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Council Meeting Highlights (10/2/23)

Oct 02, 2023

Cleveland (Oct. 2, 2023) - City Council held its regular meeting tonight, both in person in Council Chambers and live streamed. The next meeting is Monday, Oct. 9th. Here are today’s highlights:

Curfew Law Toughened: Council approved amending the Minor’s Curfew law already on the books. Sponsored by Councilman Mike Polensek, the ordinance amends the penalty for failure of a parent or legal guardian to fulfill that duty: from a minor misdemeanor for the first offense to a 4th degree misdemeanor (up to $250 fine; up to 30 days in jail); from a 4th degree misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense to a 3rd degree misdemeanor (up to $500 fine; up to 60 days in jail) The parent/guardian may also be required to perform community service: the value of such service is increased from not to exceed $100 to not to exceed $250Councilwoman Stephanie Howse amended the piece to include requiring offenders to undergo a root cause analysis, and will be required to participate in family support programs as directed and guided by the Court. Ord. No. 860-2023

Fiber throughout the City: Council approved an agreement with SiFi to bring broadband fiber throughout the city. SiFi, where they can, would burrow under the city’s right of way.  In some cases they would have to create trenches on the city’s tree lawns to pull the fiber through, or move sidewalks for the burrowing or trenching. After, they will restore the lawns or reinstall or replace any sidewalks.   The company creates the fiber platform, that is open access. SiFi then sells wholesale access to companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, cable companies and other service providers who then can offer fiber broadband to residents and businesses. Cities also can contract for Smart City applications using the fiber for things such as traffic management systems. The company says they will be able to offer 1 Gigabit to 100 Gigabit data speeds. Construction is not expected to begin for at least a year. Ord. No 583-2023

Cleveland Major Events Fund: Council approved a grant program that aims to supportand helps land national-scale sporting, fine arts, historic, natural/recreational, culinary, lifestyle, or creative industry events in Cleveland. This $2 million fund will allow the City to invest in high-profile events that bring economic activity and positive national attention to Cleveland. This model of creating a fund to support large-scale events is utilized at the state level in Ohio and in Counties/municipalities across the US. The criteria is relatively strict and Destination Cleveland, who will manage the grant program, will report back to the city and council on its efforts. A committee of five that include the Mayor and the Council President will make final decisions. The money comes from the revenue recovery fund. Ord. No. 1028-2023

Bringing Helicopters Back in Service: Council approved legislation authorizing the city to enter into contracts without competitive bidding with MD Helicopters, LLC for the purchase of labor and materials needed to convert two helicopters, for the Division of Police, Department of Public Safety. Council had previously passed legislation back in March of 2022 to get the city’s helicopters back up and flying. The company the city picked went bankrupt and now more than a year later have asked council to pass new legislation for the service. The cost is $3,590,997, nearly $200,000 more than the original legislation. Councilman Mike Polensek, who co-sponsored the legislation, has been outspoken in the need for helicopters to help reduce high speed chases and even more so after the state helicopters were so effective in apprehending people during this summer. Ord. No. 1142-2023