Architecture of County Buildings to be Evaluated

Commissioner meetings consist of a public portion and an Executive session which is not open to the public. The public portion of this meeting was less than 15 minutes while the Executive Session was approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes. 

All public business meetings begin with motions to approve seven resolutions where activity has taken place in the past week. Those seven resolutions are investments, appropriations, transfers, advance/repayments, requisitions, travel, and bills.  On 7/21/21 there were no advances/repayments or travel. The other five were all approved without any commissioner comment. Details regarding these Resolutions are available in the official meeting minutes at https://www.loraincounty.us/commissioners-departments/board-of-commissioners/board-agendas-minutes.  However, the process of preparing the weekly minutes involves various steps of approval delaying the publication of these minutes. The most current minutes available at this time are for the 6/23/21 meeting.  

The commissioners approved entering into two contracts with Fabo Architecture, Inc. of Parma, OH to perform architectural and engineering professional services for

  1. County buildings $15,900.
  2. Emergency services buildings $60,675  

Payment of $3,694.88 was approved to CSX for inspection services associated with construction of a new water line on North Ridge Road.

Commissioner also approved entering into a contract for maintenance with City of Elyria for a portion of Indian Hollow Road, Carlisle Township.

During public comment a representative of First Energy External Affairs introduced himself to the commissioners to let them know he is available as their main contact with First Energy during storm problems.

There were no reports from Tom Williams, County Administrator; Dan Petticord, Assistant County Prosecutor; commissioners Dave Moore and Michelle Hung, or clerk Theresa Upton.

Commissioner Lundy reported he had attended the Business Expo in Avon Lake, the Lorain County Farm Bureau Dinner and Policy Development Meeting at Lorain Community College, the Investment & Advisory Committee, and will be attending the dedication of the Sam Felton Park.

He reported that the county’s investments total $162 M. Interest for the past year was $1.2 M, but due to interest rates dropping that figure is expected to go down in the future. There was a time when the county regularly earned as much as $6M to $7M annually in interest.  

(This is a report of the July 21, 2021, meeting of the Lorain County Commissioners.)

Health District levy approved to appear on November election ballot

Elyria, Ohio – Lorain County Commissioners’ Board Meeting was held on 6/30/2021 in the county administration building in Elyria.

Congratulations to Jerry Good on his retirement from the Lorain County Economic Development Dept. He was with Lorain County (LC) for 6.5 years. He previously worked in Columbus at Jobs Ohio and had a staff of 178 people. He also developed Carvana.

1) Investments – approved

2) Appropriations – approved

3) Transfers – approved

4) Advances/Repayments – none

5) Requisitions – holding for next meeting to discuss then

6) Travel – none

7) Bills – approved

8) Authorized various personnel actions – Will be discussed in Exec. Session after the public session

9) Minutes – waive reading and approved minutes from previous meeting

10) Children & Family Counsel – approved contract with Neighborhood Alliance Lorain for $142,641.08 for purchase and delivery of Help Me Grow early for intervention effective 7/1/21-9/30/21

11) Approved $18,000 to contract with Child Resource Center Lorain for 7/2021-6/2022 promoting safe & stable families and providing parent advocacy and mentoring services

12) Health District– Declare it necessary to levy a tax in excess of the 10 Mill limitation to provide funds for 5 years to be placed on the November ballot. Approved. Discussion: This is a renewal of the ½ Mill levy. In 2017, all the health departments in the county were merged and at that time the tax levy was cut in half from 1 Mill to ½ Mill and this is just a renewal of that ½ Mill levy. The cost is a little over $15/yr per 100k home. “What a fortunate coincidence the health departments merged prior to the pandemic. It shows the efficiency and effectiveness of having the merger.”

13) Developmental Disabilities – Approved and enter a lease agreement with TRIAD Grafton to be shared space effective for square footage to be shared space vocational and adult day support for adults with developmental disabilities 7/2021-6/2022. Triad will pay $1691.80 Oct-March and April-June pay $2537.24.

14) Viaquest Inc. For adult day support for adults with disabilities square footage and services. Effective 7/2021-6/2022 Viaquest with pay $1610.50 10/2021-3/2022 and then 4-6/2022 $2415.75

Public Speakers – None

Individual Commissioner Reports follow.

Lundy: Lakefront Community Group met to discuss lakeshore erosion

There is a great program announced by Governor a Business Assistance Program that will provide grants. See businesshelpohio.gov. Will especially assist food/beverage industry, entertainment, lodging, and general small businesses and may be able to obtain 10k-20k+ grant. Apply as soon as possible if your business was impacted by Covid.

