Happy New Year! And what a year it has been already. The weather has been keeping the Service Department busy. According to Service Director, Ted DeWater, at this time last year he had ordered 250 tons of road salt whereas this year he has ordered 1200 tons. The Service Department also uses a deicing product called AquaSalina+ which effectively reduces our reliance on road salt. It is natural salt water brine with a rust inhibiter added. Pet owners who walk their dogs in the street know how hard rock salt is on paws and pads. AquaSalina+ is friendlier to the environment and to your pets. You only need to rinse and wipe your pets’ paws with clean water or, if you prefer, a mild soap and water. I’ve been asked by a resident to remind you to keep your cats indoors. In addition to the dangers the outdoors can pose to your cat, cats in the United States kill over a billion birds each year.
Council chose its leadership at the January meeting: Monica Sturgis will continue as Council President and Dan Fritz will continue as Planning Commission Chair. We welcomed Paul Stanard back on Council and welcomed newcomer Gary Sherck. I appointed two resident members to Planning Commission: Robin Cooper and Melanie Corcoran. Robin has served on Planning Commission, both as a resident volunteer and as a Council member since 2002. Her experience and insights are greatly valued. Melanie Corcoran has served the Village on the Charter Review Commission and the Assessment Equalization Board. She is thoughtful and engaged and I look forward to working with her. Please note the fact that we have changed the time of the Planning Commission meeting from 5:00 to 6:00 on the fourth Monday of the month.
Council approved the purchase of two trucks at the January meeting. The first truck is a snow plow which will replace a 2002 truck that has come to the end of its life span. The second truck is a fully automated garbage truck. The Administration has been working toward full automation for both recycling and garbage pick-up which is safer and more efficient. The garbage truck that the Village currently uses is a 2005 and has an expected 10-year life span. We hope that by pulling it out of daily service a year early, we can make it last several more years. It will be used for special pick-ups and back-up in case of break-downs. You can help with our transition to full automation: make sure you have a garbage cart that is compliant or arrange to buy one from the Service Department. If you have purchased a cart from the Village over the last decade, it is compliant. Furthermore, please put your carts out within 3 feet of the edge of the road with the wheels and handle facing the house.
Brian Zimmerman, Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Metroparks has informed me that the Metroparks will continue their deer management program this winter. They plan a deer herd reduction for the South Chagrin Reservation. The main body of the park will be closed to the public from noon to midnight on several days during the period of January 21 through March 14. They will use every safety precaution but please be aware of any posted signs.
The hazardous tree removal program will begin soon. Trees in the right of way which are diseased or dead and pose a threat to public safety will be removed. VanCuren has been awarded the contract and will soon be in the Village taking down marked trees. Because of the unusually large number of trees removed over the last few years, Council will soon consider a tree-replacement policy.