City Council Regular Meeting, August 2017

August 31st, 2017  |  Published in Observer Reports

Shaker Heights City Council
Aug. 28, 2017

Present: Mayor Earl Leiken; Council members Sean Malone, Earl Williams, Rob Zimmerman, Tres Roeder, Juliana Johnston Senturia, Anne Williams. Nancy Moore was absent.
Also present: CAO Jeri Chaikin, Law Director William M. Ondrey Gruber, Finance Director Robert H. Baker, Director of Public Works Patti Speese, Director of Neighborhood Revitalization Kamla Lewis, Shaker Heights Police Commander Michael Rowe, Director of Communications and Marketing Vicki Blank.

The mayor called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m. and adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

The minutes of the June 26, 2017, meeting were approved with one addition. Mr. Roeder asked that his request at that meeting be added to the minutes: that the Finance Department’s regular reports explain the costs associated with long-term interest payments.

Items on the agenda unanimously approved:

  • An ordinance authorizing a three-year contract ($36,000 per year) with John H. Moore & Associates for advertising management services for Shaker Life Ms. Blank noted that while there were many inquiries, Moore was the only proposal received. Moore has been the advertising manager for 13 years and has an understanding of the kind of advertising that suits Shaker Life. Mr. Zimmerman (speaking for the Finance Committee) said the committee had explored whether outsourcing the service would be more cost-effective, but felt the publication would end up looking too generic and not suitable for Shaker.
  • An ordinance authorizing the acceptance of a $12,000 Juvenile Diversion Program grant from Cuyahoga County for 2018-19. Commander Rowe said the program presented no cost to the city and was widely respected.
  • An ordinance authorizing the city to apply for and accept a Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) grant of $400,000 for the Fernway Sanitary Sewer Overflow Elimination Project. The Dept. of Public Works has estimated it will cost between $1.8 million to $4 million to fully address all of the city’s sanitary sewer overflows and this grant would help. Addressing this issue is proactive; Shaker doesn’t want to end up like Cleveland Heights, which is under an E.P.A. consent decree.
  • An ordinance amending a prior ordinance appropriating funds ($625,000) for sewer capital repairs; the additional funds will pay for the relocation of the storm sewer to Farnsleigh Road from Warrensville Center Road and for the redirection of the Van Aken District sanitary sewer flow to NEORSD’s deep tunnel shaft at Helen and Farnsleigh roads.
  • Determining to proceed with the lighting of streets and levying assessments of a portion of the expense.
  • Authorization to contract with Cleveland Festival of Art and Technology, Inc. (dba Ingenuity) for the provision of arts programming services for the Moreland Rising Project for $75,000. The city received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant for $50,000 for Aug. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018.
  • Amendment of an ordinance by the Finance Committee to amend the 2017 operating budget to provide adequate appropriations for all expected expenditures: $1,614 for the Health Department to pay the “mosquito intern” (out of the 2017 $6,500 mosquito grant); $217 Neighborhood Revitalization costs; and $3,000 for Public Works for the lease/purchase of a new street sweeper.
  • Approval of a request, required by the state, for real property tax revenue from the county.
  • The execution of Then and Now certificates by the Director of Finance and the payments of amounts due for various purchase orders.
  • Renewal of all liquor permits.

Items on the agenda approved, but not unanimously:

  • Authorization for a tax-exempt lease/purchase agreement with U.S. Bank for a street sweeper. The cost is $256,250 and the lease structure would require five annual payments of $40,961 based on a five-year term, with a trade-in value of $70,000. The Finance Committee approved the request, and due to changes in regulations, views leasing as a viable option. Mr. Roeder voted against this, saying that while he has full confidence in the recommendation by the Finance Department, he thinks Council has to take more responsibility for the city’s cash flow and is concerned about what future payments would look like given that the city has issued bonds and taken out loans. Mayor Leiken noted that the details of the city’s finances (while they are still working on projections), show that for 2017, the city is in good financial shape and noted a recent article on cleveland.com to substantiate that claim.

There was no Public Comment.
Audrey Morris

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