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Public Input On Main Street Bridge Design

Parks Commission Meeting: Bridge Design Input

Monday, September 11, 2017

8:30 am

Village Hall

The Main Street bridge over the falls is slated to be rebuilt in the next few years. This is a Cuyahoga County project.  Construction will begin after Art by the Falls in June 2019 and will be completed by the Fall of 2020. There are plans to maintain one way traffic across the bridge for the length of the project.

The County has asked for input on two aspects of the bridge design—the type of railing and the type of facing. With respect to facing, in addition to the aesthetics, an issue is whether to use a form that would allow poured concrete to look like stone, whether to use a stone facing material, or whether to use actual stone. 

The Parks Commission has planned a meeting to get input from the public and to address these topics next Monday, September 11 at 8:30 am at Village Hall. Members of the Architectural Review Board are also invited to attend to provide input.

If you’d like to provide input on the bridge design, please attend the Parks Commission meeting next Monday.


Civil War Memorial Rededication on 150 Anniversary September 10, 2017




Join Us For A Rededication Ceremony


Evergreen Hill Cemetery

September 10, 2017

1:00 PM




Invocation: Rev. Mark Simone

Speaker: Jane Babinsky Jane’s great-great aunt, Jane E Church was the president of the Soldiers Aid Society and made the initial dedication.

Donor Recognition: John Bourisseau

Honoring The Dead: John Bourisseau

Benediction: Father Jerome Lukachinsky

Color Guard SUVCW Garfield Camp


The monument in Evergreen Hill Cemetery was erected in 1867 through the efforts of Jane E. Church, sister of Henry Church, Jr., who carved Squaw Rock. At the time, Miss Church was president of Chagrin Falls Soldiers’ Aid Society, which was organized September 5, 1861 and became an auxiliary to the Cleveland branch of the Sanitary Commission. It closed June 16, 1865 with a balance of $134 which was applied toward the monument.

Miss Church was given the honor of dedicating the monument September 10, 1867. Her address is as follows:

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:

“After the close of the war in 1865, the Chagrin Falls Soldiers’ Aid Society having funds remaining in their treasury that were no longer needed for the purpose for which they were contributed, namely ‘to give aid and comfort for the sick and wounded soldier,’ it was determined at a meeting called December first of that year that they should be appropriated toward the erection of a Soldiers’ Monument; and that the organization of the society should be continued until funds sufficient had been added thereto to accomplish such object.

“After extending our happy greetings to the company of brave men who had survived all the perils of that cruel war, we turned with tear-dimmed eyes for that other band of heroes that should never receive the ‘welcome home’ of loving friends again; but who had yielded their lives a willing sacrifice upon that vast battlefield in defense of all we held most dear – home, country, and the endless privileges of a free people. And it was deemed fitting, as a finale to the doings of the society that they should, if possible erect a suitable memorial to those gallant dead.

“Accordingly a committee of ladies was appointed to solicit subscriptions of the citizens of the township, and in a few weeks time something more than $600 had been subscribed for the purpose. At their first meeting a committee of gentlemen was also appointed as a board of Managers to act in connection with the society. Various methods were resorted to for the raising of funds. Entertainments of different kinds were given, many of them by the Literary Club – a society that was formed for the same worthy object – and for the most part were liberally patronized by our citizens; all seeming to manifest an interest in the enterprise so that by June, 1866, the fund including subscriptions, had been increased to not less than $1250. But as this amount was not thought to be sufficient by some, the business of contributing for the monument was postponed until the present year. Of the various designs presented that of Mr. J. M. Martin of Cleveland was unanimously accepted, the sand stone base being laid by Mr, L. Marble of Bedford. And we can but express our satisfaction to those gentlemen for their very successful achievement of their handiwork.

“Though doubtless making many mistakes, meeting with some discouragements withal, and thus coming far short of what we had hoped to do, we have yet so far succeeded as to erect an enduring tribute to the memory of those brave men from Chagrin Falls who died for the preservation of our liberties. And in doing this, we trust it has not brought forgetfulness or ingratitude toward their living comrades in our midst. May we keep ever living in our hearts their noble deeds, and remember that to them we owe as a people more than we can ever bestow or even acknowledge.

“To those ladies and gentlemen who have so freely given of their time and talents, as well as means not only for this purpose but also aid the society in their endeavors to alleviate the sufferings of the soldiers during those years of peril, no words of ours are sufficient to render that need of praise which so justly belongs to them. May they have their reward in the happy consciousness of duties well performed.

