University Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-18-2015
MAY 18, 2015
- All Geared Up bike event
- Gas line replacement
- Purvis Park
- Water department
- Clear Wireless
- Waste processing and disposal
- New park
- Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
- 2547 Ashurst Road
- University Square
- Police body cameras
- Fire department
Councilwoman Nancy English and Councilman Steven Sims were absent.
All Geared Up bike event
Darren Carter of Ashurst Road reported that the new bicycling event All Geared Up was held on May 16. People had great fun and the event went [on] without a hitch. In spite of the rain more than 90 people participated. The bike market successfully sold about 25 bikes for pennies on the dollar and two bikes were donated to children from Cleveland.
Gas line replacement
The gas line replacement project is continuing on Cedar Road, replacing the lines under the sidewalks from the Huntington Apartments to Green Road.
The pool at Purvis Park will be open Memorial Day and the following weekend, and will open full-time on June 6.
Cleveland Heights is looking at options for outsourcing management of its water department, which will impact some homes in University Heights, which receive water from Cleveland Heights. The proposal was being presented to the Cleveland Heights City Council on first reading.
Subject to the approval of the law director, an ordinance was presented on first reading for a site lease agreement with Clear Wireless LLC for antenna facilities on the existing monopole and equipment shelter on municipal property. Clear Wireless has an existing lease and this is the first renewal, which is allowed by the contract. The city receives a lump-sum payment from Clear Wireless.
Waste processing and disposal
Council authorized the mayor to participate in a consortium to request proposals for recycling processing services. A vendor in Twinsburg is currently processing the recyclables but the contract is ending. Likewise, council authorized participation in a consortium for solid waste transfer and disposal services bidding. In neither case is the city obligated to sign the agreement but the city had to join the consortium’s request for bids in order to have the option to be included. Solid waste is currently being handled by the City of Cleveland Heights, which takes the trash collected by University Heights and transfers it to the appropriate centers.
Council authorized renewal of the city’s agreement with Cuyahoga County for the anti-poaching protocol. The city was notified last week that the agreement needed to be renewed to reflect the name of the new county executive director.
Council authorized the mayor to seek bids for the construction of the new park. This will enable the city to advertise quickly for bids once the plans for the park design are approved.
Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
The motion to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission to fund and develop a 10-year comprehensive master plan for the city was withdrawn for now. The process includes development of a steering committee, a survey of residents (questions are still being selected), and meetings with council. Councilman Mark Wiseman and Councilwoman Pamela Cameron felt that at least one council member should be on the steering committee, but Mayor Susan Infeld believed council was not supposed to be part of the committee. She will ask her contact at the county to clarify council’s role and to see if two council members could be on the steering committee. Also tabled was a motion for an agreement with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission to provide professional planning services for a University Heights community survey at a cost not to exceed $8,400.
Council authorized a contract with LifeForce for ambulance billing. LifeForce bills the insurance providers of people who are transported by University Heights ambulances. The fire chief learned recently that LifeForce charged different rates in different cities for this service. This new contract will lower the fee from 8 percent to 7 percent. It was noted that they only bill insurance providers. Individual citizens are not billed.
2547 Ashurst Road
The motion to declare the property located at 2547 Ashurst Road a nuisance was withdrawn as the property owners have now removed the fence debris from the yard.
Finance Director Larry Heiser reported that the auditors have completed their audit and have requested an exit meeting with the administration to review their findings.
Law Director Luke McConville gave an update on [a lawsuit regarding] University Square. The defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the claim, saying that the city lacked standing and only the county could attempt to collect taxes from them. Their motion was denied. The next hearing will be June 23.
Police body cameras
Police Chief Steven Hammett attended a seminar provided by Sherrod Brown to learn about grant funding options for police body cameras. He reported that funding is heavily skewed toward large cities and University Heights has virtually no chance of receiving funding. The county prosecutor has offered funding for dashboard cameras but the city already has those. There is a final grant possibility pending with JAG (Justice Assistance Grant program).
Fire Chief Douglas Zook announced that fire hydrant maintenance has been completed, and that four broken water mains were identified. There will be some openings in the fire department in the near future due to retirements. By law, no firefighter is permitted to work past the age of 62.
LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.
[Note: No LWV observer was available to cover the June 1 University Heights City Council meeting.]
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