LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / University Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 11-7-2016]

NOVEMBER 7, 2016

  • Public comments
  • Volunteer opportunity at Gearity
  • Traffic study
  • Cuyahoga County Board of Health
  • Purchase of a dump truck
  • Purchase of two Kubota scooters
  • Subpoenas from RITA
  • Community Park winterization
  • Tree planting commences
  • The next meeting

Councilman Phillip Ertel was absent.

Public comments

New restaurant: A resident who lives on Vernon Road told council that a business on Cedar Road has become a sports bar with alcohol and a large antenna. There is a smoking area behind the restaurant facing the front of his home, and the back door opens inward which is a fire hazard. There are just 17 parking spaces for more than 40 seats. He was concerned that alcohol would be served so close to a residential neighborhood and past 9 p.m. at night. Mayor Susan Infeld is aware of the business and believed it to be a restaurant that also had a bar, as opposed to a sports bar. She stated that all inspections had been passed and, because it was built in compliance with the city’s ordinances, there was no need for a hearing before the City Planning Commission. The city will check on the resident’s concerns to ensure that the restaurant is operating within the law, especially the concern regarding the back door. Luke McConville, law director, also noted that liquor licenses are granted by the Ohio Board of Liquor Control, not by the city. As long as the property is zoned for commercial activity, the business can obtain a liquor license.

Volunteer opportunity at Gearity

Mayor Infeld announced that Gearity Professional Development School is looking for volunteers to tutor students afterschool in grades K–3. A notice is posted in University Heights City Hall.

Traffic studies are taking place

Mayor Infeld announced that there are traffic counters and cameras in University Heights as part of NOACA’s (Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency) traffic signal optimization project.

Presentation by Cuyahoga County Board of Health

Terry Allen, health commissioner from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, spoke to council about the many services provided to the city by the county. Cities which don’t have their own health departments use the services of the county, including opiate drug use awareness and prevention; school-age vaccinations and boosters, travel-related immunizations, and flu shots; emergency responses to the Ebola virus and mosquito-borne diseases; prevention programs including chronic disease prevention, cancer prevention, food poisoning, lead poisoning, and building-based diseases; infant mortality, maternal and child health support, and pregnancy prevention; and inspections for restaurants, schools and rodents. University Heights has contracted with the board for more than 20 years. The rate per resident has been $3.92 but will increase to $4.12 in 2017.

Council authorized the mayor to contract with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health Services for an amount not to exceed $55,781 for the next 12 months.

Purchase of a dump truck

Council approved the purchase of a five-ton dump truck cab and chassis through the Ohio Department of Transportation Cooperative Purchase Program. The cab and chassis are purchased separately from Hans’ Freightliner of Cleveland and Concord Road Equipment Manufacturing of Painesville. The cost of each part is $85,218 and $66,500 for a total cost not to exceed $151,718. The truck will have a dump body to be used as a salt spreader. It will take six months to manufacture and assemble the custom-built truck. The cab will be paid for in 2016 and the chassis in 2017. The city has (5) five-ton trucks, with two purchased new and three purchased as used vehicles. The oldest used vehicle will be replaced with the new truck next year.

Purchase of two Kubota rubbish scooters

Council authorized Jeffrey Pokorny, service director, to seek bids to purchase two Kubota scooters, replacing one old rubbish scooter and adding a new scooter with a dump body back for use at the Community Park for landscaping and maintenance work.

Executive session

Council voted to adjourn to an executive session following the regular meeting to discuss personnel matters.

Subpoenas from RITA

Larry Heiser, finance director, reported that 3,800 subpoenas had been mailed to University Heights residents by Regional Income Tax Authority (RITA), primarily to students at John Carroll University. These usually relate to income reported to the federal government but not to RITA. The city will hold a session in January to help people clear their records. Questions can be directed Heiser.

Winter maintenance at the park

Pokorny announced that the restrooms at the Community Park will be drained and locked as of Nov. 15 as the buildings are not winterized and would freeze. They will be reopened in the spring.

Tree planting

Tree planting has begun in the city, mostly in the northwest quadrant. Orange flags will be placed to designate the location of trees to be planted.

The next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.

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 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.

League of Women Voters

Observer Corps editor for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 4:06 PM, 11.15.2016