Bainbridge receives recycling grant

The Bainbridge Township Trustees approved a Go Green Community Grant from the Geauga Trumbull Solid Waste Management District for camera upgrades at their recycling center Monday.

Trustee Chairwoman Kristina O’Brien explained during the regular Sept. 14 meeting that the 17800 Haskins Road recycling center already had cameras installed, but there wasn’t the ability to zoom in on license plates of dumping offenders. Mrs. O’Brien said the grant totaled $2,500 and the cost to upgrade the cameras was about $3,400.

With the upgrades, she said, the township police can get a much clearer picture of the individuals abusing the recycling center and follow up as needed.

“We hate the idea of drilling down and being Big Brother and doing these things, but sometimes there’s enough of a concern presented,” Trustee Lorrie Sass Benza said, adding that it’s not fair for the township workers to be faced with cleaning up the aftermaths of individuals dumping at the site.

Trustee Jeff Markley added that dumping at the recycling center is more than just littering. Individuals caught abusing the center, he said, will be fined with a misdemeanor and the township will prosecute.

Grendell bill signed by governor

State Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Chester, announced that House Bill 606, known as the Good Samaritan Expansion Bill, has been signed into law by the governor. The legislation protects individuals, schools, healthcare professionals and businesses from unforeseen liability arising out of the pandemic, she said. Rep. Grendell is the primary sponsor of the bill.

“This bill is so critical for our frontline workers so that moving forward they will not have to worry about lawsuits while helping Ohioans amid the pandemic,” Rep. Grendell said. “This is much-needed relief for our healthcare workers, businesses and even our schools as the academic year recently just begun.”

Rep. Grendell said that she joined the virtual bill signing ceremony on Monday with Gov. Mike DeWine.

The immunity is set to last from March 9, the date of the emergency declaration through Sept. 30, 2021.

The legislation signed today will become law after 90 days.

Columbarium to arrive in Nov.

The Chagrin Falls Evergreen Hill Cemetery’s newest columbarium, cremains niche structure, will arrive in November and with it an amended set of fees for residents and non-residents.

On Monday, Chagrin Falls Village Council voted unanimously to memorialize the rules and costs surrounding the sale of a number of different niche shapes and sizes and tier with upper rows costing more.

All niches accommodate two urns. Depending on size, columbarium niches are priced between $1,300 to $3,500 for residents and between $2,100 to $6,000 for non-residents.

Engraved markers range in price from $350 for one name and $525 for two names on both resident and non-resident markers.

Columbaria are the only option for burial for non-Chagrin Falls Village residents, a rule set years ago when it was determined there were only a finite number of burial sites left in the cemetery and should be reserved for village residents.

Police set up portal for permits

The Chagrin Falls Police Department announced it has begun using Frontline Public Safety Solutions online portal to provide residents with a way to set up vacation watch requests, overnight parking permits and to register their pets and bicycles. 

The online portal is available through the Village’s website or directly at It may be reached through any cell phone, tablet or computer device with Internet access.

Chagrin yard sale changes

Due to COVID-19, the Village of Chagrin Falls will not be organizing or promoting the Annual Community Yard Sale which was previously scheduled for Sept. 26.

Mayor William Tomko announced that, while the village will not take part in the event, it will waive the requirement for yard sale permits for that day only.

He added that “residents planning to participate will do so at their own risk and are encouraged to follow all COVID-19 guidelines as outlined by the State of Ohio.

Mayor names representatives

On Monday, Chagrin Falls Mayor William Tomko announced that Councilwoman Nancy Rogoff and the Save Grove Hill neighborhood organizer Chantel Michalek will serve the village as representatives to the development committee for the new public park on part of the historic Bancroft property.

The 1-acre parcel at West Cottage Street and North Main was recently acquired by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy from developer Robert Vitt and gifted to the village.

Chagrin extends outdoor dining

Chagrin Falls Council extended through Dec. 31 its temporary COVID-19 moratorium on zoning regulations which will allow restaurants to continue using outdoor side and rear yards to serve customers.

The Monday evening vote was unanimous and allows outdoor seating anywhere on restaurant property except in the public sidewalk areas. It includes both food and beverage service.

The original ordinance expiration date was Sept. 8.

Board to hear appeals

The Chagrin Falls Board of Zoning appeals will begin hearing appeals to the village building code following council’s unanimous approval on Monday of emergency legislation creating the pathway for local relief.

Village Administrator Rob Jamieson explained such appeals are rare, but an appeal had been requested regarding a retaining wall at a Cleveland Street townhome development which was on the board of zoning appeals agenda Tuesday.

At a facilities and services meeting prior to the council session, council President Erinn Grube said the village’s “ability to provide relief in a local setting is always preferable to going to court.”

She said she had spoken to zoning Chairman Wade Fricke and he was comfortable with the added responsibility.

Mr. Jamieson added that there are internal discussions underway about identifying a building code expert who can review appeals and guide the zoning board of appeals. The position will be paid on an hourly basis.

“These requests are few and far between so we won’t be seating a special (volunteer) board as it could be decades between hearings,” he said.

The building code expert, yet to be named, was compared to others who serve in expert capacities for the village including RSA Architects which reviews plans for the Architectural Review Board and Julie Lindner who counsels the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Cuyahoga library proposes levy

The Cuyahoga County Public Library has a new 1-mill levy on the ballot for the Nov. 3 election, known as Issue 70. This is the first time that the public library system will have an issue on the ballot in 12 years, according to the library website. Communications and External Relations Director Hallie Rich said that it will cost homeowners in Cuyahoga County an additional $35 per $100,000 of home valuation per year. This continuing levy will generate $18 million annually.

If passed, revenue from the levy would allow the library to continue operating its 27 branches, maintain virtual services, preserve evening and weekend hours, make safety and security updates, keep a robust materials collection and continue services like tutoring and training for job seekers, according to library representatives. There are Cuyahoga library branches in Solon, Gates Mills, Chagrin Falls and Pepper Pike, which is known as the Orange branch.

Gates Mills levy renewal

The Village of Gates Mills will have a 3.5-mill renewal levy on the Nov. 3 ballot, known as Issue 8. It is a five-year operating levy that has been in place since 2005, according to Treasurer Tim Reynolds. This levy costs homeowners $97 per $100,000 of property valuation, according to the Cuyahoga County Budget Commission. Finance Administrator Janet Mulh said that the village receives $705,830 per year in revenue from this levy.

Mr. Reynolds said the levy proceeds go into the general fund and primarily pay for salaries of police, fire, service and administration employees plus other operating needs in those departments.

Grendell bill to end emergency order

State Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Chester, on Wednesday said she plans to introduce the “Restore Ohio Now” bill next week that would terminate the COVID-19 state of emergency order. The bill would also seek to end other specific orders issued by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine that are set to expire when the state of emergency concludes.

“Many Ohioans have worked diligently, in good-faith with the governor to flatten the curve of COVID-19 for months, and we accomplished this goal awhile back,” Rep. Grendell said in a written statement. “Initially, there was much cause for concern regarding COVID-19. Gov. DeWine responded appropriately to an unknown threat facing Ohioans. However, the administration continues to use this state of emergency to issue restrictive orders against our businesses and all Ohioans.”

Rep. Grendell also noted that the current state of emergency is a conflict with the separation of powers. She is seeking cosponsors for the bill.

As of Wednesday, Ohio has had 139,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,506 deaths this year, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Nationwide, there have been 6.61 million cases of COVID-19 and 196,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chester explores Halloween options

With so many events being postponed or canceled due to COVID-19, residents may be wondering about the status of Halloween this year. Chester Township Trustees last week appear to be one of the first communities to set Oct. 31 for trick-or-treat night from 6-8 p.m.

But at this juncture, the motion made by the trustees is a place holder, according to Trustee Ken Radtke, Jr. who said he spoke with Geauga County Health Commissioner Thomas Quade after the meeting. Trustees plan to revisit the issue at their next meeting and as soon as they get more information.

Mr. Quade said that “in the event it is determined it can be done safely, it would be up to the people to decide whether or not to put on an event.” The township should then seek feedback from his department like he did for the school districts as they planned their opening for the new academic year, he said.

The next regular trustees meeting is Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m.

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