Avon Growth News, 11-7-05 to 11-30-05

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11-11-05 2005 Election Results

11-15-05 Recycling information night is Nov. 15, 2005, at 7 pm

11-16-05 J&M Furniture and Interiors headed to Chester Road Square

12-2-05 Joe Scaletta receives an Environmental Innovations Award from the Ohio Environmental Council

12-3-05 Senior Center proves to be a welcome addition

12-4-05 Stakeholders gather to share ideas for the SR 83 extension

The bus garage hearing has been moved to 2-27-06.

MESSAGE to www.loraincounty.com , 11-11-05, By Oldtimer

``Urbanflight should not give up. There are good grounds for a class action taxpayers suit against the Avon Board of Education for squandering and proposing to squander our tax dollars: eyes wide open writes that [11-7-05] the Avon BOE has squandered

"-$290,000 -$158,000 -$608,000 -$953,000" = -$2,009,000 from 2001 through 2004,

and proposes to squander

"-$853,000 -$556,000 -$1,122,000" = -$2,531,000 from 2005 through 2008, a total of $4,540,000 in the red.

Eyes wide open writes: "the forecast that was filed with the state ... Here is the website for everyone:

http://fyf.oecn.k12.oh.us/fyforecast/ViewForecast/ViewByDistrict.asp?District=avon

... Avon is the only district to spend more than it received for 4 years straight and the only one to drain the general fund like the board did. The reason that the district has not been put in the deficit YET is that the Board started out with over $3 million ..."

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From the SBS Transit, Inc. web site:

"SBS Transit, Inc. is an Ohio Corporation with offices in Sheffield, Ohio. We provide student transportation for public school districts and special needs school bus transportation for Boards of MRDD.

SBS Transit, Inc. was founded in 1966 by Robert and Janice Van Wagnen to provide safe transportation for clients of the Lorain County Board of Mental Retardation and developmental Disabilities. A service we continue to provide today.

In Ohio, almost 40% of school districts contract out a portion or all of their non-instructional services.

School districts outsource transportation to realize significant cost savings.

Enhanced Service -- SBS Transit provides vehicles, staff, CDL training, drug/alcohol testing, physicals (T8), in house student discipline program, fleet maintenance, dispatch/radio staff, routing and extra curricular and athletic trips. Essentially, SBS Transit provides a complete 'turn key' professional transportation department.

Special Needs Transportation -- A very expensive facet of school transportation. SBS Transit has extensive experience providing special needs transportation since 1966.

Quality Enhancement -- Our training of drivers, monitors, mechanics and staff is unparalleled in the State.

District lacks Personnel and Equipment -- Forget your daily staffing problems. We are proud of our BlueBird, state-of-the-art fleet with an annual Ohio State Highway Patrol inspection pass rate of 100%.

Local Control -- We are so confident in our service package that we include a generous buy-back clause in the contract.

SBS Transit employees are union members of OAPSE Local #790.

We would be happy to provide a simple cost presentation for your analysis.

Learn more about School Transportation Contract Services.

SBS Transit Inc.

3747 Colorado Avenue

Sheffield Village Ohio 44054

440-949-8121

800-548-5304

fax 440-949-2979"

The location of the bus garage is a critical issue for Avon. The school board should not be allowed to blunder forward with its wasteful trashing of Detroit Rd., with no consideration for the health of our children or the inability to expand the bus parking area at Heritage North school.

The vacant land at Heritage North should be used for school expansion, not for a bus garage. Remember, Avon's build-out population could easily be 74,000 [as stated in the Master Plan of 1992]. We have about 15,000 now.

Locating the school bus garage at Heritage North will force more busses through the SR83 - Detroit intersection, increasing the risk for Avon children. This alone is reason enough to eliminate Heritage North school as as site for the proposed bus garage.

Why has the Avon Board of Education not considered the alternative of contracting school bus service with SBS Transit, 3747 Colorado Ave. (SR 611) in Sheffield Village? Other cities use SBS. Avon might save a lot of money.

This would solve the contentious bus garage problem. The busses would be stored in Sheffield with all the other busses. The BOE would not have to build a fancy garage at Heritage North (probably costing $400,000 more than an adequate pole barn structure); and the BOE would avoid the enormous financial risk of Heritage North School being shut down in a few years because of accumulated tiny particle diesel pollution.

Storing busses at Heritage North will be a glaring irritation to many Avon voters who will be called upon to pass future Avon school levies. Does the BOE want to risk this?

