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Council Meeting Highlights (11/7/22)

Nov 07, 2022

Cleveland (Nov. 7, 2022) – City Council held its regular Monday meeting tonight, both in person in Council Chambers and through live streaming.  The next regular meeting will be Monday Nov. 14th. Here are tonight’s highlights:

Protecting Election Workers: Council President Blaine A. Griffin introduced, and council members approved, legislation that enacted new Sections of a codified ordinance relating to Harassment of Election Officials and Loitering or Congregating near Polling Places. New Section 605.18 prohibits anyone, directly or indirectly, from threatening, intimidating, menacing or harassing an election official or their family member. Violation is a first degree misdemeanor, with a mandatory prison term of at least three days. New Section 605.19 codifies what’s already in state law that prohibits loitering, congregating or engaging in election campaigning near polling locations, as well as hindering or delaying an elector from reaching or leaving the polling place. Violation is a first degree misdemeanor, with a mandatory prison term of at least three days. Ord. 1192-2022.

With the Mayor’s signature Monday night, it is immediately in effect in time for election day tomorrow, Nov. 8th .

Crisis Intervention Team and Co-responder Expansion: Council approved doubling the number of the Crisis Intervention teams and expanding their availability using more than $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. The Cleveland Division of Police mental health Co-Responder teams are  made up of a Specialized Crisis Intervention Team officer and a licensed mental health caseworker. They respond in a collaborative manner to handle both live calls and follow ups on incidents where they were not on scene. These teams are able to assess the situation and refer persons to various mental health agencies.

A mental health dispatcher will also be added who will assist with intake of specifically mental health crisis calls, as there is consensus in research from cities across the U.S. that dispatch centers need to be better equipped with handling mental health calls. This staff member will start in the second year to allow for further planning and ensure maximum effectiveness. This proposal also includes salary for 3 years for a senior level strategist who operates out of the Mayor’s Office. Ord. No. 894-2022.

José Ramírez Ballfield: Council approved entering into agreements with the Cleveland Guardians Charities to accept the gift of creating a championship synthetic ballfield at Clark Field and to plant and maintain approximately 30 trees at Clark Field. The  ballfield improvements include the installation of drainage, aggregate base, and a synthetic turf system. New fencing, with wind screen and fence topper and mow strip below are planned. New covered dugouts, bullpens, netted backstop, aluminum grandstands to accommodate 200 spectators, and a scoreboard featuring state-of-the-art LED will be installed. The Cleveland Guardians will contract for the improvements, expected to cost about $1.5 million, and then gift the improvements to the City. 856-2022

Renovating Vacant and Abandoned Homes: Council approved establishing a fund to create a revolving loan pool to provide low interest capital for developers working in Cleveland neighborhoods to renovate vacant or abandoned properties. The developer acquisition/rehab revolving loan pool will be administered by a third party selected by RFP and will provide flexible, low-interest loans to help developers rehab and preserve housing units in the City. American Rescue Plan Act funds of $5 million may be used as a loan loss reserve to generate additional lending leverage and impact. All projects over $50,000

that will be generated pursuant to this ordinance shall require prior Council approval. Ord. No. 898-2022.

Home Repair Fund: Council approved establishing a Home Repair Fund to do the following: provide grants for home repair for structures owned or occupied by households, including small landlords, with income up to 300% Federal Poverty Guidelines, targeting about 600 home repairs in the City with such grant averaging $15,000. The Home Repair Fund would create a network of new grants, deferred loans, and low interest loan funds for home repair to be created and administered by a third party based on guidelines and parameters developed by the City. Low income/disabled/senior residents would have the option of combining grants with deferred loans to assist them in filling gaps with existing city programs to substantially repair their homes. The goal will be to leverage the $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds with at least $5 million from banking institutions.

New Corporate Hangar for Sherwin-Williams: Council approved Sherwin-Williams request to lease approximately 5.8 acres of City-owned land within the West Campus-Corporate Aviation Area of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport for a new corporate hangar facility. Sherwin-Williams would design, construct and operate this hangar, on West Hangar Road, for not less than 30 years.

Sherwin-Williams will assume all costs associated with designing, permitting, and constructing the corporate hangar facility, including the installation and enhancement of utility lines/service, ramps and taxiways within the boundaries of the leased area. Ord. No. 1062-2022

Solar Installation Coming to City: Council approved legislation allowing the administration to go out for bids from vendors to design, install, operate and maintain ground and roof mounted solar installations at various city-owned facilities and properties. The legislation was amended during the Utilities hearing, requiring the installations be at city-owned locations not powered by Cleveland Public Power, as well as reduced the time frame of purchasing the power created from the solar installations from a 25-year period to 5 years, with two 5 year options to renew. Ord. No. 978-2020