Monday, August 26, 2013

Mentor just saying no to NOPEC

No more NOPEC, high-tech storm equipment at the city golf course and a problem at the Mentor Lagoons - those items and more from the most recent weekly city manager reports to City Council:

Manager Comments
• Notices recently were sent to the Illuminating Company informing them that the city is choosing to opt out of the discounted NOPEC electric utility rates for city-owned facilities. We will be soliciting competitive prices for electricity during the next several weeks. The wholesale market is currently 10-20 percent less than NOPEC.

• On Aug. 22, at about 3:50 a.m., officers responded to the Mentor Lagoons for a report of a male trespassing on a boat. During the course of the investigation one 17-year-old male was arrested for breaking and entering, theft, and other charges. He and two more unidentified people stole property including three golf carts, fishing gear and alcohol from at least 15 victims. The male arrested is from West Virginia and is staying in the area with his grandmother.  The investigation is ongoing.

• The City collected $204,000 in TIF revenues as part of the second half real estate settlement distributed by the Lake County Treasurer. The TIF balance is now approximately $1,617,000. The City has budgeted $1 million of TIF funds for costs associated with the Plaza Blvd. Extension project.

• The Lightning Prediction Warning System was installed on Monday at Black Brook Golf Course. The system is activated when sensing storm-induced electrical activity in the immediate area and sounds a siren warning throughout the golf course.

Fire Department
• On Aug.16 at 5:51 p.m., fire personnel were dispatched to a vehicle that was “T-boned” on the passenger side and flipped onto the driver’s side. The patient denied injuries/pain and refused treatment/transport.

• On Aug. 17 at 11:43 a.m., fire personnel were dispatched to a motorcycle accident; there was minor damage to the motorcycle. The patient was treated and transported in stable condition.

• On Aug. 17 at 6:01 p.m., Mentor Fire was dispatched on a mutual aid to Mentor-on-the-Lake for an EMS call where the patient was treated and transported.

• On Aug. 21 at 1:48 p.m., fire crews were dispatched to the new Sheetz on Lakeshore Blvd. for a gas leak when a worker severed a gas service line.  Gas was shut down and Dominion East Ohio was called out. There were no injuries.

Police Department
• On Saturday, a male confronted a female sitting in her car in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn on Reynolds Rd. The male forced the female out of her car and attempted to steal the vehicle. As a witness ran towards the suspect, he grabbed the female’s purse and fled on foot towards Studio 6. Officers interviewed numerous guests at Studio 6, eventually developing a suspect who was renting a room there. A search warrant was obtained and executed. The stolen purse and other stolen property were located. The male was arrested and charged with Robbery and Theft.

• A vehicle was stolen from Plains Rd. in the early morning hours on Saturday. The vehicle was left unlocked with a spare set of keys in the center console. The vehicle was recovered on Monday morning in Willoughby. Two males are associated with stealing the vehicle. One suspect was arrested by Willoughby PD for stealing property from vehicles in their city. The other male fled the scene, but has been identified. The case is currently being investigated.

• On Aug. 21, officers responded to Blackbrook Golf Course for a criminal mischief complaint. During the Aug. 20-21, overnight hours someone took golf balls, two lawn chairs, and four flags and made a creative design on the 13th hole. There was no damage to the property or material.

• The city will be reviewing proposals for banking services over the next few weeks. Eligible depository banks were sent invitations to submit proposals last week.

• With the exception of the school flashers at Shore Middle School, all improvements for the Safe Routes to School project have been completed.  The school flashers at Shore Middle School will be inoperable through Aug. 30 while the contractor places mast arm poles and rewires the school zone.  In the interim, the Public Works Department has placed temporary School Speed Limit signs stating the hours of the active school zone. In addition, the police department is monitoring the zone for speed violations.

• Davis Diggers is scheduled to begin the Beechwood Drive Storm Sewer Improvement at the end of August. The completion date for the project is Oct. 18.

• As of this date, the city has received 28 Sanitary Sewer Backup Reduction Grant Applications. The Engineering Department has processed and approved six applications to date and will continue to process applications as they are received.