Written by: Oldtimer on November 11, 2005 ''

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MESSAGE to www.loraincounty.com , 11-9-05, By urbanflight

``I'm one of the residents of Bentley Park who fought hard against the Rt 83 development and the bus depot for obvious reasons. I moved to Avon for the sense of community as well as an investment. Before purchasing my house I went to city hall to review the zoning and felt confident that my property was protected.

I was so wrong. The new council will allow the school board to build the depot and will rubberstamp the rezoning in my backyard [bus garage special use permit].

Commercial development will spread down Detroit, down 83. Say hello to Lowe's, BP and god knows what else. This city will end up being another North Royalton and Strongsville --- strip malls and traffic.

Come Spring I will be looking to sell my house. I was mistaken --- there is no community here and I will lose money on my house, unless Lowe's needs to expand parking and I can get them to buy it. I'm confident they won't have any issues getting it rezoned.''

Written by: urbanflight on November 9, 2005

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MESSAGE to www.loraincounty.com , 11-7-05, By eyes wide open

Re: Avon Schools in the Red

``Could you please respond with how many millions of dollars the district will end this fiscal year [2005] with? Are you indicating that it is different than the forecast that was filed with the state referring to line 10.010? I'll bet the auditors would love to hear that. Here is the website for everyone:

http://fyf.oecn.k12.oh.us/fyforecast/ViewForecast/ViewByDistrict.asp?District=avon

... Here it is right out of the report (6.010) in THOUSANDS

School year 2000/01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08

Over/Under spent +$785 -$290 -$158 -$608 -$953 -$853 -$556 -$1,122

I saw the comparisons. Avon is the only district to spend more than it received for 4 years straight and the only one to drain the general fund like the board did. The reason that the district has not been put in the deficit YET is that the Board started out with over $3 million. Nice of them to drain it. I guess if they didn't have that much to start we would be just like Sheffield was - almost out of money completely! Ever hear of a BALANCED budget? ( Oh, maybe that is something they teach in college.

At the last board meeting, the board said Avon will overspend $853,000 for this year [2005] alone. What???? How could we be passing every levy and be running "in the red" (oh, I am sorry, spending too much) every year? Did the Board say unacceptable? Or give me some recommendations on how to make it better? NOPE!!! Approved - continue to drain away!

If I went to my boss and told him I wanted to overspend that much, he would fire me!!!! Of course, board members don't have to worry about that unless someone finds out about it! Well, thank you for showing us the ignorance of the current board and how "fiscally responsible" they really are.

Why would a board want to let the fund go to $0. One reason to drain the general fund from $3.3M to zero would be to put the district in a stronger negotiating position with the teachers ("we have no money") and make the voters and parents have to respond to a desperate situation ("you have to do this"). Sounds like the philosophy of the current board. Our board said "Hmmm.... there is an election coming up where there are 3 seats open". We better not make any waves or our voting block, our control, may be lost. Lets wait until next May and then hit everyone.

Worse yet is that the current board has done such a great job getting the public mad at them with the antics of the bus garage, who knows when they will be able to get a levy passed. Great, Sheffield here we come ...''

Written by: eyes wide open on November 7, 2005

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Lorain County, Ohio, General Election, 11/08/05, 23:09:26

Unofficial Election Summary Report

185,550 Registered Voters, 81,010, 43.66%, voting

Num. Precinct 239 - Num. Reporting 239 100.00%

AVON, Number of Precincts 13, Precincts Reporting 13

AVON CITY MAYOR, Total Votes 3827, JAMES A. SMITH 3827

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AVON CITY COUNCIL AT LARGE, Total Votes 12649

JOANNE M. EASTERDAY 1537

KEVIN FLANIGAN 2127

LARRY J. HOEKSTRA II 1405

JACK KILROY 1900

LAURENCE R. KROEGER 1416

CLINTON S. PELFREY 2324, Council President elect

CRAIG WITHERSPOON 1940

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AVON CITY COUNCIL Ward 1, Number of Precincts 4

Total Votes 1137 BRYAN K. JENSEN 637 MARK JULIUS 500

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AVON CITY COUNCIL Ward 2, Number of Precincts 3

Total Votes 718 DENNIS MCBRIDE 718

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AVON CITY COUNCIL Ward 3, Number of Precincts 3

