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Councilman Robert Schleper, Jr. Resigns Position

To my colleagues here in the Village,

It is my bittersweet news to convey that I have been offered a position in Denver, Colorado this past week. As many of you are aware, finding a leadership position in education in Northeastern Ohio has been challenging to say the least. After making the decision to apply out of state, I was offered a position within twelve days off applying, within one of the top schools in Colorado.

As such, I will be resigning from Chagrin Falls Village Council effective August 1st, 2016. Serving in this capacity the past year has been a true honor, and I will always remember the level of engagement I have held within this community. Being in service to your community, no matter the capacity, is always an honorable and worthwhile endeavor, and connects us to the greater idea of being women and men for others.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank each of my colleagues on council, the Village Administration, Law, and Service teams, as well as Mayor Tomko for the privilege of working with all of you. I would also like to specifically thank Chief Brosius as well as Chief Zugan, and their teams for their tireless efforts and service to our Village. Our police and fire teams are truly the front line in this community, and their efforts not only protect us, but connect us to a sense of solidarity and pride.

I currently chair two posts for the Village, the Arts, and Administration and Compensation. I would like to recommend that Councilwoman Rogoff assume my post for the Arts Commission, and Councilman Muscenti assume my post for Administration and Compensation. I feel very strongly that they will provide sound guidance and leadership for those committees, and hold the appropriate backgrounds to support each of those groups.

I would like to state again the level of appreciation I have for the opportunity to serve in this capacity, and for the relationships that I have built here. This village has much work to do now and in the future, and I wish you all the best in pursuing the collective goals that we all hold dear; all for the betterment and solvency of our Village.

Thank You,

 

Robert E. Schleper, Jr., Ed.D

rSchleper

New Cleveland Water Contract Proposed To Council

The Chagrin Falls Utilities Department is located on Meadow Lane.Chagrin Falls Residents:

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I can report to you that the administration has been successful in renegotiating the water supply agreement with the Cleveland Water District (CWD). We will be submitting this revised contract for council’s approval in the next few weeks. These revisions both reduce the minimum purchase volumes we must buy from Cleveland and move the measurement period to an annual basis from a monthly basis and assure our supply of water far into the future. Based upon these changes and our projected water supply needs, we have agreed, subject to council’s approval, to extend our contract for an additional 10 years to 2037.

The Village currently produces well water at approximately $2.80 per 1000 gallons compared to buying it from Cleveland at a cost of $4.78 per 1,000 gallons. Our costs are largely fixed and as we produce more well water the cost per unit goes down. Maximizing the ground water usage provides a significant savings to our customers and will moderate the need for future rate increases. I would specifically note the importance in protecting the Franklin Street aquifer now and in the future as it will save the the village $325,000 per year or $135.00 per customer annually by 2021. Our retention of the mothballed Washington Street well fields provides a potential expansion opportunity to meet future demand with lower cost well water. The change to an annual determination of purchase minimums is effective January 1 of 2017 and the reduction in the total purchase obligation is phased in over 5 years starting in 2017. Once fully effective in 2021 these changes will save the village water utility $325,000 per year. These savings will be applied in total to the Water-Reserve for Capital Improvements fund (Fund E3) and used to finance the water infrastructure needs. With these savings we can begin an orderly program to replace the remaining portions of our water distribution system that are antiquated and well beyond their service life.

The revised CWD contract, together with the 2015 enacted rate increase, will now allow us to fully fund the water utility’s capital needs without any additional anticipated rate increase for capital improvements. The funding sources and needs are now balanced within $250,000 over 10 years and this amount can easily be met via a combination of new customers, additional ongoing savings and, if necessary minor short term borrowing. Previously, this account reflected needs in excess of identified revenue sources of almost $2,000,000 and implied large future rate increases for capital improvements. This funding short fall is now provided for with the reduction in the CWD minimum purchases requirement and NOT water rate increases. This keeps money in our customer’s pockets.

