University Heights City Council meeting highlights 2-3-2014
FEBRUARY 3, 2014
- Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.
- University-community liaison
- Frigid weather
- Pickup truck
- Salt usage
- Gas line replacement
All council members were present.
Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.
Council member Nancy English spoke briefly on the evolution from Negro History Week, selected to honor the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, to what is now Black History Month. Wayne Dawson from Fox 8 News spoke next, noting that February is the time to honor people who came before us and laid the foundation for today’s promised land, a truly American story of perseverance. He said that in 2014 African Americans have reached the Promised Land, achieving across all areas with a clear sense that nothing is beyond the realm of possibility, but there is still work to be done. Too many people have fallen into despair. Often their wounds are self-inflicted, but not always. He called on all people to reach back and help someone else move forward.
Nine children from Mrs. Mendelson’s third-grade class at Gesu Elementary School spoke with poise and clarity, reading poems and essays they had written in honor of Dr. King. The Wiley Middle School Challenge Choir, comprising sixth- to eighth-grade students, performed under the direction of Glen Brackens. This group recently won three first-place awards from the Music Showcase Festival in New York City, and has traveled across the country sharing its music. The current president of the choir read an essay she had written as the choir sang behind her.
Mayor Infeld presented a proclamation honoring Glen Brackens in this final year of Wiley Middle School. Students from Wiley will be divided between Roxboro and Monticello middle schools next year.
Kyle Wise, a junior at John Carroll University, expressed the importance of university students and permanent residents learning to coexist. He asked council to provide a contact person, someone other than the police, to serve as a liaison when issues arise between students and residents. He suggested that punishments and compensatory actions could be arranged through mediation. Mayor Infeld noted that all the students are full residents of the community, just for a shorter time than homeowners. Although she appreciated his ideas, incidents that happen off-campus are more difficult to mediate because the students are considered citizens of the community and are bound to the same laws as long-term residents. Anthony J. Coyne, UH law director, noted that such an agreement would require legislation, and that the Juvenile Diversion program exists already and might be an option.
Delivery of the January newsletter to residents was postponed due to frigid temperatures, but garbage pickup continued on schedule thanks to rotating crews to ensure no worker was outside for too long.
Council approved the purchase of a 2014 pickup truck for the service department. The 2001 F250 Ford pickup truck was scheduled to be replaced later this year, but has developed significant transmission and exhaust header problems that are not worth fixing at this point. The new truck will also have a lift-gate on the back and a plow on the front. The final cost, including transport from Cincinnati, is $26,117.50. Each year the Ohio Cooperative Purchase program awards bids for various types of vehicles. This year’s lowest bid for these trucks is Lebanon Ford in Cincinnati.
Jeffrey Pokorny, service director, reported that salt usage has been very high this winter, and Morton Salt is having difficulty delivering the orders as promised. University Heights has been able to borrow salt from Cleveland Heights, which is able to store larger quantities in its salt dome. The city had borrowed some 600 tons, but has repaid 400 tons through recent deliveries. Alternative options are being investigated in case the city runs out of salt. The city currently has an order for 1,000 tons of salt, and is nearing its total allowed through the state purchasing program. The state is considering increasing the maximum allowed at the current price of $29.40 per ton. Other cities formed a purchasing cooperative with Cargill, but are paying $45 per ton. One salt truck holds four tons of salt when fully loaded.
Gas line replacement
Engineer Joe Ciuni reported that Dominion East Ohio Gas will be replacing gas lines along Cedar Road this summer, extending from Miramar Boulevard to Legacy Village. [The company] will need to close one lane on the south side of Cedar Road. It will be a rolling shutdown, as [workers] move from section to section. All work will be done during the day except for the intersection of Green and Cedar roads, which will be done at night due to traffic congestion. The project will take three months to complete.
LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.
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