University Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-7-2014
APRIL 7, 2014
- Yard waste collection
- Fuchs Mizrachi site
- Technical assistance grant
- Belvoir Boulevard and new crossing
- Memorial Day parade
- JCU access drive
- Mobile computers
- Spring tree planting
- Yard nuisance abatement
- Sidewalk repair and replacement
- Ethnic Intimidation
- Recreation committee
All council members were present.
Yard waste collection
April is Yard Waste Collection month, which means residents do not have to do the usual bagging and tying to have yard waste picked up.
Fuchs Mizrachi site
The park committee for the Fuchs Mizrachi site has been meeting with the architects. The next meeting is April 29 at 7 p.m.
Technical assistance grant
The city has received a technical assistance award from NOACA to recreate the intersection of Warrensville Center and Cedar roads, and make it more attractive and pedestrian-friendly. NOACA will conduct a study and make recommendations. The city will pursue additional grants to implement the recommendations.
Belvoir Boulevard and new crossing installation
Belvoir Boulevard will be repaved and a new crossing will be installed near John Carroll University.
Memorial Day parade
Plans are underway for the Memorial Day parade. Those wishing to participate or be on the committee should contact UH City Hall.
JCU access drive
Staff from John Carroll University (JCU) made a presentation to address concerns raised at the March 3 council meeting about converting the temporary construction access drive, off Washington Boulevard, to a permanent emergency access drive. One concern was the possible use of the apron and drive for pizza deliveries, student drop-offs, etc. Dora Pruce, JCU director of government and community relations, noted that the grade is rather steep, and anyone attempting to use the drive for such purposes would then have to drive or walk all around the building to the front. Also, all building exits have alarms that would sound if the door were propped open. Carol Dietz, JCU’s associate vice president for facilities, talked about Grasspave2, a process by which grass is planted over a grid on a sand and gravel base, complemented by a roll-up curb. It would discourage use by vehicles, as it would look like a lawn. The drive would be gated and available only to emergency vehicles and for trash pickup. Councilwoman Nancy English noted that these additions to the plan were not part of the planning commission recommendation. Council approved the recommendation to convert the access drive to a permanent emergency drive, contingent on the changes noted above.
Council authorized the purchase of two mobile computers for the police department. Chief Hammett noted that this is part of the original capital budget for the fiscal year. The two computers to be replaced were bought in 2008. The service life is about five years, so these are two years beyond ideal replacement and the department is experiencing downtime. The new computers will have a 10-year service life and the remaining seven computers can be upgraded to meet new state standards.
Spring tree planting
Council approved a contract for 2014 spring tree planting with the low bidder, Nate Johnson Landscaping, from Painesville. The bid was to provide and plant 214 trees for $42,462. The planting area will be from Warrensville Center Road to Fairmount Boulevard and Silsby Road to Green Road. A number of damaged trees that were removed last year will be replaced. There is a one-year guarantee through the contractor to replace any trees that do not survive the first year.
Yard nuisance abatement
Council approved a contract with North Coast for the 2014 General Yard Nuisance Abatement Program. The company has contracts with three other cities for similar programs. In the past, the county paid the contractor after the tax cycle, and then billed the homeowners on their tax bills. In the new program, the city will pay the contractor up front, and will bill the homeowner. Virtually all the abatement will be for grass violations. There is an “out” in the contract if the work is not done to the city’s satisfaction.
Sidewalk repair and replacement
Council approved a contract for the 2014 concrete sidewalk repair and replacement program with Caver Brothers. This is a new, optional program to benefit residents who wish to replace sidewalks or have been issued violation notices. They can have the work done at a consistent price through the contractor, or use another of their choice. There is an escape clause for unsatisfactory work.
Council supported Ohio House Bill 300, which amends the Ohio Revised Code to expand the offense of “Ethnic Intimidation” to prohibit conduct specified in the offense when the conduct is committed by reason of another person’s gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
In June there will be a block closure at Washington and John Carroll boulevards. Cedar Road will be under construction for 30 months.
Councilwoman Pamela Cameron said much valuable information was shared at the March 19 recreation committee meeting about the new park on the former Fuchs Mizrachi site, planting plans for the city’s pocket parks, and bicycle routes.
LWV Observer: Patricia Solomon.
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