While the waste water treatment plant has both anticipated EPA mandated capital needs and major equipment upgrades in 2020 (which will be financed), I can now confidentially report that based on known needs and revenue BOTH utilities, Water and Sewer are on a sustainable financial basis. Passage of the income tax increase this November will secure the overall village finances now and into the foreseeable future.

We strongly recommend that Council approve this revised contract.

Sincerely,

Mayor William Tomko 

Water Main Break Overnight Affects Much Of Village

Water-Main-Break-SliderUPDATE 3:11 PM 07/15/2016:  The Boil Advisory has been lifted.  

UPDATE 4 PM 07/14/2016: Boil advisory will remain in effect through Saturday morning 07/16/2016.

The Village Utilities Dept. experienced a major water main break in the early morning hours of 07/14/2016.

While we don’t believe there is any contamination to the system we are issuing a boil advisory for properties in the following areas – E. Washington St from Main St. to Ridgewood Dr., Senlac Hills subdivision, Philomethian St., S. Franklin St. From E. Washington St. to the cemetery, Carriage Stone Dr., Oak St., Pine St., Cedar St., South St., Bradley St., Bellview St., Main St. from E. Washington St. to Cedar St., May Ct., Elm Ct., Bell St. from Main St. to Ridgewood Dr., Vincent St., American St., Columbus St., Cleveland St from E. Washington St to Mill St., Low St., Hamlet Hills, Carriage Hill, Walters Rd. and Hickory Hill Dr.

It is recommended any water used for human consumption should be boiled vigorously for minute.

If you have any questions please contact the Utilities Dept. at 247-5050

Thanks
Glenn Elliott
Superintendent of Utilities

Advertisement For Bids/Public Notice To Bidders: 2016 Road Program

PublicbidsSealed bids will be received at the office of the Village Chief Administrative Officer, Village Hall, 21 West Washington Street, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022 until 12:00 p.m. Noon on July 15, 2016 and will be opened and read immediately thereafter for the

 

2016 ROAD PROGRAM

COMPLETION DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 2016

 

 

Bids must be in accordance with specifications and on forms available from CT Consultants, Inc., 8150 Sterling Court, Mentor, Ohio 44060 at a non‑refundable cost of Seventy-Five Dollars ($75.00) picked up or One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) mailed.

 

The bid specifications, drawings, plan holders list, addenda, and other bid information may be obtained via the internet at www.ctconsultants.com/bidinfo/index.html . The bidder shall be responsible to check for Addenda and obtain same from the web site.

Advertisement For Bids/Public Notice To Bidders: Hickory Hill Storm Outfall Repair

Publicbids

 

Sealed bids will be received at the office of the Village Chief Administrative Officer, Village Hall, 21 West Washington Street, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022 until 12:00 p.m. Noon on July 15, 2016 and will be opened and read immediately thereafter for the

 

 

HICKORY HILL STORM OUTFALL REPAIR

COMPLETION DATE: DECEMBER 31, 2016

 

Bids must be in accordance with specifications and on forms available from CT Consultants, Inc., 8150 Sterling Court, Mentor, Ohio 44060 at a non‑refundable cost of Seventy-Five Dollars ($75.00) picked up or One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) mailed.

 

The bid specifications, drawings, plan holders list, addenda, and other bid information may be obtained via the internet at www.ctconsultants.com/bidinfo/index.html . The bidder shall be responsible to check for Addenda and obtain same from the web site.

Chagrin Falls Parking Commission Plan Concept – PUBLIC DISCUSSION DRAFT

IMG_4402 2The purpose of this document is to frame a recommended approach to a comprehensive parking plan for Chagrin Falls. This concept is not being offered as a finished product. It is intended as a framework for public discussion and modification by the members of the Parking Commission to develop a final proposal to Village Council. It is expected that multiple changes to this concept may be recommended for very good reasons by the public and/or members of the Commission.

