Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Flood calls consume Mentor staff time

Last week, the majority of the city of Mentor’s staff spent time dealing with flood-related problems. Almost every department had to get into the act, according to the latest weekly city manager memo to City Council:

Manager Comments
• Severe storms Saturday morning led to significant flooding in Mentor and throughout Lake County.  Up to 6 inches of rain fell in much of Mentor within a 4-5 hour period. Several roads were impassable, including portions of Center Street, Bellflower, Tyler, Rt. 306, and Heisley. All roads were reopened by 4 p.m.

Police responded to 73 flood-related service calls, while fire responded to 49. The fire and building departments assisted in securing or disconnecting electrical and gas service in some homes, and the fire department assisted in pumping out four basements. 

No significant infrastructure damage was recorded. Approximately 500 residents reported incidents of flooding, with the large majority being sanitary sewer backups. Nearly all city departments have been involved with storm recovery efforts throughout the week. Emphasis has been on communicating with those with special needs and directing them to resources for help, damage assessment, and clean up.

Public Works crews have been active in removing storm-damaged refuse from the curbside through the week and into the evenings and will continue through Saturday. We have been and remain in close contact with the Lake County EMA — who will apply for disaster relief assistance to the state — the Red Cross, the General Health District, and other relevant Lake County agencies.

Storm damage assessment and system performance review within the city is ongoing and reporting will follow. Mentor is providing assistance to the city of Willowick as requested. I encourage all of Council to continue to forward any special needs to the administration, if needed.

Fire Department
• On July 20 at 9:32 a.m. the technical rescue team provided temporary shoring to stabilize a resident’s home after their basement wall caved in from the heavy rains.

Police Department
• Members of the police department assisted the community during the severe flooding on Saturday morning. Several roads were flooded and closed to traffic. Officers were called in early, beginning at 3 a.m., while others were held over to provide proper police coverage for the city. The police responded to 73 calls for service related to the storm in addition to regular calls for service. All roads were reopened by 4 p.m.

• Engineering staff has been working with residents, CT Consultants and the Lake Co. Dept. of Utilities to gather information pertaining to the severe rain event experienced July 20. Approximately 4-6” of rain fell on the City in 4 hours causing flooding of roadways, properties and basements.

Engineering staff has met with various residents requesting information and the homeowners association of Bellflower Terrace Condominiums. Engineering will continue to work with CT Consultants to determine potential future storm water improvements in Mentor and will also continue to assist property owners with flood-related questions.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Black Brook Golf Course was closed July 20 due to flooding and some damage to the bridges. Public Works is working on rerouting our golfers temporarily until things can be fixed.

• Morton pool had 18 inches of water in filter room; the trash pump and part of the pool heater were under water. The pool was closed due to the poor weather conditions and the staff cleaned the pool on Saturday. The trash pump and heater have dried out and both were working by Sunday. The water clarity at Garfield pool is 100% better. We purchased a new heavy duty pool vacuum and the pool staff vacuumed pool all day Saturday and Sunday. All pools had a lot of run-off. We cleaned all day Saturday and all pools looked good by Sunday.

Public Works Department
• Storm response - beginning July 20
• Debris collection - crews working 10-hour days
• CityFest prep
• Poured new handicap ramp - Munson Road

Economic and Community Development
• The City unemployment rate is 6.6%; 0.7% above where it was in June 2012; the rate in Lake County (7.1%) increased 0.4% from a year earlier. The unemployment rate for the state of Ohio increased 0.6% from May to June 2013 and was 0.1% higher than in June 2012. Among cities 50,000+ in population, Mentor ranked third-lowest in the state’s unemployment rate, behind Cleveland Heights (6.5%) and Lakewood (6.4%). Both of these cities experienced unemployment rate increases between May and June 2013.

• The City Manager and Finance Director plan to meet with our financial advisor in August to discuss short-term and long-term financing for capital projects. Current interest rates for one year bond anticipation notes on highly rated issues are selling below 0.30 percent.

-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, @ReporterBetsy

Monday, July 22, 2013

Thanks to Johnnycake Jog sponsors and volunteers

Thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers who helped make the 37th annual Johnnycake Jog possible. Check them all out in the ad below:


Monday, July 15, 2013

Mentor gets big rebate from BWC

Mentor gets a big boost from the BWC, a historic home is getting a makeover and a beach party gets out of hand — those items and more from recent weekly reports from the city manager.

• Last week, the city received a refund of more than $250,000 from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The amount is related to the rebate plan approved on May 30 by the BWC as proposed by the governor and is a return of surplus premium from 2011 and 2012. The revenue has been credited to the city’s Workers’ Compensation fund to further strengthen the city’s position in covering potential liabilities for future claims.

• The Building Department has received a building permit application for a home addition, whole house roof and whole house siding on Hart Street. The owner of the home was the winner of the 2013 CertainTeed Exterior Living Spaces Home Makeover Contest. It is expected that CertainTeed will have a camera crew in town during siding/roof installation.

• During the late evening of June 23, officers assisted the Park Rangers and other local law enforcement agencies with a large party and gathering at the Headlands Beach. Officers assisted with traffic complaints and getting people out, once the Rangers closed the park.

Manager Comments
• Two males were arrested after they trespassed on the property of 7722 Metric Dr. in an attempt to steal scrap metal. The males fled the scene on foot when police arrived. After a prolonged foot pursuit and search, one of the males was captured. The other male was located at his home and arrested.

• Councilpersons Janet Dowling and John Krueger were joined by Assistant City Manager, Tony Zampedro, and Ron Traub at the ribbon cutting for Kronheim’s furniture store at 7590 Mentor Ave. on Thursday evening.