Someone brought up restrooms being locked in the bldg. He doesn’t agree with this, he believes it is a public bldg and restrooms should remain open and that it’s an overreaction that there were a couple homeless people in the bldg. He wants restrooms unlocked an open. Maybe we should address homeless instead of the restrooms. He feels it’s an overreaction.

Hung: Lorain County was showcased to the would at the Trump Rally. LC Fair Board makes the decision to host, not the Commissioners. Save America PAC paid the Lorain County Fair Board for the event. Trump did fly into LC Airport. Thank you, Sheriff’s Dept and Deputies, safety personnel, LC EMA, and agencies that assisted ATF, FBI, SWAT (Erie and Ottawa County), etc. Especially from LC EMA Jessica Fedder and Kevin Harlis and Jan Tucker 911 dispatcher. Security Mutual Aid by Ashland, Ottawa, Medina, Cuyahoga, Erie, Sandusky Sheriff’s offices, and Metroparks, S. LC Ambulance, Wellington Fire, and others who assisted.

July 4, 1776 – This weekend we will celebrate the signing of our Declaration of Independence. Our founders believed that we have God-given rights. May we remember those who fought and gave up so much so that we could have freedom. Have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Moore: Complimented the Chronicle Telegram for providing good coverage leading up to the Trump Rally and it was an honor and privilege to have our county showcased in such an event. Law enforcement did a fantastic job.

Regarding the restrooms, there were men in the women’s restroom drinking and Moore is more concerned about safety than having restrooms open to the public. It’s not uncommon to have to ask for a key to use the restroom and is in full support of locking restrooms for safety of personnel.

Clerk Report – No report

Waive reading of correspondence due to lengthy Executive Session to follow.

Public portion of meeting adjourned.

(Note: This is a report of the June 30, 2021, Lorain County Commissioners’ public meeting.)

Lorain County withholds $ from Lorain City

In the business portion of the meeting 12 agenda items were approved. Financial items included were

  1. Adjustment of salaries of two Avon Lake Municipal Court employees

2. Increase of $180,000 to the Neighborhood Alliance to provide protective services for Adults for Fiscal yr 2021

3. 75% reduction ($14,838.20) to the Community Incentive Grant funding to the city of Lorain until the city repays debt to the county

Agenda item #11 lifted the pandemic State of Emergency in the county rescinding resolutions 20-205, 20-206, and 20-213 which were passed by the previous administration on 3/18/20. These resolutions established the running of the county in case commissioners and/or the administrator were to be incapacitated for an extended period of time.        

Administrator & Commissioners’ Reports of Weekly Activities

Michelle Hung reported the Lake Erie Crushers will be sponsoring a food drive at their 6/30/21 game in support of the Lorain County Council on Aging food banks. 

According to their website https://lcooa.org/  LCCOA is the primary agency for supporting Lorain County’s over 68,000 older adults. Their mission is to improve the health, well-being and independence of aging individuals and other adults with special needs. 

On 6/30 bring a nonperishable food donation and be entered in a raffle for a Lake Erie Crushers Fun Pack.

Matt Lundy reported Grace Gallucci, director of Northeast Ohio Agency Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), spoke at the Township Association meeting.

Matt said the Community Protection team reported 29 covid cases and 62% of residents over the age of 18 have received covid shots.

Mr. Lundy complimented the Neighborhood Alliance on the great work they do in the county. During their virtual annual meeting they discussed a “New Kitchen” fund raising initiative.

Food Forum Forward in coordination with the Health Department and 2nd Harvest is working to get food to families in need.

SB111 is currently in review in the Ohio Senate. If passed, $422 M will be available thru the Rescue Act to townships.

Dave Moore is working with Senator Manning regarding the state biennial budget bill and hopes to have something to report next week. 

In regards to the Lorain County Trump Rally scheduled this Saturday 6/26 at the Lorain County Fairgrounds Mr. Moore expressed his feeling that the event will be safe and encouraged people to participate in this historic event for Lorain County.  

Administrator Tom Williams indicated he has had a number of calls concerning the county’s funding of the county fair. In 2020 he pointed out that due to the pandemic the fair lost half a million dollars. He emphasized that fair funding is for the Jr, Sr, and General Fair and that it supports the 4-H program year round not just the week of the fair.    

(Note: Report of June 23, 2021 Lorain County Commissioners’ Meeting)

Commissioners approve $1,700,000

Elyria, Ohio – At each county commissioners’ meeting a variety of items are voted on. Many involve financial expenditures.  When the commissioners discuss any of the items, I report that discussion. At the 6/9/21 meeting none of the commissioners offered any input on the 19 items on the agenda. All were passed unanimously.

In four of the 19 agenda items a grand total of $1,668,136.20 was approved for four different projects.

 Following votes taken on the 19 agenda items each commissioner reported on his/her activities for the previous week.

