Avon Growth News, 8-17-00 to 12-16-00

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8-17-00 The Avon Planning Commission works on balanced growth
9-9-00 Council will discuss "Number of County Commissioners"
10-3-00 Homeowners blast Red Tail development
11-7-00 Marconi plans Avon expansion
12-13-00 Avon Commons Traffic Signals
12-14-00 Avon Bearings Expands

LETTER to the EDITOR of THE CLEVELAND FREE TIMES, 8-3-00,

"I'll take the sprawl

The loss of perspective is not a surprise (Interview, July 19, 2000). The previous social critics (prominently, Lincoln Steffens), addressing issues of population density, decried "The Shame of the Cities" for their squalor and sardine-like overcrowding, describing them as soulless and dehumanizing.

In the years since, Americans have fulfilled Steffens' enlightened vision, creating suburbs with lawns and trees, space to breathe, and for kids to play.

The social critics of today, such as Josh Greene, decry this as "vicious sprawl." Given the choice, I'll take Greene's "vicious sprawl" over ... tenements any day. Better yet, he can buy my property in St. Hyacinthe, with the back yard depth of four feet, and the side yard width of three feet.

Forget not, also, what the farmers did to arrive at their agrarian splendor -- they destroyed the forests ..."

Mike Kole, Cleveland

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 8-17-00, SARAH FENSKE, Morning Journal Writer

"AVON -- Planning Commission in Avon unanimously approved [8-16-00] a site plan for a 20,000-square-foot building in local developer Herman ''Bucky'' Kopf's industrial parkway off Jaycox Road.

The building will be the new headquarters for Wonder Machine Services Inc., a precision machining company with about 30 full-time employees.

About 15,000 square feet will be devoted to the company's manufacturing operation and the remaining 5,000 square feet will be office space, said Craig Roberts, the project's general contractor.

The approval came with just one condition. The commission requested that the company submit a lighting plan that matches the city's standards.

Company President George Woyansky Jr. said the company hopes to move in by spring 2001.

The business was founded in 1976 and has been at its current address in Cleveland for 15 years.

The company has not requested any type of tax break from the city.

In other business last night, the proposal to put a Fairfield Inn at Chester Road has stalled again.

The project's developer, Mike Ruta of Lodging Industries, requested earlier in the week to remove the proposal from the planning commission agenda, said Chairman Jim Piazza.

Instead of being moved to a future agenda, the developer asked that the item be removed indefinitely, Piazza said ...

The proposal is especially important to city officials because a plan to reroute Chester Road hinges on the development.

Yesterday, Mayor Jim Smith said of the project, ''It's been delayed again. There are a lot of other hotels interested in the city of Avon. Somebody's going to build at that intersection, whether it's a Fairfield Inn or a Marriott.''

At the time of its first presentation, the hotel would have been the first national chain in Avon. Now that title may pass to a Wingate Inn proposed for a new road at the southwest corner of Chester and SR 83, about a mile from the site of the proposed Fairfield Inn."

sfenske@morningjournal.com

NEWS ARTICLE from THE CHRONICLE-TELEGRAM, 8-17-00, By RACHEL ZINN

"AVON--Plans for a new hotel and a manufacturing company were approved by Planning Commission Wednesday.

A four-story Wingate Inn is slated for a spot off Interstate 90 at Chester Road and state Route 83. The 106-room hotel will share the site with a Perkins Family Restaurant that was approved by the commission two months ago.

Plans for the inn must go before the Zoning Board of Appeals because the building, at 48 feet, is three feet taller than the maximum allowed by city codes. John Cajka of Southern Hospitality Group said he thinks the city will grant a variance to the height maximum ...

Southern Hospitality Group has built hotels in North Carolina and Tennessee, but Cajka said the company is especially excited about developing in Avon.

"My brother and I grew up in Bay Village, so we're bringing this project home," he said.

Wonder Machine Services Inc. will be another new addition to the city. The company, which manufactures precision machinery components, plans to spend more than $1 million constructing a 20,000-foot plant in Avon Commerce Parkway ...