• Notice letters are ready to be delivered to residents regarding the 2013 Sidewalk Repair Program and also those homes in the North Palmerston/Bellflower area requesting access for the City and County Utilities Department to conduct dye testing of the storm and sanitary sewer systems.

• On July 4th, while the crowd waited for the fireworks to begin, Public Education Specialist Nathan Peters and fire station personnel instructed over 70 residents on the proper way to administer “Hands Only CPR.” Our residents were eager to learn so much life saving information in such a short period of time.

Fire Department
• On July 3 at 12:35 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to smoke in a garage; the washer belt had burned, causing the smoke and smell. There was no fire and no injury.

• On July 3 at 12:51 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to a fire alarm sounding in a restaurant. Upon arrival, the business had been evacuated for a grease fire, which had been extinguished prior to the Fire Department’s arrival. Fire crews checked for fire extension, ventilated the building and reset the alarm.

• On July 5 at 12:38 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to a car vs. motorcycle accident on Lakeshore Blvd. The patient on the motorcycle was treated and transported to TriPoint Medical Center in stable condition.

• On  July 6 at 10:36 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to a reported gasoline tanker truck on fire at a gas station.  The brakes of the truck had caught fire. The fire was extinguished by the driver; fire crews applied water to the brakes to cool them. There were no injuries.

• On July 8 at 8:47 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to an MVA. A vehicle was driven into a pole in a parking lot. The driver of the vehicle suffered multiple injuries to his face; he was treated and transported to Lake Health West.

• On July 9 at 6:10 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to a grill “flash” fire. The homeowner’s propane tank attached to the grill malfunctioned. The patient was treated and transported to Lake Health West.

• On July 10 at 11:40 p.m., Mentor Fire responded to a possible fire in a room at 7677 Reynolds Road. The occupant of the room saw flames coming from the ceiling fan in the bathroom and used an extinguisher from the outside to extinguish the fire and called 911. Mentor Fire checked for extension in the ceiling and attic.  Ventilation was completed; the occupant could not return to the room. The cause appears to be accidental, but is under investigation.

Police Department
• On July 6, officers arrested a male for aggravated burglary, kidnapping and attempted rape. The male entered the residence of a female acquaintance without permission. He confronted the female in her bedroom and attempted to remove her clothes. The male fled the scene when the female’s husband arrived home. The suspect was apprehended a short time later.

• On July 7, a male was arrested for felonious assault. He was physically fighting with his brother in the front yard of his residence. The suspect struck his brother in the head with a coffee cup, causing several lacerations and continually punched him in the face. The victim received several stitches on his head.

• On the Fourth of July, the Police Department assisted with the Headland’s Parade, City fireworks display and several neighborhood bicycle parades. The City fireworks display went smoothly without any incidences or arrests. Traffic was completely cleared and all roads reopened within 65 minutes of the end of the event.

• The Engineering Department is currently working with Public Works on evaluating the existing storm sewer on Raymond Dr. from Brooks Blvd. to Dunbar Dr. Heavy rain on June 29 caused ponding water at the intersection of Brooks Blvd. and Raymond Dr.  In at least one instance on the west end of Raymond Dr., debris was blocking an existing inlet preventing it from draining properly. However, the existing capacity of the storm sewer is also being evaluated at this time.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Currently, there are 2,619 children participating in summer camps. This is a very strong number despite a late ending and early beginning school year. Civic Center Day Camp continues to outpace other camps in attendance, maxing out weekly at 120 kids.

• Paddleboard, kayaking and other paddling classes are receiving very good attendance. More than 160 people are registered this year, compared to 145 last year. We’ve also had a record number of requests for guided kayak parties.

• Plans for Mentor CityFest are nearing completion with less than six weeks to the event. Sponsors include Aqua Ohio, Classic Auto Group, EYE Lighting International, Lincoln Electric, Medical Mutual, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Petitti Garden Centers, Steris, The Bicycle Hub, Waste Management and Yuengling. Visit www.MentorCityFest.com for all the latest news and information.

• The Senior Center served 1,526 meals last month; 150 of the meals were served at the monthly celebration.  There are currently 4,244 Senior Center members.

• Take a trip back to the nostalgic 50’s at the Summer Concert Series on July 16 with the “Belairs.”  Perhaps a few cars from the 50’s era will show to help set the mood.

Economic and Community Development
• Second quarter homes data for Lake County and the City of Mentor indicate a 52% and 45% respective increase in home sales over the first quarter 2013. For the same period, the average price increased 18% and 12% respectively, and the length of time a home was on the market declined 33% and 28%.  In comparing the first quarter 2012 and 2013, the number of homes sold in the County increased by 77% (52% in the City). The average price increased 10% at the County level, but declined at the City level.  The length of time a house was on the market also declined (-32% at the County level and -12% at the City level).

• MEACO has approved a $25,000 Mentor Small Business Loan for the purchase of new computer equipment for Professional Answering Service, Inc. Professional Answering Service, a medical answering service, was established in 1950 and is celebrating 63 years of business in Mentor.

Public Works Department
•    Fireworks clean-up
•    Prepping for Family Day at Wildwood Cultural Center
•    Jail office renovations - ongoing
•    Lagoons landscape project - bringing in fill and topsoil in preparation for seeding
•    Inlet basin repairs - Munson, Elm and Roselawn
•    Crosswalk modification - Ice Arena to football stadium
•    Tested spread spectrum radios on Mentor Ave. for traffic system communications
•    Cleaned dry wells - Lakeshore and Munson
•    Storm sewer cleaning - Cornell
•    Crack sealing - Sharonlee, Maplewood, Southwood, Patterson

-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, @ReporterBetsy

Sunset/moonrise private tour at Fairport Harbor Lighthouse

Enjoy the sunset and the moonrise with a private tour of the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse on July 22. More information in the flyer below:

Labels: , ,