University Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-7-2013

OCTOBER 7, 2013

  • Recycling/composting
  • Second house fire
  • Police equipment
  • Special garbage pickups
  • Property violations
  • Nuisance rubbish
  • Police and fire department pensions
  • Nordway Road
  • Northeast Ohio Sewer District
  • Cedar and Warrensville accident 
  • Fuchs Mizrachi building     
  • Murphy Hall
  • Leaf collection

Councilman Steven Sims was absent.


The mayor and service director toured the recycling center in the county.

The city held a backyard composting seminar compliments of the County Solid Waste District. Residents can buy barrels for home use from the county.

Second house fire

The mayor discussed the second house fire in a month in the city. No one was injured and it was caused by work being done in the house.

Police equipment

Using money from forfeiture funds, council approved $15,000 for the police department to buy equipment. There is $49,000 remaining for future use.

Special garbage pickups

Council approved an increase in cost from eight dollars to ten dollars for special garbage pickups. The last time the fee was increased was in 2002. The payments are now streamlined to the building department instead of city hall. Councilwoman Susan Pardee asked for clarification on the policy of two pickups every six months, and asked if residents can pay online. The mayor responded that both of those questions are currently under review.

Property violations

An ordinance was presented on first reading to change the penalty fee for yard violations from 5 percent of the abatement cost to $100 for the first offense and $200 for the second offense and all others thereafter. The city issues violations on properties when the grass is eight inches long. The building commissioner said that not only is time spent for inspectors to visit the property multiple times, but also the city has to hire the company to cut the grass. The cost of that alone is more than $100. If owners are having hardships the city will work with them. Councilwoman Pardee expressed concern that fining residents $100 for the first offense is excessive. 

Nuisance rubbish

An ordinance was presented on first reading to raise the penalty  for improperly disposed rubbish from 5 percent of abatement costs to $300 for the first offense and $500 for the second offense and all others thereafter. The building commissioner stated that some requested pickups are too large for the city and are just left on the property, especially when people are moving.  The cost to rent a dumpster is $300–400, and would be cheaper than getting cited by the city.

Police and fire department pensions

Council approved the new pension rates, including 10.75 percent being withheld from paychecks.

Nordway Road

Council approved an agreement with the City of Cleveland Heights to resurface the University Heights section of Nordway Road at a cost of approximately $10,000.

Northeast Ohio Sewer District

The law director stated that [the Ohio Eighth District Court of appeals ruled that] the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District cannot charge an extra fee for the regional stormwater program. [The case] will probably go to the [state] Supreme Court.

Cedar and Warrensville accident 

The building commissioner stated that RTA is still reviewing the accident on Cedar and Warrensville Center roads. The cost of equipment repair would be $60,000 and should be the responsibility of RTA.

Fuchs Mizrachi building     

The former Fuchs Mizrachi school building is down and grading is almost completed. Bricks from the building are available in the city’s garage for the alumni or anyone interested.

Murphy Hall

Murphy Hall at John Carroll University is being remodeled at a fast pace and the building commissioner is pleased with the work.

Leaf collection

Leaf collection will begin Oct. 15, and hazardous waste and shredding collection is on Friday, Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

LWV Observer: Michele Weiss.

These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports. The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse, and Maryann Barnes. To receive e-mail postings of full reports, send an e-mail to or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.

These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.


Read More on University Heights
Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 3:36 PM, 10.21.2013