Plan Objectives and Background

The subject of parking is complex with many considerations that argue for a comprehensive approach. However, there is no perfect solution that can please all parties. No sub-issues within the Village parking challenge can be solved perfectly, because many interrelate and there are real constraints. The geography of the Village and its residential “ring” around a commercially dense Village Center limits the practical solutions available to attack this complex problem. Therefore, the objective of a comprehensive parking program should be to structure a plan that is optimized as much as possible across the range of considerations within practical physical and financial constraints. Compromises are unavoidable and it is likely that there will be no one in the Village who will like all elements of any program implemented.

Managing the parking process in the Village has been an identified problem for over 100 years. Newspaper articles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries lamented that the shortage of hitching posts that discouraged people from the countryside from patronizing Village stores.
It is also important to recognize that no program can be viewed as permanent or static. Once implemented, circumstances will change over time, and the actual effects of the changes will be learned and adjustments will be required. It is not possible to predict all of the consequences of a complete program. The core of a comprehensive parking program is managing and changing the parking behaviors of people. We can try to predict the effects of actions taken, but it is highly probable that there will be unpredicted results. It is an expected natural part of the plan that subsequent requirements will be identified and adjustments will have to be implemented. Parking is a dynamic issue that will require dynamic adjustment over time.

The primary objective is to relieve parking congestion during peak periods of routine activity. No practical plan can solve the parking congestion that occurs during major events such as Blossom Festival, Art in the Park and other such events. The reality is that the Village has a concentrated business district that is surrounded by essentially fully developed and occupied real estate. There are no obvious, easy and low cost ways to increase materially the overall public and private parking capacity in close proximity to the central business and historic residential district. Therefore, the intent of this concept is to optimize the use of available parking capacity (public and private) and “incentivize” parking behaviors that can relieve congestion. Longer term options – such as building a sizable parking structure – are discussed and need to remain under consideration as potential future actions. However, such a facility would take years to complete from a practical perspective. This parking concept retains the potential benefits of longer term options, but focuses on actions that can be implemented in the near term and have material impact on the situation within 9-12 months of approval in a final form by Village Council.

The entire report (pdf) is available here to continue reading or download.  

Download (PDF, 162KB)

 

 

 

 

Chief Brosius To Retire in August

JimBrosius It is with a deep sense of sincere appreciation and sadness that I announce Chief Brosius has submitted to me his notice of retirement. Chief Brosius, just Jim or Chief to most of the village, has served our community with distinction for 23 years, having assumed the duties of the Village’s police chief in April of 1994. Not only did Chief Brosius turn our police department into a police force that we can all be proud of, he was a leader in regionalization efforts. He was also one of the organizers of the Valley Enforcement Group which provides shared enforcement and investigative resources to member communities. Chief Brosius was instrumental in forming the Council of Governments which provides dispatch services to member communities and has saved our village several hundred thousand dollars already.

Chief Brosius’s last day as chief will be August 19. Jim and his wife Joan will continue to live in our community and I am sure you will wish to join me in wishing Jim and his wife a long and happy retirement.

To continue to provide the excellent leadership our community has come to expect of its police department, I am appointing Lieutenant Amber M. Dacek as the Village’s Chief of Police effective August 20, 2016. Lieutenant Dacek has been with the Village police department 14 years having started in 2002. Lt. Dacek, just Amber to those that know and have worked with her, has served in a variety of roles since joining our department. She started her career with the Village as a School Resource Officer at the Chagrin Schools. She was appointed Sergeant in 2008 and Lieutenant in 2013.


Lt. Dacek holds a B.S. degree in criminal justice from Youngstown State University where she was graduated Summa Cum Laude and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key National Honor Societies. She is also a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership College and has completed Law Enforcement Executive Training. She has been certified a Law Enforcement Executive by the Ohio Chiefs of Police and the Law Enforcement Foundation. Lt. Dacek is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Police Executive Leadership College.