Total Votes 985 TIMOTHY NICKUM 541 KRISTY N. RICE 444

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AVON CITY COUNCIL Ward 4, Number of Precincts 3

Total Votes 1059 LIZ ADAMSON 340 DANIEL C. URBAN 719

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AVON LOCAL MEMBER OF EDUCATION, Total Votes 11798

SUSAN HARRISON 2234

DEBRA C. POLOVICH 2027

KEVIN ROMANCHOK 1568

DALE SMITEK 2194

GREGORY TILTON 1526

KAREN E. WAGNER 1526

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AVON LAKE MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE, Number of Precincts 34

DARREL BILANCINI 6,268

KREIG BRUSNAHAN 3,533

MARILU LAUBENTHAL 1,124

JAMES J. SMITH 1,868

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State of Ohio: 7.7 million Registered Voters, 3+ million, 39.7%, voting

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 1, to provide $2 billion in bonds

Lorain County, Total Votes 72691 YES 40533 NO 32158

State of Ohio, YES 1,376,774 NO 1,165,279

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 2, to allow absentee voting

Lorain County, Total Votes 73388 YES 31715 NO 41673

State of Ohio, YES 966,049 NO 1,680,965

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 3, to limit political contributions

Lorain County, Total Votes 73411 YES 28613 NO 44798

State of Ohio, YES 854,372 NO 1,758,315

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 4, to create a commission to draw legislative districts

Lorain County, Total Votes 72941 YES 26599 NO 46342

State of Ohio, YES 781,530 NO 1,836,087

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 5, to transfer election oversight

Lorain County, Total Votes 72882 YES 25460 NO 47422

State of Ohio, YES 763,989 NO 1,832,923

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Issue 6 LORAIN COUNTY TAX LEVY 1.3 MILLS for parks

Total Votes 74524 FOR 43270 AGAINST 31254

Issue 7 LORAIN COUNTY TAX LEVY 1.5 MILLS for Children Services

Total Votes 75157 FOR 47444 AGAINST 27713

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Avon Local Option (Liquor) Issues, Number of Precincts 1

Issue 10 APPLEBEE'S

Total Votes 533 YES 438 NO 95

Issue 11 COSTCO

Total Votes 540 YES 427 NO 113

Issue 12 RED ROBIN

Total Votes 538 YES 421 NO 117

Issue 13 WORLD MARKET

Total Votes 536 YES 405 NO 131

Issue 14 NEMO GRILLE

Total Votes 285 YES 208 NO 77

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 11-9-05, By Julie A. Short

[Recycling information night is Nov. 15, 2005, at 7 pm in the Avon High School Commons.]

``Learn ways to improve environment during recycling info night

AVON -- Avon's clerk of council, Ellen Young, wears another hat in the city, as she is also Avon's recycling coordinator. She recently addressed city council in September regarding the state of the city's blue bag recycling program explaining that she is currently preparing the city's grant application for monies from Lorain County Solid Waste Management District for funds to be used in 2006 for the city's blue bag program.

"The county is taking in more money and the grant funding is going down," Young said during council's Sept. 12 meeting. "This year the county took in $3.5 million in tipping fees (fees are charged per ton of solid waste dumped at the landfill in Oberlin, $2 per ton for Lorain County waste and $4 per ton for outside the county) and awarded $1.2 million in grants. Those tipping fees are expected to go up. I recently attended a mandatory meeting with the county and the room was full of about 40 angry people from Lorain County."

Young understands the importance of the blue bag program and the city's need to keep the program. As part of the application process, communities are required to outline how they plan to encourage residents to recycle. In the past, Young has worked with the schools to promote recycling. This year, she presented council members with a plan consisting of amending the city's 2005 grant application to change the incentive program from a school competition to a community-wide informative evening in the high school auditorium where a representative from the solid waste district can explain recycling.

In attendance will be Young; Michael Greenberg from GT Environmental; Dan Billman from the Lorain County Solid Waste Management District; and representatives from Allied Waste/BFI, Kurtz Brothers Composting Facility and the Avon Local School system.

According to Young, the city of Avon wants residents to know storm drains in the streets flow directly into local rivers and creeks, not a treatment plants and to keep cigarette butts, grass clippings, car soap, oil, litter, etc. out of storm drains and drainage ditches. Attendees will also learn about recycling options in Avon and Lorain County and what can they do to improve the environment and reduce the amount of waste in Lorain County's landfill. Residents are invited to share ideas to make Avon a cleaner, healthier place to live.

