University Heights City Council meeting highlights 1-5-2015

JANUARY 5, 2015

  • Grants
  • Deer
  • Gas rates
  • Demolition on Cedar and Fenway
  • Home demolition through the Land Bank
  • City engineer
  • Council committee appointments
  • Sinkhole

Vice Mayor Susan D. Pardee was absent.

Grants

The grant submission for the streetscape improvement was denied. However, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded the city a grant of $142,369 to resurface the tennis courts.

Deer

The deer initiative to count the number of deer in the city is underway. A series of three flyovers was conducted in December and the results will be forthcoming.

Gas rates

Dominion East Ohio should let the city know shortly if gas rates are increasing.

Demolition on Cedar and Fenway

Ken Fisher, the attorney for Larry Weiser, asked permission to demolish four houses on Cedar Road and Fenway Drive to make way for commercial development. He claimed the houses were a public nuisance and safety hazard. When asked, Fisher stated that no contract was signed for any tenant. Councilman Mark Wiseman asked why an inspection was last done in 2013, but the building commissioner, who is new, could not answer.

Home demolition through the Land Bank

Council authorized an agreement with Cuyahoga County for the county’s property demolition program. The agreement is necessary if the city wants to use the Cuyahoga Land Bank to demolish any homes. The county has issued $50 million in bonds for cities throughout the county to use for demolition. Council also authorized an agreement with the land bank for demolition funding made available by Cuyahoga County.

City engineer

Council approved 2015 engineering fees for GPD Group. This will retain Joe Ciuni as the city’s engineer. Ciuni noted, however, that any time a large project entails costs beyond his retainer a council-approved contract would be necessary. This engineering group works with 15 cities. The rate increased slightly from last year. Councilman Wiseman asked if the city compared other companies’ rates. The mayor said there was no need to do so. She said that not only is the city is happy with the current company, but a change would be disruptive because GPD has historical knowledge of city projects.

Council committee appointments

Council passed legislation amending the city code regarding the mayor’s authority to appoint council members to committees. Councilwoman Adele Zucker voted no. The ordinance was changed to have the vice mayor make appointments. The mayor wanted it on record that she disagrees with the amendment.

Sinkhole

The service director, Joe Pokorny, said there is a plate on Dysart Road where there is a sinkhole. The service department is taking steps to discover the source of the sinkhole and is monitoring the size as well.

LWV Observer: Michele Weiss.

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 mbarnes9515@gmail.com 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 of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 1:40 PM, 01.17.2015