The Planning Commission also approved preliminary plans for the cluster home portion of the Vineyards development, located near the intersection of Nagel and Schwartz Roads.

Approval is conditional on a public hearing, which will be held immediately before the next Planning Commission meeting.

The plans call for 48 single-family homes on 18 acres. Plans have already been approved for the other part of the Vineyards, which includes 60 single-family homes on 43 acres.

A sanitary sewer extension that will service the Vineyards development was also approved Wednesday."

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 9-9-00, By CRIS GLASER, MORNING JOURNAL WRITER

"Avon vote part of debate over county government revamp

AVON -- The debate regarding the future make-up of the Lorain County Commission will have a dry run in Avon during Monday night's City Council meeting.

Council members are scheduled to vote [9-11-00] on a resolution to support the Nov. 7 ballot issue to change the county government system. The ballot issue proposes changing from the current system of three county-wide positions to five commissioners, each representing a geographical district of the county.

The issue is expected to be one of the hot topics of the local November ballot. And members of Avon Council are not all in agreement on the resolution at this time.

''I am distressed this is on the agenda,'' said Councilwoman JoAnne Easterday. ''I'm more distressed with myself that I don't know all the details, because I am so adamant about making informed decisions.'' ...

Easterday suggested waiting until after Sept. 15, when the current commission mails a seven-page, double-sided document, compiled by Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Gerald Innes, to each of the county's 177,000 registered voters. The mailer explains how the proposal would eliminate the current three-member at-large commission and replace it with the proposed five-member geographically-elected panel ...

A supporter of the proposal, Mayor Jim Smith said a five-member commission sounds like a better solution to running a county's government. ''It would be nice if we had a representative from each area,'' Smith said. ''There are things particular to us, like roads and growth patterns, for which only someone from your area would have a sympathetic ear.''

Avon would be lumped into the same district with Avon Lake, Sheffield Village, Sheffield Lake and the South Lorain neighborhood of Lorain, according to the ballot issue.

Smith said that region is fine with him. ''It would be nice to see your commissioner when you're shopping at the grocery store,'' he said. ''Even though we've had a three-member commission for 175 years, does that make it right? The county is different now. There's a necessity for diversification.''...

The council meeting will start Monday at 7:30 p.m."

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 10-3-00, By CRIS GLASER, MORNING JOURNAL WRITER

"Homeowners blast Red Tail development

AVON -- ... Several [homeowners in the upscale Red Tail development] came to a Council work session [10-2-00] to complain ...

They cited a lack of buffer zones and sidewalks, mounds of unwanted materials left behind by builders, and mailboxes with holes so small that a rolled-up newspaper won't fit inside them ...

During last night's meeting, Ward 4 Councilman Jack Kilroy, whose ward includes Red Tail, ... In August, Kilroy blamed Red Tail's problems on a ''sweetheart deal'' Carnegie received from Avon City Council after a company official bought valuable tractor equipment from then Council President Ed Krystowski .

Krystowski will go on trial Nov. 15 [2000] on two felony bribery counts."

NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 10-14-00, By JOYCE McCARTNEY, Morning Journal Bureau Chief

"Restivo gets probation

ELYRIA -- Developer Peter Restivo was put on probation for two to three years yesterday for his conviction on a misdemeanor ethics violation. He also must do 100 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine.

Restivo was indicted last year after an investigation into the business relationship between former Avon Council President Edward Krystowski and developers needing key votes in Avon Council.

Restivo admitted to the ethics violation in June after a felony bribery charge against him was dropped by prosecutors.

On Oct. 5 [2000], Krystowski admitted to two misdemeanor ethics charges dealing with a conflict of interest after felony bribery charges against him were dismissed. Krystowski is awaiting sentencing ...

At one point in the sentencing hearing, Restivo's attorney James Wooley thanked the Lorain County Prosecutor's Office for its open-mindedness in listening to Restivo's defense.

''The first thing Mr. Restivo would like me to say is thank you to the Lorain County Prosecutor's Office for the opportunity to take a computerized voice stress analysis,'' Wooley said.

Wooley said Restivo was remorseful for what he had done and learned a lesson from it.