"I want residents to understand the inception of the Solid Waste Management district," Young said. "Funding is also an issue. It's important for residents to hear where they get their funds and how they are distributed. We also want the residents aware of some of the programs planned for the city in terms of recycling."

According to Young, one of those programs is the recycling containers that will soon (with council's approval) be in place at a number of area schools where residents can drop off paper and the schools will receive money based on the tonnage collected. Another program in the works through Gerald Galant of the parks department is a compost facility.

"Mr. Galant has already started a compost pile in the city," Young said. "We hope to be clearing space on Schneider Court near the new service garage f or this. Mr. Galant has composting knowledge and together with the parks and streets departments, we hope to bring anything the streets department chips to this pile. As the need grows, we hope to eventually make the compost available to residents. Hopefully we can begin residential pick up for that. The streets department already does curbside pickup of branches, etc."

Unique door prizes made from recycled and reused materials will be awarded at the end of the informative evening. Light refreshments will be served. Tips on pollution prevention and other environmental information will be available on Avon's web site at www.cityofavon.com.

The recycling information night will take place Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Avon High School commons. The date is also America Recycles Day (ARD) which is a national day set aside for communities to hold events that focus on the importance of recycling and buying products made with recycled content.

Recycling Facts:

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 11-16-05, By Julie A. Short

[J&M Furniture and Interiors headed to Chester Road Square]

``AVON -- Contrary to rumors, J&M Furniture and Interiors is not going out of business. The popular store is moving from its current location in Elyria (850 Griswold) to the newly constructed Chester Road Square shopping complex across from Wal-Mart.

"We're so excited to be moving east," Mary Tornabene, who co-owns the store with her husband, Joe, said. "We've had a tough time here since 9/11 and after the Sam's Club closed in Elyria. We were ready to give up and then this opportunity came along. Our store in Avon will actually be bigger than our first store was when we opened 20 years ago."

The 5,100-sq.-ft. showroom will feature furniture, home accessories, window treatments, flooring and lighting. "We will continue to offer our interior design services," Mary said. "What's great about our store is that our showroom lightning is what you find in your own home. We don't have fluorescent lightning, which tends to alter the appearance of fabrics or floor covering. It aids in the selection process and makes it easier for the customer to decide because they don't have to worry about getting something home and finding the color isn't quite right" ...

"We are still going to be discounting merchandise and taking special orders," Mary said. "A lot of people think that sometimes they can't afford good quality pieces. If you are going to spend the money, make it something that is uniquely you. I like to mix expensive with inexpensive items when I'm decorating. The trend in decorating today is eclectic. You really can mix two different woods in the same room."

J&M will be having a moving sale in mid-November and the owners hope to open the new Avon location in time for the business's 29th anniversary in February.

In other Chester Road Square news: Signs on the storefronts announce the coming of several new businesses ... Owners for Juan's Mexicali could not confirm signing a lease. According to the restaurant's web site (http://www.juansmexicali.com), guests will find freshly prepared traditional Mexi favorites: burritos, tacos, and quesadillas.

California inspired offerings include Swordfish Tacos, Baja Bayou Burritos, Salmon Wraps, Three-Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Quesadillas, and Mexican Cobb Salads. Signature sauces, fresh-made tortillas, and carefully roasted meats are complemented by a fully-stocked Juan's Flavor & Pain hot sauce bar for a complete taste experience, Fresh-made margaritas and beers from south of the border are also available.

Concept creators Gary McGill and Tom Wilscam are behind the development of the Einstein Bagel concept. Also listed as a Chester Road Square tenant is Mootown Creamery ... The ice cream shop's concept is similar to Cold Stone Creamery where items are mixed into ice cream on a cold slab. A tanning salon and floral store are also in the works.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-22-05, by BETH STALLINGS, Morning Journal Writer

[First in line at the Best Buy in Avon for the Microsoft Xbox 360]

``AVON -- Not taking their chances, video game lovers started lining up outside retail stores yesterday afternoon for a chance to be among the first to own the eagerly anticipated Microsoft Xbox 360, which goes on sale this morning.

Zack Winiasz, 17, of Amherst, was first in line at the Best Buy in Avon. He has been waiting outside since 3 pm. yesterday, ready to spend up to $600 on an Xbox 360 and accessories.

''I didn't think I wanted it until a couple weeks ago,'' Winiasz said. ''But everyone else wanted it, and I decided I did too.''