I am sure you will wish to join me in wishing Lt. Dacek every success in her new position as Chief of Police for the Village of Chagrin Falls.


Mayor Bill Tomko

Chief Brosius and Mayor Tomko at the 2016 Blossom Time Parade.

Chief Brosius and Mayor Tomko at the 2016 Blossom Time Parade.

 

Income Tax Increase Unanimously Recommended to Council

Mayor Bill Tomko entered office in January of 2016

Mayor William Tomko, 2016

On Tuesday May 31, the finance committee of council, meeting as a committee of the entire council, (all council members were present and voting) voted unanimously to recommend to council putting the administration-proposed tax increase on the November 2016 ballot.

The residents of the Village will now have the final say in what kind of town they want Chagrin Falls to be.

The proposed income tax increase will be from the current rate of 1.5% to 1.85% (approximately 1/3 of 1 percent). This will result in a maximum tax increase of $35.00 on every $10,000 of wage income before applying the tax credit for taxes paid to other taxing communities. The tax increase will not apply to retirement income or passive income such as interest or dividend income. For residents living in Chagrin Falls and working in another taxing community, (which is the overwhelming majority of our residents), the current tax credit rate of 75% will remain unchanged and unlimited in amount. This proposed increase is projected by R.I.T.A. to generate $750,000 per year.

The use of these funds would be restricted to funding:

1. Permanent improvements

2. Infrastructure maintenance

3. Cemetery perpetual care

During the next five years, approximately 75% of the funds generated by the proposed tax increase will go towards road repair and maintenance. For a detailed listing of where the proposed tax increase will be spent see the Proposed Projects Spreadsheet where we have listed each proposed project by year and the reason why we are proposing to undertake the specific project.

While no one likes any tax increase, I believe the proposed tax increase is the fairest means to raise the funds required to finance vital capital replacements and maintenance projects. We are not asking for funding for nebulous projects as we have specifically identified the individual projects and stated the reason we are proposing to spend funds on it. Most identified projects can be seen by driving down the road and for those that can’t call me (247-8399) and I will show you the project.

There will be several council meetings (June 13 and 27) before this proposal goes to the Board of Elections for placement on the November general election ballot. At each of these council meetings there will be ample opportunity for public input on the proposed tax increase. If you wish to comment or have questions, I encourage you to come to the meetings.

 

Mayor Bill Tomko

“After The Storm: Investigating Ohio’s Recover from the Great Recession and its Impact on Local Capital Investment”

OSU GlennThe following is an Executive Summary of a Spring 2016 Masters Thesis from the The Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs entitled “After the Storm: Investigating Ohio’s Recovery from the Great Recession and its Impact on Local Capital Investment”.  

You may read the report in its entirety here.  

Executive Summary

The Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 hit both state and local governments in Ohio hard in terms of decreased revenue from income, sales, and property taxes. Facing its own budget crisis, the state government significantly cut the state’s primary revenue sharing program, the Local Government Fund. These cuts amounted to a 50 percent reduction from 2001 to 2013, adding to existing strain on local government budgets. This project seeks to further understand impacts of the Local Government Fund cuts on local government through analysis of quantitative budget data from 2007-2013.

Revenue-sharing programs from state to local government fall under the study of fiscal federalism, the vertical structure of government financing. Over the past decade, researchers of fiscal federalism have seen movement towards decentralization, with revenue-sharing cut in order to increase the reliance of local governments on funding collected from within their own jurisdictions. When local governments are faced with cuts to revenue sharing, they are forced to make hard decisions about raising local taxes versus cutting spending, known as cutback management.

In Ohio, local governments have grappled with these cuts to revenue sharing in multiple ways. A survey conducted in 2013 began to shed some light on the responses of local government leaders to the policy changes. On the revenue side, local governments have raised charges for service and other fees in addition to raising property and income taxes where possible. The most frequent expenditure changes were cuts to capital spending. Conversations with local government leaders across the state solidified and clarified the impact of these cuts on capital investment.

