University Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-18-2013

NOVEMBER 18, 2013

  • Income target areas
  • Government officials training
  • Food stamps challenge
  • Cement pricing
  • Grass abatement program
  • Municipal tax reform bill
  • Police receive award
  • Fire chief

All council members were present.

Income target areas

Mayor Infeld announced that Cuyahoga County is updating its Income Target Areas. The county maintains a list of areas with low to moderate household incomes that might benefit from grant opportunities.

Government officials training

The County Planning Commission offers periodic training for elected and appointed government officials. On Nov. 20, it will host one of its intermittent traveling road shows, which are open to the public, in the Lyndhurst Community Center.

Food stamps challenge

County Executive Ed Fitzgerald has issued a challenge to all residents of the county to try to live on the amount of money issued in food stamps to gain a better understanding of the difficulty of eating nutritious meals on such a limited budget.

Cement pricing

Council approved obtaining bids for cement pricing for a new city sidewalk and apron program. The intent is to secure a standard price for concrete per foot that can be offered to residents who need to replace sidewalk blocks and driveway aprons. The city would not recommend nor endorse the contractor, but would offer the information to residents. This would help residents secure a reasonable price from a licensed contractor.

Grass abatement program

Council approved obtaining bids for the grass abatement program. The city periodically hires a contractor to mow the lawn at a home, usually one that is empty or foreclosed. In the current contract, which has ended, contractors bill property owners and then the county if there is no payment. The county then places a lien on the property tax bill. In the new version, the city will take over billing the county and pay the contractor directly. This should increase the number and quality of contractors willing to provide grass abatement for the city.

Municipal tax reform bill

Finance Director Larry Heiser reported that the municipal income tax reform bill has passed in the Ohio House and is expected to pass in the Senate. The bill will have a modest effect on University Heights because the city already has a five-year loss option. The issue is still opposed by the Mayors and Managers Association, and is now also opposed by the original backers because of the compromises that have been made to moderate the bill. If passed, the changes would take effect for 2014 taxes reported in 2015.

Police receive award

Police Chief Hammett announced that University Heights has received an award from AAA for promoting traffic and pedestrian safety. The city has 32 miles of streets and 64 miles of sidewalks.

Fire chief

Mayor Infield announced that the search for fire chief has been reopened. The position was offered to a candidate, but the candidate declined the offer.

LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.

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 -email 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.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 10:43 AM, 12.11.2013