“To the ladies we would say: ‘Though you have labored long and well we trust you will not feel your task complete until this ground has been improved, made beautiful and attractive by such means as your good taste shall dictate. And then, as each returning spring-time shall bring forth its flowers to beautify the earth, may you bring your offerings and with your garlands adorn this sacred spot, even as the women of the South are wont to set apart a day to strew the graves of their dead with flowers, saying—

‘I only know, I only care to know, You died for me – for me and country bled’

“So many of the women of the North strew flowers over the graves of their heroes who gave their lives not to destroy but to preserve a nations honor. And may the memories of this hour inspire us to dedicate ourselves with renewed fidelity to those principles for which they fought and died; thus shall we most honor and render undying the memory of the American Soldier.

“Gentlemen of the Board of Trustees – this monument, which has been erected to commemorate the deeds of those heroic men who fell in the war of the rebellion, and which is formally dedicated here today, is now committed to your care. Upon you and your successors in office rests the responsibility of preserving it from injury. May it be guarded not as an ornament only, but as a sacred memorial to liberty and its defenders. And may it be protected and cared for in such a manner that those friends and surviving comrades of the deceased who may visit this ground in future years shall feel assured that the feeling of gratitude which prompted it remains as abiding sentiment with the people of Chagrin Falls.

“Upon you and your successors in office rests the responsibility of preserving it from injury. May it be guarded not as an ornament only, but as a sacred memorial to liberty and its defenders. And may it be protected and cared for in such a manner that those friends and surviving comrades of the deceased who may visit this ground in future years shall feel assured that the feeling of gratitude which prompted it remains as abiding sentiment with the people of Chagrin Falls.”

Jane E. Church, September 10, 1867


Individual Donors

A donation was made in honor of Bill Donley, Captain US Army World War 2 and Korean Conflict.
Paul D. Neidhardt
Kathryn Watterson
Pat & Wayne Hosmer
Kristen & Martin Schultz
Robert Thomas
Karen Swan

Organization Donations

Chagrin Valley Jaycees
Chagrin Falls Historical Society
American Legion Post 383
Cuyahoga County Council
Chagrin Falls Village
Fraternal Order of Eagles #2436
Schron Family Foundation
Molly Chittenden Chapter of the DAR
James A. Garfield Camp Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Granite respectfully repurposed from the Cuyahoga Soldiers and Sailors Monument grounds.

Ben Himes To Retire

It is with a deep sense of sincere appreciation and sadness that I announce Ben Himes’, our Chief Administrative Officers, retirement.  Ben will be retiring effective December 31, 2017. Ben has served our community with distinction for 40 years; in fact Ben has served our community with distinction for all of his adult life. Ben worked summers for the Village Utility Department beginning in 1977 while in high school and was hired full time in 1985. Ben earned a degree in civil engineering while working for the village and provided critical leadership in replacing and up grading our Village’s infrastructure. Ben was also the leader in implementing our 2005 Street Scape program that revitalized our downtown commercial district. For all who know him and have worked with him, and most especially me, it was a privilege to have worked with Ben and he will be missed. Ben has agreed to continue to serve as an independent consultant to the Village as we develop the plans for the Waste Water Treatment Plant up grade and the negotiations with Geauga County and other utility matters.

I am sure all of you will join me in thanking Ben for his service and wishing him a long and happy retirement.

We will be creating the position of Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for the balance of this year and I will be appointing Rob Jameson, subject to council’s approval, to that position. This will allow four months for Rob to work and train with Ben. It is my intention, again subject to council’s approval, to appoint Rob to the Chief Administrator’s position in January of 2018.

Rob has worked for the Village since 2012 as Service Director. Rob holds a B.A. degree in Urban Studies from Cleveland State and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Works Administration also from Cleveland State University.

Prior to joining the Village Rob worked for the Cities of University Heights as Service Director and the City of Macedonia as assistant Service Director.  Rob is a Vice President of Northern Ohio Service Director’s Association and a Board member of American Public Works Association Northeast Ohio Chapter. Rob also serves the Village as part time firefight and Emergency Medical Technician.

Rob has proved to be an exceptionally dedicated employee during his tenure as Street Superintendent and both Ben and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to take on the role of administrator.  We should discuss the details of the transition plan in Administrative and Compensation Committee and ask that you set a meeting prior to the September 11 Council meeting.

Mayor Bill Tomko

Greenbriar Water Utility Meeting Set, Questions Answered


August 17, 2017

Dear Greenbrier Subdivision Resident:

I am writing to invite you to a Utilities Committee meeting on Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers at 21 West Washington Street to discuss any concerns about your drinking water. The Village is meeting with several industry experts this week and will provide an update on progress at the meeting next week.