Ready for his 18-hour wait, Winiasz was settled in against the wall of the store with six layers of clothes and a few friends along for moral support. They ordered pizza, had a case of energy drinks to keep them up and brought along a football and DVD player for entertainment.

The Xbox 360 costs between $299 and $399, with additional accessories available. At 8:30 am., employees at Avon's Best Buy were to pass out numbered tickets based on the supply of Xbox 360s in stock. At 9 am., when the store officially opens, patrons will have their chance to buy the game center.

Best Buy Sales Manager Eric Turner said he had been getting phone calls all day from people wanting to reserve a unit and asking just how many of the coveted Xboxes they will be selling.

Laughing, Turner said he still didn't know how many they were going to have in stock. He said all he knew was that as of 9 am., they would have them in the store ...

''We want the system that bad,'' said Patrick Minnich, a teenager from Lorain, who had been in the Avon Best Buy line since 6 pm. ''If they're going to run out after 40, why not be number 20 and be guaranteed one.''

''Everyone thinks I'm crazy,'' said John Stefan, of Avon, nodding in agreement. ''It's a little extreme, I think, but having a lot of people here is encouraging. If they're staying, I'm staying.'' ...''

More on Best Buy

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-26-05, by JENNIFER BRACKEN and SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writers

``Shoppers rush out for the best bargains

LORAIN -- The shoppers crawled out of bed very early yesterday morning [11-25-06] to get the biggest sales at area stores.

While some people didn't get to stores until 8:30 or 9 a.m., there were plenty of other people lined up outside stores around 4:30 or 5 a.m.

Avon Commons was among the many shopping plazas in Lorain County that was crawling with shoppers.

''We got out early. We were at Wal-Mart at 6:30 a.m.,'' said Gloria Petelin of Avon Lake. ''It was packed and everyone was fighting.''

Petelin, her mother and her daughter also shopped at Best Buy and Target.

''By the time we got to Best Buy all the sale items were gone,'' she said.

The three decided to go to Wal-Mart to get an LCD television for $179. Petelin said in past years she has waited outside of Target at 5 a.m., but this year it was too cold.

Although Petelin's shopping was considered extra because she had most of her Christmas shopping already done, yesterday marked the start of the holiday for many others.

Charlotte Jones of North Ridgeville and her sister Cathleen Fletcher of Parma went shopping with their friend Zana Hudspath of LaGrange. The day after Thanksgiving shopping has become a tradition for them.

''It's fun,'' Jones said. ''We're not pushers or shovers, and we don't have kids or husbands to deal with.''

The trio started at Wal-Mart around 5 a.m. and bought portable DVD players, karaoke machines and televisions.

''We got right in and even found a cart,'' Jones said laughing. ''I went for the TV, but we didn't get one because they were all gone.''

After Wal-Mart they stopped at Bob Evans to ''refuel,'' Fletcher said.

''We got a second burst of energy,'' she said. ''We'll probably get home around 4 p.m. just in time to eat some leftovers.''

Despite plywood covering its new sign on Chester Road in Avon, shoppers found their way to Best Buy yesterday morning by the hundreds, according to General Manager Bob Lewis.

''We had from 300 to 400 people lined up at 5 a.m. when we opened,'' said Lewis. ''I think they were coming for the eMachine, a complete computer we advertised for $150. The store actually hit full capacity by 6 a.m., and we had to close the doors until customers left. As a few left, we could let in more who were waiting. By 9 a.m. the major crush was down.''

Lewis said sales yesterday exceeded his expectations.

''By 1 p.m. we were ahead of our goal for the whole day,'' he said. ''MP3 players and iPods have been just unbelievable. We practiced for days to prepare. I had a guy with balloons tied to his belt standing at the end of the line, so customers could see where it ended.'' ...

Pete Renaurd, his wife, Kim, and daughter, Renee, went out shopping with Kim's sister and daughter, Melissa and Mary Oliver. Melissa and Mary are in town from Michigan and have traditionally shopped the day after Thanksgiving with relatives.

The family visited Target and Old Navy at Avon Commons. They started their shopping at 8:30 a.m.

''We used to do it early, but we got out late,'' Pete Renaurd said.

The family had plans to shop at Kohl's and then an area mall. They said they have a pretty big family to buy for this year.

''I do the majority of my shopping today -- about three-fourths of it,'' Kim said.

