I’m very excited about other articles in this newsletter so please take a few minutes to carefully peruse all the great information included in this month’s edition. Our Treasurer has written a wonderful summary of our current financial picture. I sincerely appreciate his guidance and advice over the last four years. Despite the difficult economic times we have experienced, the Village has been able to undertake needed capital improvement projects and improve our bond rating at the same time. Please read the good news in his report.
I would like to remind you that the Board of Elections no longer automatically sends every resident a Vote by Mail Ballot Application. This is a change from past practices. You must now request your ballot application from the Board of Elections. We have a link to their vote by mail help line on our web site, www.morelandhills.com. You can request a vote by mail ballot application by clicking on this link. We also have applications at Village Hall and you may pick one up there, fill it out and mail it back to the Board of Elections. If you have any questions you may contact the Board of Elections directly at 216.443.3200, call Village Hall at 440.248.1188 or email me at email@example.com.
While on the Moreland Hills’ web site please take five minutes to fill out our brief survey. It will provide helpful information to the Administration and Council about services and policy. Also, please join our mailing list which takes less than a minute. The link is on our web site. We will use your email address only to update you on important information about the Village. For example, several burglaries recently occurred in the Village and I wanted to get the message out to our residents to be especially vigilant. We sent out an email to everyone on our list. I later heard from others that friends forwarded the message to them which is great but I would prefer that everyone sign up so we can get important information to you immediately. We also used reverse 9-1-1 to contact you. If you have not signed up for that service, call the police department at 440.248.7585 or email your phone number(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three homes in Moreland Hills were burglarized in one month and, as you know, this is highly unusual for our Village. The burglaries occurred on August 16, September 12 and September 17, all during the day. Two occurred on Jackson Rd. and one on South Woodland. In two cases the burglars gained access through an unlocked door or window. These unfortunate incidents serve as reminders to lock your doors and windows, especially on the first floor and basement levels, and set your alarm if you have one. I want you to know that every officer in the Moreland Hills Police Department takes these crimes seriously and personally and is dedicated to finding the perpetrators.
Members of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission have recently interviewed our Building Commission, Police Chief and Service Director in the ongoing study re: collaboration/consolidation. We hope to have some interesting data to share early next year. A few weeks ago a resident asked me why I committed to participate in this study if I don’t believe in merger. I was surprised by the question but realized this may be a common misperception. I lived in Hudson when Hudson Village and Hudson Township merged. I watched as the community went from having two police and fire departments and two municipal services entities to just one. It was a logical move, one that has been good for Hudson over the long run. I personally saw the benefits of that merger so I believe in some circumstances and with the right partners, mergers make sense and eliminate duplicative services and their related expenses. The advantages of Moreland Hills merging with its neighbors are not as blatantly obvious. I have said from the very beginning that we need to look at the data and make educated, well-informed decisions based on that data.
Thank you to everyone who donated to the Moreland Hills Employee Clam Bake. We had a truly wonderful evening thanks to you.
All the best,
- Senior Snowplowing; Please call Service Department for application
- Thanksgiving Rubbish Pickup Schedule: (Not a recycle week)
- Nov 22 & 23 Tuesday and Wednesday remain the same.
- Nov 24 Thursday sill be picked up on Monday 11/28 and then return to their normal day that week.
- Holiday Closures:
- Thanksgiving: Thursday November 24th and Friday November 25th
- Christmas: Friday December 23rd Close at noon
- Monday December 26th Closed / Rubbish will not be affected / No Special Pickups
- Friday December 30th Close at noon
- Monday January 2nd Closed / No Special Pickups
- October is the last month for the Chipping Program
Every season of the year is beautiful in Moreland Hills, but I think my favorite is the fall.
The Ohio Division of Natural Resources is predicting that because our summer had moderate temperatures and normal precipitation amounts, we will have a brilliant fall foliage season with bright yellows, robust reds and deep oranges. Here are some close-to-home suggestions to enjoy the natural beauty of our area.
A visit to Moreland Hills’ 124-acre preserve, Forest Ridge, provides a kaleidoscope of color at this time of year. The trails meander through a mature upland forest with tree species that include sugar and red maples, wild black cherry, red and white oak, shagbark hickory, tulip poplar and butternut. It is hilly, so wear good walking shoes. Parking is located on Chagrin River Road across from the Polo Field.
Across the street from Forest Ridge is the Great Blue Heron Trail of the Cleveland Metroparks South Chagrin Reservation. This trail is 3.4 miles, follows the Chagrin River from the Polo Field to Miles Road, meandering through fields and forest. Access the trail from any of the parking areas on Chagrin Blvd, S. Woodland Blvd. or at the Polo Field lot on Chagrin River Road.