I also want to address various points raised by Mr. Nerone in his August 14, 2017 letter to Council. While this letter is largely factual it is also somewhat misleading . A series of questions and answers below are intended to address some of the misunderstanding of the water system.

As background, the Franklin Street wells have served the Village since the 1960s. They are a very high quality groundwater source and were the sole supply of the entire Village up until 1987 when the Village connected to the City of Cleveland to satisfy increased peak demand for water as a result of an increase in the population served. The Franklin Street wells pump into the distribution system at the corner of Somerset and Hawthorne Drives and Cleveland water is pumped into the system at Solon Road and Greenbrier. When the wells are running, which is the majority of the time, the Greenbrier Subdivision is receiving Chagrin well water only.

While we recognize that there is currently an issue with discolored water in the Greenbrier area, there is no history ofreported discolored water problems in Greenbrier or Village wide either before or after the connection to Cleveland water. All water systems have aesthetic problems from discolored water from time to time but you should not see discolored water on a regular basis. Discolored water is typically caused by changes in the flow rates, water main breaks or hydrant flushing. It is our understanding that in the past four years the residents of the Greenbrier Subdivision have noticed more incidents of discolored water and since this was first brought to our attention in January 2017 we have been and are working to minimize this as much as possible.

Is the water from the Franklin Street wells safe?

Yes. The water is safe to drink and is well within all of the strict EPA regulations for drinking water. The aesthetic discolored water issue raised by Mr. Nerone related only to color and the naturally occurring iron in the source water from the Franklin Street wells. Dissolved iron is colorless but can react with oxygen in the distribution system to form iron oxide or rust and cause discolored water.

Is the Franklin Street well water iron level “very high”?

No. The water industry and EPA do not consider concentrations less than 300 parts per billion (ppb) to be a “very high” iron level. Any amount of soluble iron below 300ppb is considered low. The last test result of the Franklin Street well water was 290 ppb. Historic test results show the wells have ranged between 210ppb and 290ppb. It is simply not accurate to characterize the iron content of the wells as “very high”.


Is Cleveland water extensively treated and Chagrin water untreated?

Cleveland water has to be extensively treated as necessitated by the relatively poor quality of the source water and to meet the EPA Surface Water Treatment Rules. Lake Erie is subject to all forms of environmental pollution including air pollution fallout, storm water runoff, septic and wastewater treatment plant discharges, algae blooms, open water dumping, and dead zone influence. All these contaminants in the raw water must be removed before it can be distributed to customers. Chagrin Falls has deep wells that are protected by a 230 foot layer of clay overburden. The well water can be safely consumed with no treatment although EPA requires chlorination as a safety factor. This type of well water is routinely sold at a high premium by the bottled water industry as artisan spring water. The Chagrin Falls Water Department and Cleveland Water are subject to the same regulations for consumer tap water quality. Chagrin is much less regulated on the treatment side because ground water is inherently of much higher quality than surface water.


Does Chagrin treat the water for iron?

Yes. The Village does treat the well water for iron with a polyphosphate and orthophosphate blend. Chagrin follows the water industry standard and Ten States Standards (plant design standards), which provide for sequestration with polyphosphate as the prescribed treatment up to 500 ppb. Additional treatment is not indicated by the low iron content of the water.


Is there fluoride in Chagrin well water?

Yes. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in ground water and the concentration of fluoride is 0.25 parts per million (ppm) in the Franklin Street well water. Chagrin does not add additional fluoride to its well water. Fluoride is also a regulated contaminant and water systems may not exceed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 4.0 ppm. The EPA also has an advisory secondary standard of 2.0ppm to protect children from tooth discoloration. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends an optimal level of 0.7ppm for dental health. The Village well water is well below the secondary standard and contains 35% of the current DHHS recommendation.

Fluoridation of drinking water remains a controversial subject despite its history of use in this country because excess fluoride can have adverse health consequences. Recent studies have lent support to the opposition and calls for lower levels of fluoride in drinking water. Today most people are exposed to fluoride from sources other than drinking water including dental products, food and beverages. For more information see this Scientific American article and this EPA fact sheet.


What is the Village doing about the recent discolored water complaints?

In the near term we are working to resolve the recent discolored water problem by working with our chemical supplier to adjust dosages or phosphate blends as may be necessary. In addition, the capital plan approved by Council last fall includes replacement of the transmission line from the Franklin Street well field in 2018 in conjunction with the resurfacing of the roads in Greenbrier. The transmission line will be extended through the Greenbrier Subdivision to Solon Road where it will mix directly with Cleveland water. When this project is completed all customers will receive a homogeneous blend of Cleveland and Chagrin water.