Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-1-21
NOVEMBER 1, 2021 – regular meeting
- Public comments
- City manager’s report
- Council action
- Consent agenda
Present were Council President Jason Stein, Vice President, Kahlil Seren, Craig Cobb, Melody Joy Hart, and Davida Russell. Michael N. Ungar was absent. Also present were City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Clerk of Council and Finance Director Amy Himmelein, and Law Director William Hanna. The meeting lasted a little over a half hour.
Six members of the Cedar/Fairmount Special Improvement District (SID) stepped up to the microphone. President Stein addressed them directly, telling them council had discussed their request for $25,000 assistance at the committee of the whole. Mr. Stein told the group that council has advised city staff to see if American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds could be legally used to meet the SID’s needs of the group. The group advised council and the city manager that due to COVID business losses, they are short funds needed to hire plows for the winter. If their request is not valid for ARPA funding, the city will consider offering a loan to the organization. Ms. O’Neil will advise them of the documentation needed to apply for ARPA funds. Council will be voting on this request within a month, possibly November 15. The group expressed their gratitude.
Three residents expressed support for a park at Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook. One said she had lived in the neighborhood years ago and valued the activities that are offered there, including the recent Halloween party. She wanted a green space at the development location. Another resident thanked council for listening to his request to preserve trees; he wants green space to be preserved. The third resident asked why amendments were being made to the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook development agreement with F&C (F&CDevelopment, Inc). She asked if the amendment was related to the F&C problems with the Top of the Hill garage drainage or parking problems for the theatre. She advised council that not all business owners in the area want the F&C development project. Ms. O’Neil noted that the F&C memorandum of understanding needed to be extended because it was expiring. The resident closed by asking for more transparency regarding this project.
City manager’s report
Ms. O’Neil advised council that the committee of the whole meeting on Nov. 8 would have two agenda items: Horseshoe Lake with some answers from the Gannett Fleming Group and adjustments to codes starting January 1, 2021. She also announced that campaign signs can be recycled at the public works garage on Superior by the gas pumps.
Council amended sections of Part Eleven, Zoning Code that would allow more flexibility pertaining to city garages. This was passed on Emergency because the zoning board has several applications for garages that are on hold waiting for this amendment.
Council amended the current budget for appropriations and expenditures. A $1 million expenditure for a fire truck will be reimbursed by a grant the city has obtained.
A resolution that would extend the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with F&C Development Inc. for the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook development was withdrawn because Ms. Russell wanted more time to get her questions answered. According to Ms. O’Neil, this MOU expires November 9, 2021. A special meeting will be held Nov. 8 to vote on this resolution.
Council authorized the allocation, appropriation, and expenditure of ARPA funds for sewer infrastructure improvement projects. Ms. Hart commented that by allocating $18 million of the ARPA funds now, the city could apply for matching funds from other agencies.
Council passed a consent agenda to renew an agreement with the Cuyahoga General Health District, to declare November 27 as “Small Business Saturday,” and to authorize completion of a project improving sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.
Upcoming meetings include a committee of the whole meeting November 8 and a regular meeting November 15.
LWV Observer: Gail Larson.
Meeting packets, legislation, and other information can be found on the city website at: https://www.clevelandheights.com/1142/2021-Agendas-and-Minutes
Videos of council meetings can be viewed on the “City of Cleveland Heights, OH” YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClevelandHeightsOH