University Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-23-2014
April 23, 2014
- Public comments
- Delinquent debt collection
- Yard waste
- Fire hydrant maintenance and rust stains
- Resident complaints
- Deer management
All council members were present.
Rick Creger of Saybrook Road expressed concern about the plan to move Heights High students to Wiley during the renovations to the high school building. He felt the proposal was not fair to the students, retailers and residents of the neighborhood. There would be 1,200 full-time students, 300–400 transient students, plus teachers. He felt the proposal to use Purvis Pool for the students would create undue wear and tear on the facilities, which the taxpayers paid for. He asked council to not approve the construction and installation of trailers requested by the school board. Mayor Susan Infeld noted that although the board had presented its proposals to council, there have been no formal plans nor requests brought before council.
Delinquent debt collection
An ordinance proposing that the city use the Ohio Attorney General’s office to provide delinquent debt collection service was presented on first reading. Currently, the city is using First Federal Credit Union, which keeps 65 percent of what it collects. The attorney general’s office will most likely use an external collection firm, which will use the attorney general’s letterhead. This is a new option in Ohio, but has been used successfully in other states. The city would receive 90 percent of the funds collected, and the contract can be ended with a 45-day notice if the city is not satisfied.
Councilwoman Susan Pardee was concerned that coercive measures might be used, but it was noted that the attorney general’s office includes the Office of Consumer Protection Services, which should help to maintain a balance.
Council approved an agreement with Cleveland Heights for disposal of yard waste. The city’s contract with J. Jack Mulch ended Jan. 1, and the company’s facility in Cleveland has been closed. Jeffrey Pokorny, service director, interviewed other city service directors and determined that the majority use Green Vision Compost, which grinds the waste the same [way] J. Jack [does]. The closest facility is in Willoughby. The company would take Christmas trees and tree limbs, etc., at no cost beyond that of transport, but was unable to accept bags of leaf waste. Cleveland Heights has offered to combine the yard waste of both cities and transport it all by truck to Newbury. University Heights will pay Cleveland Heights $7,000, which is $500 less than they were paying to J. Jack, and with only the cost to transport the waste to Cleveland Heights. The cost is a lump sum for the year, based on average quantities for the past five years.
Fire hydrant maintenance and rust stains
Fire Chief Douglas Zook announced that fire hydrant maintenance will begin in two weeks. A product that removes rust stains from laundry is available to residents from the fire department.
Councilwoman Pamela Cameron reported she had received multiple complaints from residents regarding the conditions of several homes and businesses. Mayor Infield said she would work with David Menn, building director, to follow up on the complaints. The mayor also noted that [a] business in question had been doing extensive cleaning of its property over the previous two days.
Councilwoman Pardee announced that she had attended a workshop on a regional program of deer management. There was no specific plan in place, but the communities in the region are working together to better understand the issues and to develop a regional approach.
LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.
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