A concern before the holiday shopping season began was whether there would be traffic gridlock in Avon by the Avon Commons and the new Best Buy. Though traffic was brisk in the area, the gridlock did not materialize. At 1 p.m. yesterday, motorists could proceed through the intersection of Chester Road and Center Road on one cycle of the traffic light.

[What happened to the prediction of the Jacobs traffic study that the SR83 - I90 interchange would fail by the beginning of 2003? Getting to this interchange from the south becomes more of a problem every day, a problem that will not be solved by adding an interchange at Nagel Road. What percentrage of the SR83 traffic will divert to Nagel Road; and will it make any difference in the face of the rapid population increase in Avon and North Ridgeville?]

Avon Police Lt. Larry Fischbach said his department hadn't received any calls regarding bad traffic by the Best Buy store since it opened Nov. 18.

''Traffic usually increases from Thanksgiving to Christmas,'' said Fischbach. ''But this year we've seen nothing I would consider out of control or requiring police assistance. It's a bad intersection (SR 83 and Chester Road) to begin with, but yesterday was not any worse. From midnight to 1:30 a.m. we saw people starting to line up at the store, but it was orderly.''''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 12-7-05, By Julie A. Short

[Joe Scaletta receives an Environmental Innovations Award from the Ohio Environmental Council]

``AVON -- It's not uncommon for dozens of trees and vegetation to be cleared away to make room for a new subdivision. Preserving the area is often not as high of a priority as it should be for most developers.

This is not the case for Joe Scaletta of SDC Homes and Neighborhoods Corporation, formerly known as The Scaletta Development Corporation. He recently received an Environmental Innovations Award from the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) for his smart growth practices.

"I'm honored to be recognized," Scaletta said. "I was told I am the first developer to win this award. It means even more to me because I was nominated by a resident of Avenbury Lakes. By winning this award, it shows that a development can be friendly to the environment." Avon resident John Bender, an OEC benefactor, nominated Scaletta for the award.

Avenbury is one of SDC Homes' Active Adult communities. The development is a mixture of walking trails, woods, wetlands and lakes, wildflowers and meadow grasses. Scaletta is also responsible for Devonshire Meadows in Avon. Other conservation development projects in the works include Northborough, an active adult community opening in North Ridgeville and River Estates, a heavily wooded neighborhood along the Black River in Grafton.

"Northborough will feature walking trails, club house and pool," Jonelle Sear, SDC marketing manger said. "There will be lots of open spaces and benches throughout the development for people to enjoy the outdoors. All of our communities are built with conservation in mind."

SDC has been recognized by the building industry, as well, which has honored the SDC Homes and Neighborhoods Corporation with over 100 Circle of Excellence and Cleveland Choice Awards in the past 16 years, including Community of the Year for five years running, Builder of the Year, and Developer of the Year.

Scaletta and his family have been Lorain County residents for almost 30 years. He has been involved in a variety of organizations and is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the North Coast BIA and the HBA of Greater Cleveland.

Scaletta has been featured on radio programs, video documentaries and both local and national publications regarding cluster housing, senior housing and conservation developments. For more information on SDC Homes and Neighborhoods Corporation, log on to http://www.sdchomes.com.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 12-7-05, By Julie A. Short

``Senior Center proves to be welcome addition to city

AVON -- It's been almost one year since the Avon Senior Center opened in the former fire station on Detroit Road. Since then, the center has been abuzz with activity.

"We've had a great year," Senior Center Coordinator Carmelina Barbera said during city council's Nov. 28 meeting. "I've provided a list of year-to-date activities. Things that have been very well-received by the seniors include exercise programs, senior trips, health screenings and flu shots."

According to the report, seminars that dealt with heart issues, joint replacement and financial planning had overwhelming turnouts. Additionally, seminars that educated seniors on what is/what is not normal (i.e. normal/abnormal joint/muscle pain, memory loss, hearing/vision loss, etc.) were also significantly successful. Attendance for all programming ranged from 20-34 participants. Attendance for social activities and trips ranged from 54-150 participants.

"We just finished our first computer program in conjunction with the Avon schools" Barbera said. "It was a basic computer course and it was extremely successful. I would like to thank Jim Reitenbach and the schools for working with the seniors. We had over 40 seniors sign up for the class and unfortunately were only able to have 20 in the class."