• Shown below is a summary of Building Division Activity comparing June, 2013 with July, 2013:

    Prior Month    Month of
    June 2013    July 2013
New Permits Issued     389    393
Valued at        $8,392,947    $12,874,453

Building Permit Inspections    836    733
New Plan Review Cases     82    73
Engr/Bldg Permit Plan Reviews    287    297
New Contractor Registrations    87    66

We have recently issued the following major building permits, each over $300,000 in value. These permits include:
• Window replacement at Ridge Middle School, 7671 Johnnycake Ridge Road - $324,000;
• An addition at St. John Vianney Church, 7575 Bellflower Road - $300,000
• A remodel at Mentor High School, 6655 Center St.- $325,000
• Roof replacement at Great Lakes Mall, 7850 Mentor Ave. - $1,362,000
• A new automobile dealership, Audi, at 8599 Market St. -$4,000,000

 Public Works Department
•    Cityfest prep
•    Jail renovations - ongoing
•    Storm debris removal from residences
•    Inlet basin rebuild - Rutland
•    Testing wireless modems for traffic signal communication
•    Fabricating signs for Cityfest
•    Set out variable message boards to advise motorists of Hart St RR closure
•    11 code enforcement abatements
•    Removed sediment from ditch running from south end of Carter to Two Town Ditch
•    Removed more sediment from Sutherland detention area
•    Televised storm sewers from Bryson to Dunbar and Rosemary, Dorrwood and Concord
•    Removed overgrowth from Horvitz Channel
•    Replaced 100’ of 15” storm sewer on East Valley View
•    Removed sediment from ditch between S. Dartmoor and SR 30

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lighthouse Art Festival in Fairport Harbor

Check out details on the Lighthouse Art Festival, which is Saturday afternoon at the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse Lawn:

And remember to share your festival photos with us in our album:

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Pool attendance sinks in Mentor this summer

The relatively rainy, cool summer means less pool revenue, Mentor’s grant program for sewer backup victims is attracting attention, and both bids for a long-awaited traffic-relief project came in high. Those items and more are in the latest weekly city manager report to City Council:

• As of July 19, we had 51,483 swimmers at the three pools, which compares to the five-year average of 52,854, but we have had many cool and wet days. Pool attendance and aquatic revenue will be down this year.

• Information and application material for the Private Property Sanitary Sewer Backup Reduction Grant Program has been posted on the front page of the city’s website. The Engineering & Building Department has received about 70 inquiries regarding the Backflow Preventer Program. The grant program, totaling $1 million, was begun after flooding problems followed the July 20 storm event.

• The bid opening for the Plaza Boulevard Extension Project took place at noon on Friday, Aug. 9. We received two very competitive bids coming in at approximately $2,500,000. Both bids will be reviewed for completeness and accuracy. The Engineer’s estimate for the project was $2,300,000.

Manager Comments
• The Center Street widening work at Classic Chevy continues. Concrete work is nearing completion with asphalt paving and restriping expected over the next 2 weeks. Lighting work under the SR 2 Bridge at Center Street will be completed upon delivery of the lighting equipment.

Fire Department
• On Aug. 5 at 4 a.m., Deputy Chief Searles, Mentor Hazardous Team Members, Air 1 and Truck 1159 were dispatched to Eastlake for a fire involving hazardous materials. The situation was mitigated and there were no injuries.

• On Aug. 7 at 8:28 a.m., crews responded to an odor investigation on Lancaster. Crews found a distinct odor in the neighborhood, but after a thorough investigation of the area, storm drains and the creek, nothing was found. Continuing their investigation, fire crews determined the odor most likely stemmed from a business where a new product was reportedly being used. There were no harmful findings.

• On Aug. 7 at 1:38 p.m., AIR-1 was dispatched to Willowick for a house fire and provided rehab to fire ground personnel and filled SCBA bottles as needed.

• Past part-time Firefighter Mark Nerone passed away on Aug. 1. Mark worked for the Mentor Fire Department for almost 10 years and resigned in 1984 to work for Wickliffe Fire, where he retired as a fire lieutenant.

Police Department
• On Aug. 4, 25 counterfeit $20 bills were passed in one transaction at Super Kmart. Then, on Aug. 5 another case of 25 counterfeit $20 bills being passed was reported; this time, at Macy’s. Both cases have been forwarded to the Detective Bureau for follow-up investigation.

• Safe Routes to School – Bike racks have been installed at Shore Middle School, Orchard Hollow Elementary and Sterling Morton Elementary. School flasher work is anticipated to occur within the next two weeks.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Black Brook Golf Course was voted “Best of the Best” in the Golf Course Shopping and Service Category Readers Choice Awards for the News-Herald.

• On Aug. 4, Civic Center Pool hosted the final day of the Suburban Swim League Championships. This was the largest meet in Ohio with more than 1,142 swimmers and 4,000 people attending. Mentor came in first with 1,496 points; Highland Heights came in second with 1,217.

Economic and Community Development
• The Mentor Economic Assistance Corporation closed two SBA 504 loans this week for a total of $1,015,000 in financing. The Mentor-based operator of Dunkin Donuts constructed a new store in Lakewood, Ohio for a total cost of $1,232,000 and MEACO, through its relationship with Citizens Bank, provided equipment financing totaling $1,238,066 to a growing manufacturing company in Northeast Ohio. The SBA 504 loan program provides long-term financing for up to 40 percent of a project’s total fixed asset costs.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy