Correction

In the Jan. 16 issue, the Times misstated the location of the Pepper Pike public hearing for rezoning the Beech Brook property. The public hearing will be at the Pepper Pike Learning Center, 32000 Chagrin Blvd., on Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The Times regrets the error.

Bainbridge to hold early executive session

The Bainbridge Township Board of Trustees will convene a special executive session at an earlier start time of 5 p.m. on Jan. 27 for their regularly scheduled meeting at the Bainbridge Township Town Hall, 17826 Chillicothe Road (Route 306), to discuss a request for economic development assistance concerning public infrastructure improvements for utilities in connection with a proposed development project per Ohio Revised Code Section 121.22(G)(8). The regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m.

Free wood chips in Chagrin

To cut disposal costs, the Chagrin Falls Service Department is offering free wood chips to village resident while supplies last.

The wood chip pile is located inside the north gate to the service department yard on 240 Solon Road.

Hours of pickup are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Residents must provide their own labor.

Those who want larger loads are asked to call 440-247-5053 to schedule a pickup time. 

Auburn receives $20,200 grant

Auburn Township received a $20,200 grant from NOPEC for 2020.

Trustee Michael Troyan announced that the township received the Energized Community Grant and said that part of it has already been used for LED lighting in the fire department.

He said the entire project, which was broken down over the course of two years, is contracted to cost about $24,000.

Trustee Patrick J. Cavanagh presented that the board was invited to join CLOUT (Coalition of Large Ohio Urban Townships). The board unanimously agreed to join the coalition, which has yearly dues of $200.

Chairman John Eberly reported that the road department is behind in salt usage by a few hundred tons this year. He added that the department will be using more salt, however, as a result of the icy rain and snowfall from the weekend, which should help the township work through its supply.

Bainbridge to discuss playground

During the regular board meeting on Jan. 13, Bainbridge Township Trustee Kristina O’Brien announced that she had received quotes from four playground equipment companies out of the five to whom she reached out.

Last year, most of the equipment at the township’s River Road Park had been removed for safety concerns, and residents have since gathered to form a fundraising committee to replace the playground.

Mrs. O’Brien said she received quotes from Playground World of Warrensville Heights, Snider Recreation, Inc. of Youngstown, DVA Recreation of Alliance and Play & Park Structures of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The next steps, she said, were to get in contact with the residents committee and get recommendations to present for the next trustees meeting to stay on track to install new equipment by July 2020.

The next regular trustees meeting is Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Bainbridge Township Town Hall, 17826 Chillicothe Road (Route 306).

Final vote set for porch zoning

Chagrin Falls Village Council on Monday will have the third and final reading of a zoning amendment that if passed will add porch areas to the overall size of village homes to establish the true footprint on the lots , officials explained.

This week, during the regular Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the village’s longtime planning consultant Julie Lindner took issue with the assessment by an Architectural Review Board member George Clemens.

He had come before village council on Jan. 13 to point out that the proposed amendment would have an adverse effect on village homes occupying smaller lots by throwing them into non-conformance with lot coverage rules and discouraging expansion projects.

That could doom existing front porches which might be viewed as a trade-off to the size of a desired addition, Mr. Clemens said, adding that the village encourages porches because they are architecturally friendly to the residential streetscape here.

In a report to planners, Mrs. Lindner defended the amendment, noting “my understanding of the village’s objective in regulating lot cover is to balance the size and mass of a dwelling in relation to the size of (its lot) and because porches (that are) under roof contribute to that (size and mass), it is reasonable to include them.”

Mr. Clemens had presented a list of 12 homes to council which would be endangered if the amendment passed. This week, Ms. Lindner advised planners of those 12, eight are already non-conforming for various reasons, including having been built before the advent of zoning regulations.

“As a zoning consultant, it is part of my job to see that you don’t create problems,” she concluded.

Disco to support community center

The Chagrin Falls Park Community Center is planning its second throwback ’70s Disco Party fundraising event on Feb. 8. The party is a fundraiser for important programs at the community center, including after school tutoring, a summer day camp and emergency services for families. The event will take place from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Signature of Solon Country Club, 39000 Signature Drive in Solon. Music will be provided by Disco Inferno and tickets are $75 per person, which includes heavy appetizers and an open bar. For more information, contact Courtney McIvor at 440-279-8184 and buy tickets at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4448882.

Developer to revise plan

Robert Vitt, the developer who late last year announced plans to demolish a historic home at the top of Grove Hill and build three town homes from West Summit and West Orange Street, is tentatively scheduled to present an amended version of the plan to the Chagrin Falls Architectural Review Board at its Feb. 4 meeting at 8:30 a.m. in Village Council chambers at 21 W. Washington St.

Zoning Inspector Harry Edwards said Mr. Vitt has returned to his original idea of moving the historic home elsewhere on the property and building a new garage.

This week, yellow and black “Save Grove Hill” signs began to show up on front lawns around town, sponsored by a residents’ organization of the same name.

Agency seeks foster families

Geauga County has been experiencing an increase in the needs of families and children in the past several years. This has caused the demand for more certified foster and adoptive parents.

The goal is to support families and ultimately reunite them, agency officials said.

Geauga County Job and Family Services will be holding a public information meeting on Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at Geauga County Job and Family Services, 12480 Ravenwood Drive, Chardon, Ohio. Contact Amy Buresch to RSVP for more information.

HEAP has winter crisis program

The Home Energy Assistance Program, known as HEAP, is a federally funded program designed to help eligible Ohioans stay warm during the winter months. The Winter Crisis Program provides eligible Ohioans heating assistance.

Geauga County residents may apply for the Winter Crisis Program at Geauga County Job and Family Services, 12480 Ravenwood Drive in Chardon, now through March 31. Application for assistance is by appointment only.

To qualify for the Winter Crisis Program, a household must be threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected or have less than a 25-percent supply of bulk fuel. The household must also have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, the annual income must be at or below $45,062.

Individuals interested in receiving Winter Crisis assistance must have a face-to-face interview and must bring the following items to their appointment: proof of income, copies of their most recent energy bills, list of all household members with social security numbers and birth dates and proof of U.S. citizenship/legal residency for all household members.

Documents that are accepted to prove citizenship/legal residency include: Social Security card, birth certificate, U.S. Passport, naturalization paper/certificate of citizenship, permanent Visa and INS ID card.

For more information, call 440-285-1299 or visit energyhelp.ohio.gov.

LaTourette on advisory council

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine last week appointed Sarah LaTourette of Chester Township to the Early Intervention Services Advisory Council for a term that began Jan. 17 and ending June 30, 2023.

She is a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, representing District 76 from 2015 to 2019. Ms. LaTourette resigned May 5, 2019 to become executive director of Ohio Family and Children First.

Chardon offers scholarship 

The Chardon Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for its college or vocational school scholarship.

Any individual who is a resident of the Chardon Local School District and has applied to an accredited vocational, two or four year degree-granting institute of post-secondary education is eligible to apply.

The Chamber awards one or more scholarships worth at least $1,000 annually to well-rounded students based on school and extracurricular activities, community involvement, academic achievement and personal goals. It is funded by Chamber member donations and participation in Chamber activities throughout the year.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 14. Winners will be recognized at the Chamber’s March 18 annual meeting.

For an application and more information, visit chardonchamber.com or call 440-285-9050.

DeWine signs job training bill

Gov. Mike DeWine this week signed into law House Bill 2, bipartisan legislation that expands job training and workforce development opportunities across Ohio.

The bill creates the TechCred and Individual Microcredential Assistance Program. The program “works with employers across the state to help train Ohioans for the in-demand jobs in their communities,” Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, said in a news release to the Center Square.

“Thanks to the strong economy, Ohio’s employers have more than 153,000 open positions,” Sen. Obhof said. “This includes more than 60,000 jobs that pay $50,000 per year or more. With TechCred, Ohio helps workers get the training they need to earn more for themselves and for their families.”

Under the program, employers can receive up to $2,000 in reimbursements for training costs for incumbent and prospective employees. Training providers may seek up to $3,000 in repayments for educating individuals in IMAP.

“The signing of this bill better connects working people to good paying jobs that can sustain a family,” state Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson, D-Toledo, said in a news release.

Budget chief speaks on regulations

While Ohio is strong, it would be stronger “without burdensome regulations,” Kimberly Murnieks, director of the Ohio Office of Budget & Management, said in prepared testimony before the U.S. House Budget Committee.

“Now is the time for federal, state, and local partners to work together to streamline the various workforce development programs and funding sources to ensure that Ohio and other states can compete – and win – in the global economy,” Ms. Murnieks testified.

Murnieks testified as part of a hearing titled, “Why Federal Investments Matter: Stability from Congress to State Capitals,” according to the Center Square.

Ban on driving while phoning

An Ohio lawmaker wants legislation to ban drivers from using handheld electronic devices while behind the wheel.

“The number of drivers I see using their smartphones while driving continues to concern me, especially as they tend to drive erratically. This legislation will address the significant danger caused by drivers who drive under the influence of their electronic devices,” state Rep. Mary Lightbody, D-Westerville, said in a news release to the Center Square.

In 2017, 58 people were killed and more than 7,000 were injured in nearly 14,000 distracted driving wrecks in the state, according to the Ohio Distracted Driving Task Force. Officials believe the number of crashes caused by distracted driving is higher because it can only be proved if an officer witnesses it or a driver admits to the act.

Sharon Montgomery, a resident of Gahanna who was in a wreck caused by a distracted driver, urged Rep. Lightbody to introduce the legislation. The state House has not yet assigned the bill to a committee.

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