The two primary research questions under investigation are 1) How did local government revenues change as a result of cuts to the Local Government Fund? and 2) How did these changes to revenue impact local governments’ ability to invest in capital projects? Analysis has been conducted on budget data from 250 cities measuring total revenues and expenditures, key revenue sources, and capital outlays from 2007-2013. These data were collected from the Ohio Auditor of State and Department of Taxation. Key demographic variables from the United State Census Bureau are also included to capture differences between municipalities.

Descriptive analysis was used to answer the first research question. Overall, cities have seen decreasing property tax revenues and increasing income tax revenues since the recovery began in 2009. These increased income tax revenues have been due in part to increasing municipal income tax rates, with a statewide average rate increase of 0.48 percentage points. Capital outlays have declined since the Great Recession and through changes to the Local Government Fund, with a 22 percent decrease in the statewide average from 2007 to 2013.

Regression analysis was used to examine whether certain years or changes to revenue sources had a significant impact on capital outlays. It was expected that capital outlays would have a positive relationship to Local Government Fund revenues and a negative relationship in the years after the cuts took place. The model found that capital outlays were indeed significantly lower in the years after the Local Government Fund was reduced. These results offer tentative confirmation that cuts to the Local Government Fund have led to declining capital investment in cities across Ohio. Ohio’s local government leaders may use this information as well as their own experiences to begin lobbying state legislators for a dedicated capital improvement fund for local governments. Due to limitations to the data and to the model, further research should be pursued to confirm and expand upon these findings.

Administration Proposes Capital Improvement Plan To Finance Meeting Tuesday May 31

Village Government consists of an elected Council and Mayor. This is the 2016 Council.

The Village Council Finance Committee is meeting as a Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, May 31 at 7:00 pm to discuss the Village’s capital needs and how these needs might be financed. The capital needs budget can be reviewed in its entirety here. The format will be an open meeting with public participation and an open question and answer session. There is a lot to cover and to consider. Accordingly a follow up meeting may be required. Also, some residents may want to discuss this proposal and will be unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

The capital maintenance and improvement budget is organized into three sections:

1. The first section sets forth specifically what we believe the village’s capital needs are by specific project and the year we propose doing the project. The far right hand column explains why we believe the project needs to be done. The projects are grouped by area. For example, all the road programs are grouped together, as is stormwater management etc.

2. The second section details projected budget cuts we are pursuing by changing some of the village operations. For example, moving to a new healthcare plan when our current contract expires, or implementing a comprehensive parking plan. The negative numbers in each year’s columns unfortunately reflect the remaining unmet revenue needs. This unmet need can only be resolved by declining to address some of the specific projects listed above or by a tax increase. See the Financial Review Committee’s report for their conclusions on the village potential to fill the funding short falls with savings from operations and also for their conclusions on the Village’s deferral of capital projects over the last few years

3. The third section details the Administration’s proposal to increase revenue and in it, we are proposing that council authorize the village to put an income tax increases on the November 2016 ballot for the voters to decide. With the reduction and elimination of both state aid and the estate tax, the choice is simple and stark, raise additional revenue or decide what does not get done; hence why we listed specific projects and assigned proposed dates to them. In the Administration’s view, it is up to the residents to decide what kind of town they want. The proposed tax increase will allow the village to fund its capital expenditures and restore prudent balances in the capital improvement fund. This will allow us to reestablish the minimum capital fund balance identified by the financial review committee on page 6 of their report.

