Panera Bread seeks Avon location

Panera Bread is proposing to build a 4,523-square-foot restaurant at 35680 Chester Road. During a work session on Jan. 6, Avon City Council adopted the proposal and forwarded it so the plans can be discussed and approved during a regular council meeting.

The business could open as early as spring and would include an outside patio for customers and allow live music on the inside, similar to the Panera in Sheffield Village, said Pam Fechter, planning coordinator for Avon.

The Avon Planning Commission has approved plans for the eatery.

Council prepares for Avon High School Performing Arts Center

Plans for Avon High School’s new $17 million project that includes a performing arts center are progressing.

City Council reviewed the Avon City Schools’ request for a special-use permit for the performing arts center and other renovations to the school during its work session on Jan. 6

The full council was to discuss the plans for the school’s proposed 42,000-square-foot performing arts center on Monday. Jan. 13 The 1,600-seat center will be added to the high school. Other plans for the project include renovations to the high school’s cafeteria kitchen, the cafeteria and the courtyard. Part of the outside courtyard will be moved inside the school cafeteria seating area, said Syed Abbas, president of Cleveland-based Architectural Vision, the firm overseeing the design of the project.

Last November, voters approved a 0.98-mill, 10-year bond issue to fund school renovation and construction projects, including the performing arts center.

A groundbreaking is planned for June after school is out. Work is expected to be completed in August 2021, according to Bill Fishleigh, director of operations for the school district.

The existing 602-seat high school auditorium will be kept for other uses, Fischeigh said.

Avon Lake waterline replacement project underway

Avon Lake Regional Water began work on Jan. 6 to replace or add about 1.5 miles of water lines on Jaycox and Lake roads, West Shore Road and Belmar Boulevard in Avon Lake.

Work on the estimated $2 million project is expected to last through May.

Most of the work will be done on Jaycox, where about a mile of water lines will be replaced. About 200 feet to 1,000 feet of line will added on Lake Road near Avondale, along West Shore Road, and on Belmar Boulevard near Walker Road. The work in those sections is to add water lines so water can be rerouted to reduce service interruptions if there is a break, said Todd Danielson, chief utilities executive for Avon Lake Regional Water.

Overall, about 7,000 feet of waterline will be affected.

The project is being paid for through a low-interest loan with Ohio Water Development Authority in Columbus. Fees are contained within the water rates currently being paid, and water bills or rates will not be increased because of this project, according to Danielson.

Police will direct traffic during the days when crews are working, usually from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. One lane of traffic will be maintained.

Avon Lake law director resigns

The city of Avon Lake is searching for a new law director.

Abe Lieberman, the city’s law director since 2012, has left to dedicate more time to his full-time job as senior counsel at O’Toole, McLaughlin, Dooley & Pecora, Co. in Sheffield Village.

He ended his service in December with City Council’s last regular meeting of 2019.

David Graves, the city’s assistant law director, is serving as interim law director, Mayor Greg Zilka said. Graves also is the full-time law director and prosecutor in Sheffield Lake and the part-time law director in Sheffield Village.

Zilka said he has interviewed about five candidates for the job, and hopes to provide his recommendation to council on Jan. 27.

Liberman’s annual salary with Avon Lake was about $61,000 or about $11,000 more a year than when he started the job.

North Ridgeville schools to retry bond issue

The North Ridgeville school board will try again to get voters to approve a bond issue to pay for construction of a new high school, elementary school and performing arts center.

The school board will formally vote on when to submit to the issue for the Nov. 3 general election at a later date.

Superintendent Roxann Ramsey-Caserio recommended last month that the board place on the ballot a maximum 37-year bond issue that would raise up to $136.5 million, which is what voters defeated last November.

Meanwhile, the board voted last month to place a 10-year, 11.72-mill substitute levy on the March 17 ballot. Voters defeated a measure on the Nov. 5 ballot that would have made the levy permanent. The replacement levy would fund operating expenses and would not raise taxes.

The proposed levy combines four existing operating levies that would raise at least $10.4 million annually. The money accounts for about 40% of the district’s annual operating costs. If the replacement levy fails in March, the district stands to lose $4.6 million a year beginning in 2021 because two of the four levies expire in 2020, said treasurer Mike Verlingo. The other two levies included in the replacement levy are scheduled to expire in 2022 and 2023, Verlingo said.

