Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mentor aims to "Take Pride" in '14

Mentor police issued nearly 100 seatbelt violations, the city’s “Take Pride in America” show will be pursued for next year, and an event to boost small businesses is happening this week — those items & more in the weekly city manager memo to City Council.

• Sadly, we have had to cancel the “Take Pride In America” event due to travel restrictions on the Armed Forces. We will try to schedule the 20th Anniversary of this event in 2014. (Background:

• The city of Mentor in cooperation with the Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce and JumpStart Inc. will be co-sponsoring Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business “orientation” meeting at the Mentor Holiday Inn, 7701 Reynolds Road from 7:30–9 a.m. on Thursday. This free mini MBA program is targeted to small businesses of three or more employees and sales of at least $150,000.

• The annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign concluded on June 2. During this two-week period, the Police Department issued 96 safety belt violation citations, including two child safety seat violation citations.

Other goings-on in the city this past week:
Fire Department
• On May 31 at 3:42 p.m., Fire Stations 1, 3 and 5 responded to a possible roof fire at JCPenney.  Upon arrival, it was discovered that roof workers had accidentally set some of the roof on fire while repairing it. Two small areas of the fascias board were found smoldering. Overhaul was done and the business was on fire watch until the work was completed.

• On June 1 at 3:42 p.m., Mentor Fire Department responded to an incident where a baby deer was stuck between two fences. The animal was freed and unharmed.

• On June 2 at 3:01 p.m., paramedics responded to a pedestrian hit by a car. The female was treated and transported to Lake Health West in stable condition.

• On June 3 at 10:24 p.m., Mentor Fire Station 5 assisted two area residents who were lost in the Lagoons; they were hiking when their GPS battery went dead. MPD and MFD responded and led them back to the trail. There were no injuries.

• On June 4 at 3:47 a.m., Mentor Fire Stations 1 and 5 responded to a possible dryer fire. Upon arrival, the fire was extinguished and the dryer was shut down. Charring to the surrounding areas of the dryer was removed and the dryer was removed from the house. Occupants were checked for injuries and a working smoke detector was installed.

• On June 4 at 5:09 p.m., Mentor Fire Stations 3 and 4 responded to Colonial Plaza for an electrical problem. Upon arrival, there was arcing coming from defective wiring. CEI was on the scene and turned off power in the electrical room. Management was informed by CEI that they will need an electrical inspection completed prior to having the electricity turned back on.
• On June 4, three members of Mentor Fire were promoted and sworn in. Ron Zak to Battalion Chief and Bill Malovrh and Tony Higginbotham to Lieutenant.

• Spring fire hydrant testing continues throughout the City.

• Center Street Detention Basin: Hallmark Excavating is in the process of completing the detention basin capacity improvements at SR 2 and SR 615 (just north of Classic Chevrolet).  Once completed, the project will provide extended detention times and provide water quality treatment by metering the discharge through a reduced orifice.

• The contractor for the Beechwood Drive Storm Sewer Improvement from Elm Street to Evergreen Drive is postponing the start date of the project to August 2013. The completion date for the project is unchanged (10/18/13).

• Reedhurst Farms Phase 2, located off Green Valley Drive, is currently under construction. The contractor, JTO Inc., is proof-rolling the subgrade of the roadway to test for proper compaction and will follow up shortly with pavement installation.

• Newell Creek Phase 7 is currently under construction. This phase consists of 28 lots of attached town houses in the northeast corner of the Newell Creek Development off Overton Drive. Utilities, such as sanitary sewer/storm sewer service, are being installed.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Two of the city’s swimming pools opened last weekend — Morton Park Swimming Pool and Splash Park and the Splash Park at Edward R. Walsh Park. Civic Center and Garfield Pools will open Friday. All pools will operate from 1 to 8 p.m. daily through Aug. 18.

• The Recreation Department is set for the beginning of summer with over 150 Day Camps, starting June 17; the Civic Ice Arena re-opens on June 10 with many classes and open skates for the whole family; the Summer Concerts start June 25 featuring a different band each Tuesday; and, there will be 19 Special Events throughout the summer.

• Tuesday, Jill Korsok and Bob Martin were invited to the WMJI 105.7FM studios to promote Cityfest and compete in the Tuesday Trivia Challenge. We appreciate the opportunity to talk about Cityfest with the Morning Team.

• Black Brook Golf Course has been busy with golf schools. The course condition is showing improvement and the asphalt repairs and path to the Practice Center have been completed.

• The Senior Center is working with United Way on the “Day of Caring” to have a group come to the Senior Center and work on the planter beds.

• The Senior Center started planning trips for the 2014 trip program with a meeting of interested members.

Economic and Community Development
• The Department of Economic and Community Development is pleased to welcome Jennifer Potoczak as our new Administrative Secretary. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her yet, don’t hesitate to stop by and introduce yourself.

• Ron Traub participated in a webinar entitled, “Five Key Strategies for a Skilled Workforce.”  Reports show that 600,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled in the U.S. and 50 percent of HR Directors say workforce recruitment is their largest challenge. The webinar addressed key strategies that a region could use to improve its skilled workforce population.

• Next week, MEACO is closing a SBA 504 Loan with Cleveland Plumbing Supply Company (CPS). CPS purchased 7272 Mentor Ave. (former Clark Dodge site) and remodeled the facility for its Mentor distribution and showroom operations. Total project cost was just under $1 million, with MEACO lending $394,000. Also, Red, Wine & Brew has started construction of its 16,000- square-foot building at 9620 Old Johnnycake Road. This is a $1.95 million SBA 504 project in partnership with Lake National Bank.

• The clock at the corner of Little Mountain Rd. and Mentor Ave., initially installed by the Verdi’s when they owned and operated Great Harvest Bread Company (and now Verdi’s Imported Foods), has been repaired.

• Ron Traub attended the Jobs Ohio/Ohio Development Services Agency mid-year briefing. Of the approximately 300 economic development practitioners in attendance, no one else from Lake County was represented and only a few Cuyahoga County representatives were present.  Content-wise, on the Jobs Ohio side, presentations on the Ohio Insite program (state operated site selection service) and Foreign Direct Investment program were insightful. Several spokesmen for the Ohio Development Services Agency reviewed new business financing options and the workforce development initiatives of which the administration tries to utilize as part of the City’s economic development initiative.

• This week the City received $262,000 of estate tax revenue. The revenue was generated from pre 2013 inheritance tax return activity. The State of Ohio eliminated this source of revenue effective 2013. Any future distributions are residual amounts for pre 2013 tax returns. No estate tax revenue was factored into the 2013 revenue budget.

• Income tax collections for the month of May were up $705,000 when compared to May of last year. The current total year collections through May as compared to last year are up 2.4 percent.

Public Works Department
•    Rebuilt inlet basin - SR 615
•    Coordinated repair of traffic loops damaged during paving
•    Began jail renovations
•    Repaired vandalism damage at Mentor Beach Park
•    Roof repairs – Fire Station #2
•    Meeting with LC General Health Department regarding spray park start up
•    Window and roof repairs – Wildwood Cultural Center
•    Excavating/prepping for curbing at Marina
•    Storm sewer cleaning - Station, Wilson, Iroquois
•    Storm sewer inspection - Chase, Wilson, Barkwood, Mallard
•    Storm sewer repair - 8843 Hendricks, 7109 W Jefferson
•    20 property maintenance projects

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy


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