a reported gas can fire. Upon arrival, it was discovered that an excessive amount of trash was being burned in a fire pit when a gas can tipped over and caught fire. The fire was within 10 feet of the home and caused heat damage to the wood deck, as well as the siding of the home. 

• On May 5 at 7:59 p.m., Fire Stations 3 and 1 responded to a semi truck with a fire coming from it. Upon arrival, rear tires of the truck were on fire. The trailer was detached prior to FD arrival and was in no danger. The exit ramp from westbound Rt. 90 to Rt. 306 was closed for about 15 minutes while the fire was extinguished. There were no injuries.

• On May 6, the Children’s Fire Safety House opened for the third-graders’ annual visit.  The sessions will continue through May 17 and will have demonstrated fire safety, water safety, kitchen safety, litter control, the Mentor Historical Museum and a session about bullying from Crossroads. About 900 children from Mentor public and private schools, as well as St. Gabriel’s will have participated.

• On May 7 at 6:14 a.m., Mentor Fire responded to a business where a male fell 10 to 14 feet onto concrete flooring sustaining a head injury. He was treated and transported to Hillcrest Hospital Level II Trauma Center.

• On May 7 at 2:40 p.m., Paramedics responded to a car vs. pole. Upon arrival, the patient was being attended to by bystanders. The patient was treated and transported to Hillcrest Hospital Level II Trauma Center.

• On May 8 at 9:11 p.m., Paramedics responded to a possible overdose. Upon arrival, there was an unconscious male in his parked car who had been discovered by a friend. He was treated and transported to Lake West. He was awake by arrival.

• Mentor Firefighter Paramedics Richard Campola and Christian Lim received Andy Nowacki Foundation Hero Awards on May 5. These awards were received for their actions in rescuing an 18-month and a 3-year-old trapped in rubble and beneath a car that crashed into a house at the end of Iroquois Road.

Police Department
• A male was arrested for drug trafficking and carrying a concealed weapon. The male was stopped for a traffic violation on SR2. The officer called for K-9 Bo to conduct a drug sniff of the vehicle.  Bo alerted to the presence of narcotics. Officers searched the vehicle and located a half kilo of heroin, three-quarter kilo of Cocaine, a loaded handgun and over $100,000 in cash.

• The department’s new video forensic computer was delivered this week from Ocean Systems Inc. The computer is used to analyze and enhance surveillance video. The cost of the computer was covered with a grant.  

• Patrolman Kupchik is participating in the Police Unity Tour, a 325 mile bicycle ride from New Jersey to Washington D.C. The purpose of the ride is to raise awareness of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and to raise financial support for the national Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

• National Police Memorial week is May 12th to May 18. All Mentor officers will wear black mourning bands during the week to recognize law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
Manager Comments
• On May 5 at 9:43 a.m., Fire Stations 1, 3 and 5 responded to the Mentor Trailer Park for a trailer fire with people trapped. Stations 2 and 4 were added. Upon arrival, fire was coming from the skylight, door and large middle windows with heavy smoke coming from remaining windows. Police officers reported that one occupant was confirmed to still be trapped inside. The male, with minor burns and smoke inhalation, (and a neighbor) had broken the windows in an attempt to remove the smoke and heat. He was attempting to fight the fire with a garden hose.

A fire attack and search was made locating the second occupant unconscious in the back bedroom. She was removed from the structure and enroute to Lake West Health within 9 minutes of arrival of the first fire unit. The male (less serious injuries) was treated at the scene and transported to Lake West Health. Both were flown by Life Flight to Metro Health Medical Center. The male has been released and the female is improving.

The cause of this fire is still under investigation. The trailer was a total loss but was insured.  Mentor Avenue was closed for about one hour. Concord, Grand River, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Painesville and Willoughby provided assistance with other calls or station fills.

• The Mentor Economic Assistance Corporation has submitted for approval to the U.S. Small Business Administration a 504 loan package for Red, Wine & Brew. The total project cost is $1.95 million with MEACO providing $667K in financing towards the construction of a 16,000-square-foot retail building at 9620 Old Johnnycake Road.

