University Heights City Council meeting 5-5-2014

May 5, 2014

  • Public comments
  • Composting
  • Wiley Challenge Choir
  • School transition
  • Delinquent debt
  • Funds transfer
  • Purchasing policy
  • Clerk of Council
  • Street resurfacing contract
  • Service director’s updates
  • Repaving project

All council members were present.

Public comments

Barry Zucker of Allison Road asked the city to postpone repaving Allison Road for one year. He has serious medical conditions, including extreme chemical sensitivities. The chemical fumes from hot asphalt would be extremely difficult for him. He requested a one-year delay to allow him time to find either a solution or a temporary place to live. He presented statements from two doctors, and a petition signed by representatives of almost every home on the street. A number of fellow residents were present and spoke in support of his request. Zucker noted that patching small areas of the street would not present a problem, just the hot-cooked asphalt.

Mayor Susan Infeld, who had been notified of this request before the meeting, had contacted the FDA and requested a list of the chemicals and products that would be used by The Shelly Company in the paving process. She noted that coal tar has been outlawed. She also spoke with [an official in] Cleveland Heights, as Zucker lives at the corner of Allison and Nordway roads [near the Cleveland Heights]. Cleveland Heights has postponed repaving Nordway for three years now at Zucker’s request. University Heights has paid $10,000 to Cleveland Heights to cover its portion of the cost to repave Nordway Road. Thomas Coyne. law director, noted that the city bears a liability risk if it has been notified that a street’s condition has deteriorated, and does not make the necessary repairs.

Councilwoman Nancy English assured Zucker that he had been heard. She favored delaying the repaving of Allison Road, and other council members concurred.


On Tuesday, May 13, the Cuyahoga County Department of Solid Waste will come to University Heights to conduct a training session on composting in the community.

Wiley Challenge Choir

On Wednesday, May 14, the Wiley Challenge Choir will present its final concert at Wiley.

School transition

The school district will begin preparing the students at Wiley for their transition to other middle schools.

Delinquent debt

Council approved having the Ohio Attorney General’s office handle delinquent debt collection. Currently the city uses First Federal Credit Union, which keeps 65 percent of any money collected. Councilwoman Susan Pardee asked Larry Heiser, finance director, to make a full review of the collection process in six months.

Funds transfer

There was a first reading of the ordinance to transfer funds from the general fund to street maintenance, police pension, and fire pension funds. The pensions are paid out monthly and those funds need to be replenished. The street maintenance fund needs an increase in anticipation of the seasonal increase in street repairs.

Purchasing policy

The recent financial audit found a problem with the city’s use of blanket purchase orders for ongoing supplies, such as gasoline, chlorine for the pool, road salt, etc. The policy is being revised to more closely align with current standards.

Clerk of Council

Council authorized Kelly M. Thomas, clerk of council, to serve as various council members’ designee for the Open Government Certified Public Records Training Seminar. Thomas just completed the training program, and her training can be considered to fulfill the requirement for new council members to complete the training. Thomas said she found the training to be very interesting and helpful, and encouraged council members to attend even though it’s not mandatory.

Street resurfacing contract

Council authorized an agreement with The Shelly Company for the 2014 street resurfacing program. Seven contractors submitted bids for this joint proposal with Shaker Heights. The Shelly Company was the low bidder at $518,186.25. Most of the streets to be repaved have not been paved since 1994 or 1995. The Shelly Company previously has done work in the city under the names of companies acquired by Shelly. Allison Road was excluded, and Joe Ciuni, city engineer, will select another street at a cost not to exceed the cost allocated for Allison Road. Allison Road will be patched using funds from the street-patching fund.

Jeffrey Pokorny, service director, announced that leaf and brush collection had been completed [and crews] are now catching up on filling potholes. They expect delivery of 130 trees, to begin the tree-planting program next week. The pool is being cleaned and will be ready for opening on Memorial Day weekend.

Repaving project

City Engineer Ciuni reported that the Belvoir Boulevard repaving project has begun, working between Cedar and Mayfield roads first. [Crews] will move to the section by John Carroll University (JCU) on June 19, closing that block for one month. The remainder of the project will allow through-traffic, reduced to one lane in each direction. Only the JCU portion will require complete closure of the block. The entire project should be completed by Oct. 31.

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 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.

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