One program that did not work out was the call care program, where seniors or persons with disabilities would receive a well-being phone call every morning and would follow a certain protocol in the event the call care recipient did not answer the phone. The software for the program was estimated at $3,500 and it was decided that since there was not enough feedback, the center would not spend the money.

"Dawn Meyer from Community Resource Services (CRS) in Avon Lake informed me that her agency also tried to implement a call care program," Barbera said. "We are aware numerous seniors in Avon and Avon Lake could benefit from this service because they are frail or living alone and/or have some for of disability. Therefore the need is there, but these folks are not interested in this type of service for several reasons including they don't believe they need it, they see it as a babysitting service and/or underestimate their vulnerability and choose not to be proactive."

The Avon Senior Center also formed a working relationship with Avon Lake Towne Center to provide bus transportation to seniors. Barbera is also looking to obtain a van through donations or grants for senior transportation.

Membership in Avon Seniors Inc. has increased over 32 percent in the past year. "Based on our monthly newsletter mailings, we had approximately 534 senior members in March," Barbera said. "In November, we mailed 800 newsletters."

Barbera is looking forward to 2006 and has a number of projects already in the works. "We're going to be remodeling our lower level," she said. "We are in the process of trying to do some of the prep work. The architects are working to solicit a general contractor on the project."

The lower level remodel will include a multi-purpose room, library, meeting room and kitchenette. Barbera's office will move to the lower level and the upstairs space will be converted into a new computer lab for seniors. The main entrance to the center will be situated in the back of the building within the new lower level.

Funding for the project will come from grants and a loan from the city, which the seniors plan to pay back. The organization receives a portion of the proceeds from the annual Avon Eagle Run held Memorial Day weekend at the EMH Center for Health and Fitness.

"The goal is to have more space to have more events going on simultaneously," Barbera said. "Right now we are limited in our space and can only have one activity going on at a time. With our new lower level, we can have crafts going on downstairs, while a computer class is taking place upstairs. The upstairs can also be used for screenings and other health-related lectures. We are still in need of particians to separate activities and offer privacy, especially for the screenings."

Ongoing initiatives at the senior center include health education, lock box and the reflective address markers. Seminars planned for 2006 include Medicare info, home safety, vision screenings and bereavement classes. The senior center is also available for public use.

"Women's clubs, Brownie troops and other organizations have used the facility and it's been working out well," Barbera said. "As an organization, we also plan to be even more involved in the community."

Barbera is looking forward to meeting the residents of St. Mary of the Woods, Avon newest retirement community, and welcoming them into the organization. "Carm has done a phenomenal job," Ward 3 Councilman Tim Nickum said. "The senior center has become a real meeting place for seniors. It's a place to make new friendships and renew old friendships."

For more information on the senior center, call 934-2417.'' [Avon Senior Center, 36786 Detroit Rd., Avon, OH 44011]

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 11-23-05, By Julie A. Short

``Stakeholders gather to share ideas for SR 83 extension

AVON -- One of the worst traffic areas in the city was the topic for a stakeholders meeting on Nov. 10. Dozens of residents, business owners and city officials from both Avon and Avon Lake gathered at city hall for input regarding the city's future plans to create a SR 83 extension and redirect the current dog leg at the north end of town.

"The benefit of the project is that it is going to help traffic on Chester Road," Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said. "By moving this dog leg, we are taking Chester out of the picture. We improved the area five years ago, but more work needs to be done."

According to Piazza, the city did apply for some grants to begin work on the project, which is estimated to cost more than $1 million. The project will not be going out for bids until May and city officials hope to begin work in July [2006].

The proposal includes adding a dedicated left turn lane on SR 83 heading north at the Chester Road intersection. A single lane would move traffic through the intersection to the new extension. There will also be a right turn lane for those wishing to head east on Chester Road.

Drivers will travel north on 1,100 linear feet along the new road before making a right turn and heading east nearly 460 linear feet to pick up SR 83 again. The new intersection will be approximately 500 feet south of Schneider Court. There had been talk previously about extending the road to Pin Oak Parkway in Avon Lake ...

Feedback from the residents living along the proposed extension included the heights of the buffering mounds, and where to locate the RTA park and ride. Some of the trees in the area will be lost, but new vegetation will be planted. Another issue up for discussion is whether the residents would like to see a dry or wet retention basin in the area. With the recent opening of Best Buy on Center Road, as well as the new Chester Road shopping plaza, traffic in the area of SR 83 is steadily increasing. The city hopes to have the project complete by winter of 2006.''

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