• Last year, the administration negotiated a unique aspect into our health insurance premium agreement with Medical Mutual. We were the first of their public sector clients to negotiate a “performance-based” clause that rewarded the city for outperforming the expected claims-to-premium ratio, which is the primary basis for determining premium cost. I am pleased to report we learned this week that approximately $170,000 will be returned to the city from our 2012 premium payments.

• As of May 10, the following streets from the 2013 Road Repair Program have been completed:

* Asphalt — Clearair Drive, Magnolia Drive, Lotus Lane, Wedgewood Drive, Barton Drive, Victoria Drive, Kephart Drive and Hart Street

* Concrete — Quail Point Lane, Galaxie Drive, Silver Court, Birchwood Drive, Findley Drive, Pilgrim Drive, Wilderness Drive Frontier Drive, Troy Court, Preston Hill Court, Hackberry Drive and Alder Court

Restoration operations on these streets will be completed in the near future.  All remaining streets in the Road Repair Program are anticipated to be complete by the end of May.

• Shown below is a summary of Building Division activity comparing March, 2013 with April, 2013:

    Prior Month                Month of
     March 2013          April 2013
New Permits Issued    188    365   
  Valued at    $4,578,745.17    $6,874,695.00

Building Permit Inspections    748    757
New Plan Review Cases    58    100
Engr/Bldg Permit Plan Reviews    197    311
New Contractor Registrations    67    90

• Progress on some of the notable projects currently happening in the city includes:
*  Masonry walls being erected at the Achievement Office buildings at Center Street and Bellflower Road
* Site work and fire suppression is ready to start at Burger Fi on Mentor Avenue
* A building permit has been issued for a new building for Red, Wine & Brew on Old Johnnycake Ridge Road
* Classic Hyundai has begun the facade improvements for their new space.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Several important park improvements are recently completed just in time for the busy season. The six planned Pickleball Courts at the Civic Center are complete, with all paint and fencing finished this week. We are thankful to all the volunteers who gave their time and enthusiasm.

The walking path at Edward Walsh Park was paved this week and the permanent entry sign was also recently installed. The administration intends to allocate funding each year for the improvement and upkeep of our multipurpose recreation paths throughout the city. Finally, the additional parking area at Garfield Park was completed.

• The Recreation Department has added a Black Brook Golf Course Facebook page and will soon be adding a Mentor Lagoons Marina Facebook page.

• The Golf Channel has been airing Black Brook Golf Course commercials this month promoting the new Practice Center.

• Reminder that pool passes are on sale at the Recreation Department on Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 pm. and on Tuesday and Thursday from  a.m. to 6 p.m.  Please remember to bring proof of residence.

• The Recreation Department is still interviewing for open positions for lifeguards at area pools; all Day Camp staff has been hired and staff training takes place next week.

• The installation of the new cooling tower for the Civic Ice Arena will begin the week of May 13. The Civic Center Staff is taking advantage of the shutdown and getting a lot of needed work completed. We have been painting the exterior stucco this week.

• The Wildwood Garden Club Plant Sale will be Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a great selection of hardy plants and flowers at very reasonable prices.

• The Wildwood Garden Club was busy this week spreading mulch in the planter beds and cleaning up the planters for spring. We appreciate all the work this group does to keep the grounds at Wildwood looking so good!

• The Mentor Lagoons Park Marina has been a busy place with 50% of the boats launched. There are 38 dock holders who still owe the remainder of their dock fees for the upcoming season. The final deadline for payment is May 18.

Economic and Community Development
• Ron Traub and Tom Thielman met with the prospective purchaser of a historic building in the Old Village; financing and other possible issues were discussed.

• The 2013 Lake County Business Symposium will be held at Lakeland Community College on Wednesday, May 15, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Experts from finance, marketing, technology and operations will conduct workshops on various topics which are on the minds of small business owners and entrepreneurs. MEACO is sponsor of this event and providing technical support.

• The City received $206,000 from Time Warner and AT&T for video service franchise fees for the first quarter of calendar year 2013. Annual revenues from this source are estimated at $798,000.

• The State House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony in favor of and in opposition to House Bill 5 on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. HB5 is the municipal income tax reform bill that would impact local control and revenues if passed as written in its current version.