Verlingo’s last meeting with the school board was on Jan. 7. He accepted the school treasurer’s job with the Gahanna Jefferson School District near Columbus.

North Ridgeville to extend Ranger Way

City Council will seek bids to extend Ranger Way about 1,600 feet and connect it to Bainbridge Road.

Council agreed Jan. 6 to seek bids for the project, which it estimated will cost $1.6 million.

The project also calls for relocating Kenssington Drive, which now ties into Bainbridge. Instead, Kenssington would be rerouted and tie into the new section of Ranger Way.

The city does not plan to add a traffic signal to the new Ranger Way/Bainbridge intersection at this time. Once Ranger Way is completed, the city will evaluate the traffic patterns to see if a signal is needed.

The Ranger Way Extension will extend across multiple parcels currently owned by both the city and the district. The city and district are working together to transfer some of the property owned by the school, according to Christina Eavenson, assistant city engineer.

The city would expect to start work this summer and have the extension done by the beginning of the next school year, said City Engineer Dan Rodriguez.

Ranger Way now ends at Fire Station No. 1 and crosses over onto the high school campus property, following a roadway to Bainbridge.

According to information from the city, it did not have the funds in 2017 to extend the road past the fire station.

Lakewood City Council elects new leadership

At its first meeting of the new year, Lakewood City Council unanimously elected Ward 4 Councilman Dan O’Malley as president and Ward 3 Councilman John Litten as vice president. O’Malley and Litten were first elected in November 2015. They were joined by newly elected councilmembers Jason Shachner (Ward 2) and Tess Neff (Ward 1).

Before joining City Council, O’Malley served on Lakewood’s Citizens Advisory Committee and remains active in numerous civic and community organizations. He also is an official with the North Shore AFL-CIO.

Litten works in nonprofit social service leadership roles ranging from environmental recreation to persons with disabilities to emergency assistance to people in need.

North Olmsted bulk trash pickup returns to Thursday.

North Olmsted residents can put out bulk trash for pickup the Thursday in the first full calendar week of the month. If a week starts in the last few days of one month and ends in the next month, it’s not a full calendar week.

Garbage contractor Republic Services tried having bulk pickup on more than one day in late 2019 and found it confused city residents, said Safety-Service Director Don Glauner.

Bulk pickup includes appliances and other big pieces of trash. Republic will continue to pick up regular trash and recycling every Thursday.

North Olmsted does not charge residents a separate fee for trash pickup. It sets aside 15% of its income tax collections for that and related services.

City back on track with police station

The third round of bidding for Rocky River’s new police station wrapped on Friday for two key projects that still needed contractors.

General trades and plumbing, about $6 million of the project, attracted 12 companies to place bids. Every bid came below or just above the engineer’s estimate with the highest bid being $5,5. million.

Officials will meet Friday to go over each bid and figure out what the best offer will be. Legislation will be drafted for council’s consideration in late January. Once contracts are awarded construction will begin in March.

Officials hit a snag on the city’s $10 million Police Station project when bids for general trades and plumbing came back 10% over the engineer’s estimate. New bids for the projects were put out for rebid on Dec. 8. Because of this, the project has been delayed by six month and is now expected to wrap in March next year.

Foundation announces new president

Martin J. Uhle will serve as the new president and CEO of the Community West Foundation. He will be responsible for the organization’s mission to support groups that provide food, clothing, shelter, and medical care to those in need in Western Cuyahoga County.

Uhle grew up in West Park and later moved to Fairview Park with his father, the Rev. John F. Uhle and mother Jean. He studied Business at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and later earned his Masters of Business Administration at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea.

Uhle has been married to his high school sweetheart, Laura, for 34 years and they are members of Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview Park. They reside in Rocky River and have two adult sons: Ryan and Steven.

Prior to his new position as president, he was the Superintendent and CEO of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association from 2016-2019. he was Messiah Lutheran’s Pierstorf Memorial Fund Executive Director since 2012 which entailed granting interest-free loans to Lutheran students to help them go to college. The number of student loans granted has tripled under Marty’s leadership, according to a news release from the organization.

Crocker Park To Expand In 2020

World Market, a home decor brand and buybuyBABY, a clothing and accessory store for babies, are coming to Crocker Park this year. stores will be located by Crocker’s H&M.

Both stores will be located by Crocker’s H&M and are expected to open in the fall.

The two stores join other new restaurants and businesses coming to Crocker, including Condado Tacos, which opened on Dec. 12.

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