''He won't be here again,'' Wooley said. ''He's learned a lot. It has been difficult.''

Restivo, speaking quietly, also expressed sorrow for what he had done.

''I caused a lot of hurt and worry for the people who know me,'' he said.

With that, McGough imposed a six-month jail sentence and ordered Restivo to serve 100 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine. She suspended the jail sentence and placed Restivo on no less than two years and no more than three years of probation."

jmccartney@eriecoast.com

NEWS ARTICLE from THE PLAIN DEALER, 10-14-00, By KERA RITTER, PLAIN DEALER REPORTER

''ELYRIA - ... Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Lynett M. McGough sentenced Peter Restivo to six months in prison, but suspended the sentence on the condition that he complete probation, pay a $1,000 fine and perform 200 hours of community service.

Prosecutors said Restivo, 48, of Lorain, leased tractor equipment in the spring of 1997 from Edward Krystowski's private business. As Avon City Council president, Krystowski was voting on issues related to Restivo s golf and residential development [Red Tail] in the city.

Restivo spoke softly yesterday when the judge asked if he wanted to comment.

"I m very sorry about this whole matter," Restivo said. "It's caused me a lot of worry." ''

NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 12-12-00, By CRIS GLASER, MORNING JOURNAL WRITER

"ELYRIA -- ... Krystowski pleaded guilty in October [2000] to two misdemeanor ethics charges after felony bribery charges against him were dismissed by the Lorain County Prosecutor's Office. He faces a maximum of six months in jail and $2,000 in fines.

The charges stemmed from sales of equipment Krystowski made, through Krystowski Tractor Sales Co. in Wellington, to developers needing key votes in Avon City Council.

In April 1997, Krystowski cast the swing vote as council president that allowed a development project to go forward. A few days later the development company purchased a large amount of equipment from the tractor store.

Krystowski was indicted in June [1999], along with developer Peter Restivo of Carnegie Development ...

Letters [were] sent to Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Lynett McGough, who will be sentencing Krystowski, ... from

Smith said he has known Krystowski for more than 30 years. ''I ... knew that Mr. Krystowski and his family were always willing ... to volunteer services to St. Mary's parish where they belonged and other charitable groups in the community by way of assisting with the fund raising endeavors,'' the former law director wrote ...

Olearcik said she remembered Krystowski as an effective and self-directed city leader. ''He diligently met adversity with great dedication and long endless hours of debate relative to establishing legislation for the betterment of the residents,'' wrote the former mayor. ''He is not only a good public servant, but a charitable and loving family man.''

In court documents filed yesterday [12-11-12], Krystowski's attorney, Gerald Messerman, asked McGough to sentence Krystowski to probation because of his 20 years in public service.

''Everyone did not always agree with him. He has had supporters. He has had detractors,'' Messerman said. ''He has had good times and bad times. The events surrounding the transactions with Carnegie Development Co., beginning in December of 1996, were among the worst of times." ... ''

NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 12-16-00, By CRIS GLASER, MORNING JOURNAL WRITER

``ELYRIA -- Former Avon City Council President Ed Krystowski was fined $1,000 and sentenced to 200 hours of community service yesterday on charges related to selling equipment to developers needing key votes in Avon City Council.

Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Lynett McGough suspended a six-month jail term and placed Krystowski on probation for as long as three years. He had faced a maximum of six months in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.

''This has been a difficult case,'' McGough said before sentencing Krystowski, who told the judge how badly he felt for what happened ... ''

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 11-7-00, SARAH FENSKE, Morning Journal Writer

"Marconi plans Avon expansion ...

LORAIN -- Marconi Communications, an Internet technology company with a major operation in Lorain, announced plans yesterday for a 109,000-square-foot expansion in Avon.

About 200 of Lorain's 1,700 employees will move to Avon, said John Nisky, director of commercial services for the Lorain plant.

Eventually, the Moore Road site will employ about 300 workers, Nisky said.

''This is good news for us,'' Nisky said. ''We're growing, we're moving -- things are happening here. This is our way of dealing with growing pains. We just don't have the wiggle room here in Lorain.''

