University Heights City Council meeting highlights 6-2-2014
JUNE 2, 2014
- Public comments
- Concession stand
- Purchasing policy
- Bond issue
- Rubbish scooter
- Leaf vacuum truck
- Garage fire
- Fire hydrant maintenance
- Kerwin Road paving
All council members were present.
Allison Road paving: Frankie Winston of Allison Road stated she was unaware of the request of her neighbor, Barry Zucker, to postpone repaving Allison Road. She supports his health concerns [regarding] the asphalt, but she also wants to be sure that Allison Road will be repaved soon, citing the poor condition of the road. She is not willing to pay additional taxes for things like parks if the streets are not taken care of.
Recreation costs: Dena Goulder of Claridge Oval asked council to present the specific costs of operating the various recreation programs in the city, and to not pass the resolution that evening for the new park bond issue. She asked how much is being spent on current recreation options, noting some facilities are unused and some public spaces are underdeveloped. She asked how would the recreation dollars from the bond issue be spent beyond the development of the new park.
The Wiley Middle School Marching Band, represented by its director, Paul Hungerford, and two members of the band received certificates of recognition. Mayor Susan Infeld noted that the band is a crowd favorite in the annual Memorial Day parade, and that [with the closing of Wiley Middle School] the students will be divided between the two other middle schools. Hungerford will continue as a teacher, dividing his time between the two schools.
Concession stand prices for the 2014 summer season were presented on first reading. This action, recommended by the auditor, would enable council to set prices that would allow [the city] to break even. Previously, the recreation committee set prices. Anthony Coyne, law director, felt that council could establish a general ruling stipulating that the sale price not exceed, for example, 30 percent of the wholesale price, so that this doesn’t become an annual process. The auditor wants to ensure that council is aware of the prices being charged at the concession stands.
Council approved the City of University Heights Purchasing Policy. Councilman Steven Sims noted that language supporting diversity and inclusion would be dealt with later, either through an addendum or through separate legislation.
Presented on first reading was a resolution to submit to voters the question of issuing $1.8 million of bonds for improving the city’s park and recreational facilities by constructing and equipping a public park at the former Fuchs Mizrachi school site, and other improvements. Mayor Infeld explained that this proposal for the park was almost identical to the process used to fund Purvis Pool. Also, payments for the pool bond issue will be expiring at the end of 2014 and payments for the new park would begin in January 2015, with a rate equal to that of the pool tax of approximately $25 a year per $100,000 of value.
The pool bond was paid for over 20 years, and the park bond [would be] for 15 years. Mayor Infeld noted that although the issue is being presented as a 15-year bond, she prefers a 20-year bond, to provide additional funds for other recreation facilities and for ongoing maintenance needs of the pool.
The issue was presented on emergency in order to send it quickly to the board of elections. However, several council members felt rushed and expressed a need for more public input. Mayor Infeld noted that town hall meetings were scheduled to discuss the future of the Wiley Middle School building, but that a couple more could be scheduled quickly. The issue could be presented again at the next council meeting for approval. However, if approval were postponed until July or August it would require a special council meeting. The issue must go to the board of elections by Aug. 6 in order to be placed on the ballot, and the final ballot wording would still needs to be determined.
Because the resolution states “recreational facilities,” this bond issue might provide funding for other recreation areas as well as the former Fuchs Mizrachi property.
Council authorized buying a Kuboda rubbish scooter for the service department from Middlefield Farm and Garden, for $15,022. The city will receive a $500 credit for using the dump body from the 2006 cushion scooter that it is replacing. Mayor Infeld noted that it is standard to replace one scooter each year. Councilman Sims asked for a schedule of the aging of the service department vehicles.
Leaf vacuum truck
Council approved buying a leaf vacuum truck for the service department. This is the large device towed behind the box truck during leaf collection. Last fall, two of the city’s five leaf vacuums died. Jeffrey Pokorny’s [service department] team was able to combine parts from each of those two machines to create one working machine, but it needs one more. The lowest price is from ODB Company in West Virginia, for $24,400, including delivery.
Fire Chief Douglas Zook said there was a garage fire the night before Memorial Day, caused by a hot barbecue placed too close to a garage. Two cars were destroyed, but the fire department kept the fire from damaging any homes or other structures.
Fire hydrant maintenance
Zook announced that fire hydrant flushing was completed and 21 hydrants required maintenance. Five of those hydrants are out for repair or replacement by the Cleveland Water Department.
Joe Ciuni, city engineer, said that some hydrants had a problem of very low water flow, but those lines are part of the Cleveland Heights system, so Cleveland will not repair those. Given the recent announcement that Cleveland Heights is looking to return its waterlines back to the City of Cleveland—a process that could take two to three years—he believes that Cleveland Heights will not be interested in making repairs to those hydrants.
Kerwin Road paving
Ciuni announced that Kerwin Road will be repaved this summer instead of Allison Road.
LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.
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