Confederate Flag

Matt Lundy followed Michelle Hung’s report on county support of the Lorain County Fair. While he expressed his personal support for the fair in general, he took the opportunity to continue to express his never ending opposition to what he described as the fair board “marketing” of the confederate flag. In his words  the flag is “a symbol of hate and more recently insurrection”.

Continue reading “Commissioners approve $1,700,000”

$15 million available to pay your rent

1. Tom Williams reported there was a meeting with mayors, county directors, community development and solid waste personnel.  Meeting was to provide county contacts to mayors and to open communication lines.  

2. Matt Lundy discussed the continued elevated numbers of county residents with mental health and addiction issues.  This should come as no surprise.  It would be helpful to know exactly what LCADA Way, MHARS Board and Nord Center are doing to address these issues.  In speaking with the former director of MHARS Board several months ago, there is no centralized record keeping of overdoses, deaths from suicide, etc. 

3. Michelle Hung reported that Lorain County Storm Water acquired 59.2 acres south of Lorain Rd. on Rt. 83 for a retention basin project.  The cost of the property was $295,000.  Michelle sits on the board for Lorain County Storm Water.  

Continue reading “$15 million available to pay your rent”

Mentoring & Tutoring Continue with help of $248,000

Four organizations have applied for and the commissioners awarded them with TANF funds (the state of Ohio Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program). 

Individuals and families who apply for TANF must meet the monetary and non-monetary state guidelines, complete work-related activities, provide paternity information about the children in the household and report as required by the state.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County, Job and Family Services and Horizon Education Center, and Tower Educational Consulting Group, Inc. of Lorain are sharing in a combined total of $247,881.79 for Mentoring and Tutoring low income Lorain County children for the period of July 1, 2021 thru September 30, 2021.

ECK comment:

No explanation was offered as to why four organizations would be providing  what appears to be the very same services and how those services do not overlap for the same children. It would seem likely that at a minimum there would be administrative services costs duplicated across the four organizations.

(Note: This is a report about the Lorain County Commissioners meeting on May 26, 2021.)

TIFs and CHIPs approved

Elyria, Ohio – TAX ABATEMENTS and COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS APPROPRIATED FOR ANOTHER YEAR by Lorain County Commissioners.

The Tax Incentive Review Council (TIRC) meets yearly (as required by law) for the purpose of reviewing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) projects and residential and commercial Community Reinvestment Areas (CRAs) for the previous calendar year.

The TIRC reported to the Commissioners that eight tax abatements and 34 TIFs are in compliance and should be continued for another year.

Continue reading “TIFs and CHIPs approved”

When in doubt, throw it out

Elyria, Ohio – In the state of Ohio communities (political subdivisions) are offered an incentive program to encourage them to increase the tonnage of recyclables they recycle on an annual basis. The county administers the program and for 2021 Lorain County can receive a maximum of $450,000 to be distributed to communities meeting the state standards. 

Many communities experience a high contamination rate reducing the amount of their reimbursement so Solid Waste Management District Director Blevin is looking into implementing a variety of programs in an attempt to reduce that contamination rate. He wants to begin by targeting multi-family dwellings in Lorain and Elyria.

A slogan they hope will stick in residents’ minds is

            ”When in doubt, throw it out.”

 meaning when in doubt about a particular item as to whether it can be recycled or not, place the item in the regular

Continue reading “When in doubt, throw it out”

Tax Levy Up? Tax Levy Down

Elyria, Ohio – Five months into the new county administration new county administrator, Tom Williams, has the boldness to put tax levies on the agenda.  When the taxpayer hears tax levy, the logical assumption is “Now how do they want to spend more of MY money?” However, in this case  while Mr. Williams is asking for more money for the coroner and crime lab, at the same time he is reporting that the TB Clinic can operate on less money and is recommending a levy with a REDUCTION in funding.

Current funding for the coroner comes from the General Fund. The crime lab gets its money from the Drug Task Force and as needed some from the General Fund. The .30 mill additional tax levy would reduce the need for GF money.

Continue reading “Tax Levy Up? Tax Levy Down”

Will commissioners hold meetings in evening?

Elyria, Ohio – This is the first in what hopefully will be a continuing series of reports on the weekly Lorain County Commissioners’ meetings which are held every Wednesday morning at 9:30 in the County Administration Building 226 E. 2nd St. in Elyria Fourth Floor Conference Room. Due to the covid plandemic (not misspelled) the meetings for several months have been all virtual with no indications when they will be reopened to in person meetings. 

Until the time meetings went virtual there was a public comment time opened to any person present to bring any issue before the commissioners. With virtual meetings no accommodation has been provided to replace that public input.

Continue reading “Will commissioners hold meetings in evening?”