The Administration is proposing an income tax increase and not a property tax increase as it does not affect those residents living on a fixed income. In addition, part of the increased tax will be borne by visitors to the village. The income tax only taxes wages and business income, NOT retirement or passive income. The increase we are proposing to Council is 0.35%, a little over a third of a percent and will take our rate from the current 1.5% to 1.85, which is still less than many other communities. The tax credit received by resident living in the village and working in another taxing municipality remains UNCHANGED at 75%. This credit is still much greater than many other communities. RITA has estimated that for the majority of our residents who live in the village and work in another taxing municipality, the proposed tax increase will cost them $43.75 per $50,000, which is less than a dollar a week. For an individual both living and working in the village or living in the village and working in a non-taxing township such as Bainbridge, the prosed tax increase will cost them $175.00 per $50,000 of taxable income. This proposed increase will raise $750,000 of additional revenue and in our judgement, adequately financing the village capital needs. My memo to council which more fully explaining out proposal can be seen here.

I’ve spent the last few months evaluating our current financial situation, creating a detailed list of specific capital projects and assigning proposed dates to them. It is up to the residents to decide what kind of town they want. As I said in the beginning, there is a lot here to think about, question and understand.

I hope you can join us next Tuesday to start this process.
Mayor Bill Tomko

Chagrin Falls Police Department Staffing Changes

Police photo

We are having several changes in status for officers on our police force.

Officer Michael Baldwin is going from full time status to part time status. Officer Baldwin has devoted his entire life to public service. He served in the Ohio National Guard completing a tour of duty in Iraq and upon his return was assigned to the Chagrin Falls Armory where he met our Police Chief James Brosius and expressed a desire to become a police officer. Local veterans groups and The Chagrin Valley Rotary Club were able to assist him with a scholarship to attend the University of Akron Police Academy, where he graduated first in his class. He was hired by the Chagrin Police Department upon his graduation and has been serving our community for over 10 years.

Officer Baldwin is resigning his full time position and going to part time status in order to follow a lifelong dream to serve the public by becoming a minister. He has accepted a position as Outreach Director at Graham Road Baptist Church in Akron, and can no longer meet the requirements of full time police officer. He will go to part time status and continue to serve Chagrin Falls as his time permits and our needs arise. I hope you will join me in wishing Officer Baldwin every success in his new calling as he continues to serve the public in a different way.

Officer Corbets is currently a part time Chagrin Falls police officer and will be going to full time status to replace office Baldwin. Officer Corbets is a 2009 graduate of Solon High School and is currently a full time officer in Glenwillow. Officer Corbets resides in Solon. He attended the University of Akron and is a graduate of the police academy. I hope you will join with me in welcoming Officer Corbets as a full time Chagrin Falls police officer.

There is no change in the total number of police offices as these changes involve change of status only.

All Invited! Arbor Day Ceremony

Vincent Street Arboretum before work begins. The Village of Chagrin Falls would like to invite the community to the annual Arbor Day Ceremony on Saturday, May 14th at 10:00 a.m. at the Vincent Street Arboretum, located on the North side of Vincent Street just east of Bell Street.

Arbor Day is an international event held to commemorate the importance of trees in our communities.

This event will feature an informative program from the Chagrin Falls Shade Tree Commission on proper tree care and mulching techniques, and the viewing of improvements made to the Ben KingArboretum. Participants can assist Boy Scout Troop 241 with enlarging the mulch rings around the arboretum trees, placing mulch around them, and general cleanup of the woods line in preparation for the creation of a wildflower meadow.Ben King Memorial stone at Vincent Street Arboretum

Information will also be provided on the programs and services that the Shade Tree Commission offers to the community. All residents and interested persons are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

 

 

Whitesburg Fishing Pond Restocked

The Whitesburg Nature Preserve Fishing pond was restocked this week.

The Village restocked the children’s fishing pond at Whitesburg Nature Preserve on May 4th. This fishing area is intended for catch and release fishing only (Chapter 5.07.1) which prohibits removal of fish from the pond and permits catch and release fishing only in the designate children’s fishing pond.  This pond provides a safe and enjoyable space for family fishing.

Tax dollars were not used for this restocking as it was fully funded with private contributions.

The pond was restocked with a mix of blue gills, hybrid blue gills ( a cross with sun fish) , bass and minnows. This is a recommended mix for a 1/2 acre midwest pond.