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Council Meeting Highlights (5/15/23)

May 15, 2023

(Cleveland – May 15, 2023) - City Council held its regular Monday meeting tonight, both in person in Council Chambers and through live streaming.  The next regular meeting is May 22nd. Here are tonight’s highlights:

Utility Amnesty Program: Council approved providing $2 million in assistance to eligible Cleveland Public Power (CPP) and Cleveland Water customers to reduce or eliminate outstanding balances. To qualify, CPP and Cleveland Water customers in the city must have an outstanding balance that date back to no later than March 2020 and must be signed up on a payment plan with the utilities. Councilman Brian Kazy, chair of the Utilities Committee, sponsored and advocated for this program. The funding is coming from the city’s American Rescue Plan Act. Once passed, residents will be notified quickly of the financial help. This program will help about 1,200 CPP households and 1,400 water customer households. Ord. No. 595-2023

Gordon Park: Council approved going into an additional lease with the Board of Park Commissioners for the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District to add a portion of Gordon Park, on the south side of I 90, to the already established lease. Metroparks has committed to providing approximately $8 million in improvements, which will be determined through community engagement and has agreed that the park and amenities will remain open to the public free of charge. The improvement, operation, and maintenance of the park shall be in accordance with conveyance deeds from William J. Gordon and his estate to the City of Cleveland. Ord. No. 329-2023

The Euclid Beach Trail Connector: Council approved spending $3 million to expand public lakefront access from the Metroparks' Euclid Creek Reservation west along the neighborhoods of Beulah Park, Villa Beach and a small portion of Shore Acres. The Beulah Park-Euclid Beach Connector will be an approx. 2/3rds of a mile bike/pedestrian trail along Lake Erie on the water's edge halfway down the bluff, similar in design and scale to the City of Euclid's new lakefront trail and will connect into the Lakefront Bikeway. Two major objectives of this project are erosion control and public access along the waterfront.

The total project is expected to cost $16 million. Ord. No. 528-2023

West Side Market Improvements: Council approved providing $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for repairs to the historic market. The $10 million can be combined with the $3.3 million council passed last year for a new roof on the market, which hasn’t been started. Council also passed $1.25 million last year for three freight elevator replacements, with this work just starting. Council members also discussed increasing the parking fees at the West Side Market parking lot, after the market is closed, when the lot is used by customers going to bars and restaurants on W. 25th.  The fee is currently $1 an hour and whatever the increase, it could be a funding stream for market improvements. Ord. No. 532-2023


Paid Parental Leave: Legislation was introduced to provide city employees with paid parental leave. While Council members began advocating for this benefit during the last administration, Councilman Charles Slife contacted the Bibb administration soon after they took office to pitch this added benefit to city of Cleveland employees. If passed, the legislation would provide eligible employees (regular full-time annual and hourly rate) with up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth of an employee’s son or daughter or the placement of a son or daughter with an employee for adoption or foster care. Ord. No. 630-2023