There are many beautiful trails in the South Chagrin Reservation. The Swallow Loop Trail is 0.7 miles, hilly and offers some of the best views of the Chagrin River. Dragonfly Trail is only 0.2 miles, is also hilly, and travels through an old beech maple forest with views of a woodland pond. If you are looking for scenic and paved, there is an All-Purpose Trail that runs along Hawthorne Parkway, south of Miles Rd. Visit the Metroparks website at www.clemetparks.com for more information on all of the South Chagrin Reservation trails.
A little farther east, along Route 87, is the West Woods Park of the Geauga Park District. Located at 9465 Kinsman Rd. in Russell, this park is only a 15 minute drive from Moreland Hills and offers over 7 miles of trails that travel across streams, past sandstone ledges and through woodlands. You can visit Ansel’s Cave, which according to local legend, sheltered Confederate soldiers, bootleggers, runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad and Geauga resident Ansel Savage.
Earlier in the year we had reported that the Village had a comfortable surplus in its main operating funds. We are happy to report that at the end of August 2011 the Village of Moreland Hills continued to maintain a very healthy reserve balance of over $525,000 despite the continuing downturn in the general economy. In earlier financial reports to the residents it was mentioned that the Village has always maintained a cautious and non-speculative stance when it came to preparation of budgets and it is this fiscal conservatism combined with the foresight and planning by the management that has allowed the Village to maintain the highest bond rating of any community under 5000 population in the State of Ohio. The Village used this rating to its advantage in March when it refinanced some of its formerly issued bonds at a much reduced interest rate consequently saving approximately $64,000 in net present value over the remaining term of the bonds.
Over the past decade the Village has expended approximately $13.7 million for the upkeep of its infrastructure including roads, water lines, sewer lines, treatment plants, pump stations, etc. Of this amount almost $4.2 million was obtained through outside funding sources such as State grants and no-interest or below market rate of interest (see chart below).
After completion of the new Service Facility and the major improvements to the sewer systems by converting some of the treatment plants into pump stations currently there are no other major projects immediately on the horizon. Per the Engineer Chagrin Blvd. and SOM Center Road may need to be attended to in the not too distant future but our goal is to obtain the maximum amount of outside funding as possible before proceeding with the improvements. In the meantime maintenance of the current infrastructure will be our focus.
Certainly the Village is susceptible to the economic slump experienced at the state level as the State has decided to cut or eliminate some of the sources of revenue that have funded some of the capital needs. Annually, approximately $490,000 will be reduced from the overall revenues from Local Government Funds and Estate Taxes which will be dismantled effective 2013. Below is a chart depicting the composition of the various revenue sources.
We will continue to plan conservatively and maximize the use of available resources as we position ourselves to meet the needs and demands of our residents in these challenging times.
REMINDER FROM THE MORELAND HILLS POLICE DEPT.
Due to economic times and other variables, Moreland Hills, along with some surrounding communities, have been experiencing a number of burglaries or attempted Burglaries. Below are tips that should be put into practice:
- Do not hesitate to call the Police Department if you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood.
- Make sure your address is properly displayed to help emergency responders locate your house.
- Have your alarm company check your alarm system periodically to ensure it is operating properly.
- Make sure all exterior doors have proper locks. All exterior doors should have 1-inch deadbolts installed.)
- If you get an unexpected knock at the door, check to see who it is before opening it.
- Do note leave extra keys hidden outside in obvious places, such as under doormats or potted plants.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked, as well as the door from the garage into the house.
- Do not leave keys or valuables in your car, and keep vehicles locked.
- Place bars in the tracks or track locks on all sliding doors and windows, provided they would not impede your escape from the house in an emergency.
- Keep drapes and blinds closed, especially in rooms in which there is expensive equipment.
- Do not leave notes on the door for service people or family members. These can alert burglars that you are not home.
- When going away for an extended period, notify the Police Department.
(a) No child under the age of twelve years shall be upon any public place or upon any private property without the owner’s consent, during the period from 10:00 p.m.; to 6:00 a.m.; no child between the ages of twelve years and sixteen years shall be upon any public place or upon any private property without the owner’s consent, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.; and no child between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years shall be upon any public place or upon any private property without the owners’ consent between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or some responsible person over the age of twenty-one years, or a member of his family eighteen years or older or unless he has a legitimate excuse therefor, or permission of the property owner or his agent over the age of eighteen years.
(b) No parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care and well-being of any child shall allow a child to violate any part of subsection (a) hereof
ORD. 1979-40 Passed 9-12-79
(c) Whoever violates subsection (a) or (b) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the First degree.
The Moreland Hills Police Department will partner with other local police departments to participate in the annual “Shop with a Cop” holiday program. Officers will be taking underprivileged children shopping for holiday presents and food for the children and their families. After shopping, the officers will enjoy a pizza party with the children. Las year, thanks to the generosity of our residents, we were able to take 3 families shopping. We needed a school bus to transport all of us!
If you would like to donate your time or make a financial contribution (checks payable to George Murray FOP Lodge) please contact Sgt. Todd Dietzel, Sgt. Janet Boehler or Det. Scott Williams at (440) 248-7585. Donations need to be received by 12-1-11.
You can mail a check to:
MHPD-Shop with a Cop
4350 SOM Center Road
Moreland Hills, Ohio 44022
Thank you in advance for your generosity. We appreciate it and we know the kids and parents are very grateful.
Some Solutions to Storm Water Pollution
By: Chagrin Valley Engineering, Ltd.
Did you know that the vast majority of storm sewer systems discharge directly into a water body without any treatment? Many citizens incorrectly assume that the motor oil or paint that they pour into the storm sewer catch basin on their street will be treated at a waste water treatment plant before it ever gets to a creek, the Chagrin River, or Lake Erie. However, most Northeastern Ohio cities, villages, and townships are Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) communities. Moreland Hills is a MS4 municipality that has a separate system for storm water and sanitary waste water.
What does all of this mean to you? It means that many of your everyday household habits can negatively impact water quality in nearby creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes. The majority of us live in areas where our storm sewer flows drain directly into a waterway without any biological, physical, or chemical treatment (such as disinfection). Pollutants that enter the storm water sewer systems in our neighborhoods, near our businesses, schools and libraries all have a direct effect on whether a water body is safe for recreational, potable and wildlife uses. There are several ways that you can help minimize storm water pollution by monitoring and modifying some of your everyday habits. Several simple, yet effective, guidelines for reducing negative impacts on storm water quality are listed below.
1. Pick up pet waste while walking your dog. Not only is this courteous to your neighbors, it also helps prevent the bacteria (such as Fecal Coliform and E. Coli) and nutrients from the pet waste from entering the storm water sewer system, or drinking water wells.
2. If you wash your vehicle at a private residence, ensure that you are diverting soapy water into the lawn where it can be absorbed and filtered instead of into a nearby storm drain. Wash your car on the lawn if at all possible. Or simply wash your vehicle at a commercial or self-serve car wash where soapy water flows into a sanitary sewage drain.
3. If you must fertilize your lawn, try to use an organic fertilizer and apply the absolute minimum amount of product necessary (a soil nutrient test can help you to determine the correct amount). Also keep fertilizer off of paved surfaces where it will most likely run-off directly into a storm sewer inlet as soon as it rains.
4. When performing oil changes or maintenance on your vehicle at home, collect waste oil, antifreeze, or other fluids in an appropriate container and take to a nearby recycling facility that accepts these types of wastes. Contact Village Hall for instructions for disposing of these and other liquid wastes you may be unsure about before throwing them out. Another good source to check for guidance on how to dispose of household solid or liquid wastes is the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District website at www.cuyahogaswd.org.
5. If your home or business utilizes a septic tank instead of a sanitary sewer line, regular tank inspections and cleaning by a professional service will help to ensure that sanitary wastes are not flowing untreated into the road ditch or other nearby water body. Septic tank inspections and cleaning should be performed once every two years or three years at the most.
By being more conscious of your daily activities and making small changes in your habits you can help minimize negative impacts on the waters that you fish, boat, swim in, and drink from.
The following Resolutions and Ordinances were passed on 9/14/2011
Ordinance 2011-09 An Ordinance for the payment of bills in the amount of $461,768.73 for the month of September.
Resolution 2011-60 A Resolution adopting the alternative tax budget of the Village of Moreland Hills for the Fiscal Year 2012. This is a yearly financial housekeeping item required by the County.
Ordinance 2011-61 An Ordinance providing additional appropriations, transferring item already appropriated, a monthly housekeeping item.
Ordinance 2011-62 An Ordinance extending the moratorium on Internet Sweepstakes Cafes, through April 6, 2012.
Ordinance 2011-63 An Ordinance authorizing the Mayor to purchase a Sterth-Koni Mobile Column Lift System at a cost not to exceed $44,355.00. This equipment will help our mechanic maintain our big trucks.
Ordinance 2011-64 An Ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract with Penn Ohio Coal Co., DBA Kimble Transfer & Recycling, for the transfer and disposal of solid waste collected by the Village of Moreland Hills. This new contract decreases our “tipping fees.”
Ordinance 2011-65 An Ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract with VanCuren Services, Inc. for the 2011 Hazardous Tree Removal Program at a total cost not to exceed $25,240.00.
Ordinance 2011-66 An Ordinance amending condition number one of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy Conditional Use Permit which will allow them to start construction before snowfall.
Save the date for October 15th: Fire Extinguisher Testing
Because we are under the Chagrin Falls Fire Department, we are able to take advantage of the fire extinguisher testing that they provide.
Saturday, October 15th
9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Chagrin Falls Fire Department
21 West Washington Street
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022-3010