Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-18-21
OCTOBER 18, 2021 – regular meeting
- Public comments
- City manager’s report
- Council actions
- Council member comments
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.
A representative of the Georgian and Owners Apartments on Cedar Road spoke about difficulty getting responses from the Public Works Department. The Delamere Sewer Project, concluded in August, had necessitated the removal of fences and trees on their property and restoration had been promised. The city manager committed to call this week with an appointment to meet.
Diane Hallum, a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee that makes recommendations for distribution of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, claimed that a $356,286 CDBG grant requested for a project on Mayfield Road is fraudulent because the area is not in an improvement target area (i.e.-not low and middle income and not blighted). She said she was told an upcoming study will place it inside an improvement target area, but she considers this to be defrauding of a federal program. Council president asked the city manager to provide information about the other side of this question in next week’s council packet.
Robin Koslen of the Milliken neighborhood spoke about the refurbished playground at former Milliken School. Her statement was to have been her speech at the dedication that was rained out on October 17. She expressed thanks for the community gathering spot, which includes new playground equipment, art, a music gallery, cleaned up woods, a Little Free Library, and more. She also thanked the Heights Arts Collaborative, MetroHealth System, and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District for financial aid.
John Fleshin, a Cedarbrook Road resident, noted that the green space at Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook has many mature trees. He distributed an inventory of 14 species he and City Forester Tom Morgan had identified, citing the importance of the trees as a green barrier between the neighborhood and commercial construction and their positive contribution to the carbon cycle.
Tony Cuda spoke about the importance of developing standards and principles for the distribution of American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds, emphasizing that existing programs should not be duplicated.
City manager’s report
Ms. Niermann O’Neil reported that at last Saturday’s shredding day capacity was reached before noon. They will try to get a truck for another date, but it does not look likely.
After printing Focus magazine, it became apparent that the information about the new automated refuse collection implementation had become inaccurate. Truck equipment will not be available due to supply chain delays, so the program will not begin until spring 2022.
The city has a contract with Gannett Fleming Engineers and Architects of Fairlawn, OH, (https://www.gannettfleming.com/) for consultation on the Horseshoe Lake question. The consultants will be at the Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. committee of the whole meeting. Although the meeting will be open to the public, there will be no public comment; residents can send any questions to council members.
Two items were passed on emergency on a first reading:
- Council accepted a grant of $39,480.50 from the Gametime Company to purchase and install new playground equipment in Dennison Park. the city will match this grant with $74,996.34. Ms. Russell credited Director Joe McRae and Parks and Recreation staff with obtaining this grant.
- Council amended the 2021 budget to increase city debt for the Severance Ring Road. Revenue will offset the debt.
A resolution to complete a sidewalk and pedestrian crossing project to improve biking and walking to CH-UH schools received a first reading.
Council member comments
Ms. Hart announced that the design for the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook project is not final and will be discussed at a planning commission meeting, which will be either Nov. 10 or Dec. 8 on WebEx.
Upcoming meetings include a committee of the whole meeting Oct. 25 and a regular council meeting Nov. 1.
LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.
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