Public Works Department
•    Top soiling community garden plots
•    Morton pool ADA chairlift installation
•    Preparing ball fields for opening day
•    Prepping Garfield Park pool for painting
•    Storm sewer cleaning - Grant, Harding, Hayes, Truman
•    Assist with grass cutting and weed whipping at Cemetery
•    Began rebuild of 7 inlet basins - Sugarbush and Red Oak
•    Painted parking lot stripes at MPD/Court and Garfield Park
•    Installed signage at Iroquois and Commanche
•    Crack seaking - Rushton area
•    Regrading Krueger Park spoils area

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mentor talks trash hauler out of extra fees

Mentor city officials get tough with Waste Management, hope to dress up a (quite frankly ugly) gateway to the city and get some good news about the new beach festival. Those items and more in the latest weekly manager memo to City Council:

Manager Comments
• Council will recall that a couple of weeks ago a resident brought to our attention the fact that Waste Management began the practice of charging residents a $35 “service resumption” fee for late accounts. We quickly contacted our account representatives and informed them that the city’s position was that the fee violates our current contract, which obligates WM to serve all single-family homes at the contracted rates for all current accounts.

They acknowledge the error and we have since learned about $60,000 in these fees were collectively charged to Mentor residents. Mentor residents affected will have the full amount credited to their third-quarter bill, which was processed this week. In addition, WM will mail letters around June 1 to the same residents explaining the error. We have requested a complete list of all Mentor households charged so we may have a record to reference going forward.

• We are currently considering alternatives to better illuminate and beautify the road median on Route 306 as you are approaching Rt. 84 from the south. This could include curbing and expanding the median and adding decorative lighting similar in style to that near the 615/90 interchange. We are considering this now in light of the resurfacing of this section of 306 later this year.

• The City of Mentor has received a Grant award in the amount of $7,000 from the Lake County Visitor’s Bureau Arts and Culture Fund for the “Headlands Beachfest,” which takes place this summer on July 27. A great job by Kathie Pohl and Abe Bruckman.

• The unemployment rate for the City of Mentor decreased 0.8%, from 6.8% to 6.0%, in March 2013. That is the same as the rate a year ago in the same month. In Lake County, the unemployment rate decreased 0.9% to 6.8%. The City of Mentor’s unemployment rate ranked third-lowest among communities with a population over 50,000, behind Cleveland Heights and Lakewood, and among the top third of the 65 for which percentages are calculated. Ohio’s unemployment rate decreased 0.5% to 7.3%.

Fire Department
• On April 19, Paramedics responded to a possible overdose. Upon arrival, the patient was treated and transported to Lake West Health.

• On April 20 at 5:59 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to an open burning complaint. Upon arrival, a family of four was found cooking hotdogs around an approved fire pit. The homeowner was advised to extinguish the fire when finished. At 6:41 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to another complaint at this home.

Upon arrival there was excessive white smoke coming from the fire pit. The homeowner had dumped leaves in the fire which created the white smoke. Homeowner was told to extinguish the fire at once and was advised of the City’s Ordinance on open burning.

• On April 21 at 2:50 p.m., Fire Stations 3, 1 and 5 responded to an odor of something burning at the Great Lakes Mall. Upon arrival, it was discovered that a belt inside of an arcade game had overheated. The machine was taken outside and they were advised to have an electrician inspect the outlet.

• On April 22 at 9:03 a.m., Mentor Fire responded to a sprinkler head activated in a Mentor business. Upon arrival, we discovered that the water supply line in the bathroom had ruptured and it was not a fire suppression system problem. We assisted in clean up and advised business owner that they would need to contact their maintenance department for repair.

• Spring fire hydrant testing will continue throughout the City until mid-May.

Police Department
• The homeowner at 7144 Maple St. reported a burglary had occurred sometime on April 21. The homeowner said he suspected that some friends of his daughter were involved. An officer responded to the suspect’s house and spoke to an adult and two juvenile suspects. The officer observed some of the stolen property in plain view. All of the stolen items were recovered in the house. The adult and one juvenile were arrested and charged with the burglary.

• Capt. Gunsch and Lt. Allen attended a two-day active shooter executive law enforcement conference sponsored by the F.B.I. Topics included pre-event attack behaviors and indicators, managing the media in complex incidents, counseling of victims and first-responders, evidence processing of active shooter/mass casualty scenes. The training also included a discussion by the Chardon Police Department regarding the 2012 Chardon High School shooting.

• 2013 Road Repair Program — Concrete repairs have begun on Quail Point, Galaxie and Silver Court. The first concrete pour on Quail Point took place April 23. Concrete removal and replacement operations will continue as weather permits. Asphalt milling operations were expected to begin Tuesday on Robinwood Drive. Further updates will be provided as the projects progress.

• With regards to the 2012 Sidewalk Repair Program, TC Construction has been replacing sidewalks on Maple Street and will be progressing to Nowlen Street in the next week.

Parks and Recreation Department
• This is the last weekend for Open Skating at the Civic Ice Arena. The Arena will close for maintenance on Monday and will reopen for summer June 10.

• Black Brook Golf Course will be installing a Thorguard Lightning Protection System on the course. The system will provide an audible sound to alert golfers of potential lightning.

• May 15 will be our “National Bike to School Day” at Orchard Hollow School, which is being sponsored by the Safe Routes to School Program. Recreation Specialist Maggie Kuyasa, who supervises the program, said that the children will meet at 8:15 a.m. at Pinegate Pool and ride as a group to school.

• The Safe Routes to School Program will also be sponsoring the “Base Runners Club” starting May 3 at Orchard Hollow School. Children can join the club and track their steps and turn them into laps around a Major League Baseball Diamond! Maggie Kuyasa said, “All children who join the club will get to keep the pedometer that Safe Routes to School supplies and have a chance to win two tickets to an Indians Baseball game!”

• The new surface has been installed in the wading pool at Civic Center pool.

• Letters have been mailed to local Veterans groups inviting them to the Memorial Day service on May 27.

Economic and Community Development
• Ken Filipiak, Ron Traub, and Tom Thielman attended a Coffee & Conversation with Congressman David Joyce sponsored by the Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce.

• Staff met with an attorney who specializes in façade easements and historic preservation tax credits regarding repurposing of a historic building.

• Representatives of several departments met with a Mentor manufacturer regarding a prospective building addition.

• On April 24,the Finance Director attended the public hearings on house Bill 5 held at the State House in Columbus for members of the House Ways and Means Committee. Testimony was provided to the committee by several representatives of various Ohio businesses and by Mr. Tom Zaino spokesperson for the Municipal Tax Reform Coalition, a group of 28 state and local trade and professional associations and state and regional Chambers of Commerce.

A significant amount of time was allotted to Mr. Zaino. Several questions were directed to the coalition by House representatives: Does the coalition know the dollar impact of H.B. 5 to municipalities? Are there any municipalities that are in favor of the current bill? The lack of clear responses to these direct questions leads one to conclude that the current bill will likely require further compromises and modifications.

The coalition was tasked by one representative to “reach out” to Mayors, Managers, Finance Directors, etc. of the more than 600 municipalities imposing a local tax to come up with an acceptable bill. The other proponent testimony came almost exclusively from “service” types of businesses, such as commercial clearing services, heating and cooling, plumbing, and general contracting. The nature of these types of businesses requires their employees to work in several different localities.

The number of returns processed and the excessive cost of compliance was the recurring theme of testimony provided by business owners. The current bill would likely not solve the business owners concerns, unless the bill ultimately led to the elimination of the tax liability itself. Further hearings, including testimony in opposition of H.B. 5 are planned for next week.

Public Works Department
• Repairing sod damage - Citywide
• Jetted storm sewer - Civic Center ball fields
• Plumbing improvements at MMF to improve vehicle washing facility
• Replaced 12 sections of stockade fence at Center Street Ballfield Park
• Installed pickle ball posts
• Painted kitchen and restrooms at Mentor Beach Park
• Inlet basin rebuilds - Market and Munson - in preparation for resurfacing
• Crack sealing - Tyler Blvd.
• Expansion of Garfield Park parking lot

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy