Highlights from Summer Council Meeting
Jul 13, 2022
Cleveland (July 13, 2022) - Council held the first of two summer meetings today during summer recess. The next meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 10th. Here are today’s highlights:
Rainy Day Fund Increased: Council approved a transfer of $20 million from the General Fund to the city’s Rainy Day Reserve Fund, requested by the administration, that serves as a reserve for economic downturns and one-time obligations. Since the Great Recession, the city has worked to beef up its reserve fund to the limit set by the Ohio, which is now $65 million. The reserve fund impacts the city’s bond ratings. (Ord. No. 675-2022)
Payroll Reserve Fund Established: Council approved transferring from the General Fund $90 million to establish a payroll reserve fund, requested by the administration, to ensure adequate resources are available for those years that city employees get a 27th pay as well as the outstanding sick and vacation time, needed to be paid out when employees leave or retire. This isn’t the first time a special reserve fund was created. In 2019, a reserve fund was established for funding for the costs of the city being self-insured. (Ord. No. 684-2022)
Federal Grant towards Crime Reduction: Council accepted a new federal grant of $986,293 from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The grant will provide funding to develop and implement a crime reduction program in the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood, which is experiencing a major redevelopment effort. Surveys and meetings will be conducted with community members and others before the final crime reduction plan is implemented. Partners include: The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Case Western Reserve University, Partnership for a Safer Cleveland, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc., and The May Dugan Center. (Ord. No. 570-2022)
Ohio Needs Improved Rail Service: Council supports Governor Mike DeWine’s interest in improving and expanding passenger rail service in Ohio. While Council passed a resolution to that effect it is also urging the governor to participate in the Federal Railroad Administration’s new Corridor Identification and Development program to better connect Ohio communities with enhanced intercity passenger rail service.
Council also wants the feasibility and costs examined for improved service on existing corridors as proposed in Amtrak’s “Connects US” plan: the Cleveland-Elyria-Sandusky-Toledo-Chicago corridor; the ClevelandBuffalo-Rochester-NYC corridor; the Cleveland-Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-NYC corridor; the Cleveland-Washington, D.C. corridor; and the Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit corridor.
Finally the resolution, sponsored by Council Members Stephanie Howse and Kerry McCormack, is calling on the governor to explore the Amtrak-proposed 3C+D Corridor, connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton.
“Cost-effective service improvements to these corridors will enhance Northeast Ohio’s status as a significant hub on Amtrak’s national network, as well as improving economic opportunity and quality of life for all Ohioans” across the state. (Res. No. 591-2022)
New Park Coming to the Central Neighborhood: Council approved accepting $1 million for the construction of a new City park to be located adjacent to the Central Recreation Center ( 2526 Central Ave.) as well as a new East 26th Street from Community College Avenue to Central Avenue.
The city is exchanging properties with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority needed for the projects. The new park and street are part of Cuyahoga County’s Central Surge Initiative, aimed at impacting Cleveland’s Central Neighborhood. The County plans to design and construct the new East 26th Street and to also contribute costs towards the construction of the new City park. (Ord. No. 608-2022)
The 1964 Holiday Inn Slated for Redevelopment: The first step, a chain-of-title move, was approved by council. The next step is expected to be a 30-year non-school tax increment financing legislation comes to council for the redevelopment of the hotel built as a Holiday Inn in 1964 at 3614 Euclid Ave. The developer plans to rebrand it as the Delta Hotel, by Marriott. The developers want to “capitalize” on the new developments happening in the Midtown/Health Tech Corridor. The hotel renovation is expected to cost $39.2 million and has received federal historic tax credits. (Ord. No. 527-2022)
Amending ARPA Legislation: Council amended two pieces of previously passed legislation, in both cases reestablishing the requirement that any expenditures over $50,000 come back to council for legislative approval. (Ord. Nos. 701 and 706-2022)
Gender Identity and Expression and Sexual Orientation: An ordinance prohibiting “efforts to change sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” as well as the practice of conversion therapy on minors in the city of Cleveland.
The legislation, sponsored by Council Members Brian Mooney, Kerry McCormack, Jenny Spencer, Rebecca Maurer and Stephanie Howse, would prohibit mental health professionals in the city of Cleveland to “knowingly engage…in sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression change efforts with a minor, without regard to whether the mental health professional is compensated or receives any form of renumeration for his or her services.”
A new codified ordinance would be enacted: Section 667.06, Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Expression, prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy on minors and prescribing penalties for violation of that section. The legislation will go to the Directors of Finance and Law before coming back to council, where it will be heard in the Finance, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. (Ord. No. 696-2022)