In the last eight months, Marconi has added 300 full-time employees, Nisky said. In the next six to eight months, the company plans to add another 200 ...

Marconi needed a quick fix, Nisky said. The Avon building, currently the site of All-Pro Freight, was ready for the company to set up shop immediately, he said.

Marconi's lease with All-Pro Freight is for five years, with an option beyond that, Nisky said ...

For Avon Mayor Jim Smith, Marconi's move is one of the biggest in his city's history, when office product manufacturer Manco Inc. moved to a site off Chester Road in 1996.

At the time, Manco employed about 200 people, he said. The company has since grown to about 400.

''I'm really ecstatic,'' Smith said. ''This is a Fortune 500 company that's picked the city of Avon. That shows there is more than locally owned companies choosing Avon.''

Every new job that comes to Avon means more tax revenue and better services for residents, Smith said ...

Marconi, which is based in London, bought the Reltec Corp. in March, 1999, acquiring with it the local plant once known as Lorain Products ...

Marconi has 49,000 employees across the world in three divisions, Marconi Communications, Marconi Medical Systems and Marconi Services.

The company, which supplies communications solutions and technologies for the Internet, has seen huge growth in recent years.

''The challenge we have is keeping up with the demand,'' Nisky said."

sfenske@morningjournal.com

NEWS ARTICLE from THE PRESS, 11-8-00, By Mike Ferrari

"Marconi Industries to move production, employees to Avon

AVON -- Marconi Industries in Lorain has reached an agreement with All Pro Freight in Avon and plans to lease a large portion of the building to meet with product demand.

Marconi will move the assembly of power conversion devices from Lorain to All Pro Freight on Moore Road in Avon and eventually utilize almost 109,000 square feet of space. Marconi came to a five-year lease agreement on Oct. 30 with All Pro Freight.

According to the lease agreement, Marconi will occupy an estimated 55,000 square-feet of space until spring of next year. After All Pro Freight completes their move, Marconi will be the sole tenant of the building ...

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said he understands the reason several companies have chosen Avon as their place for relocation and expansion.

``This goes to show people that the reputation of Avon City Council and city administration works hard together to attract new industries for the community,'' Smith said. ``This move shows the amount of trust that companies will find here in the city with council and the administration.''

Following the move, the manufacturing operations in Lorain will be retooled. After initial assembly is conducted at the Lorain facility, the devices will be shipped to Avon for completion ...

``We are ecstatic to have a Fortune 500 company coming to Avon,'' Smith said. ``These jobs will definitely be great jobs for the city as well as Lorain County. This also proves that Avon is one of the top sites for industrial growth in Northern Ohio.''

According to John Niskey, [Director of Commercial Services] Marconi's devices take AC (alternating current) power and converts it to DC (direct current) power. Its products are used in different types of networks that span from phone networks to cable television systems.

Currently Marconi employs 1,775 employees in Lorain County, 1,500 of which are employed in Lorain. The company has tentatively agreed to reassign over 200 workers from Lorain into the new Avon location.

``At the rate we are going Avon is going to be the jewel of Lorain County and northern Ohio,'' Avon City Council President Shaun Brady said. ``Over the last several years we have been able to recruit and retain some of the best corporations in the area.''

The move comes after Marconi tripled production of its power devices in the last two years, reaching the $400 million mark and a year after they have added close to 300 employees in their Lorain plant. In addition, Marconi plans to add another 200 employees to its two Lorain County locations within a year ...

Marconi Communications is a division of British owned Marconi p/c. According to Niskey, the move will cost the company close to $6 million with the inclusion of new equipment and the lease agreement.

``This will be a real addition for the income tax,'' Smith said. ``The income taxes generated by these jobs will help pay for numerous services throughout the city and give us more freedom to take care of pressing needs in the city.''

All Pro Freight President and CEO Chris Haas said Marconi investigated the warehouse in Avon because All Pro's recent expansion made it possible for the use of 55,000 square feet of space that could be used.

``We couldn't pass up this opportunity from a real estate standpoint,'' Haas said. ``The timing was good and the move helped us out in one way to purchase and expand as well.''

Since the agreement between All Pro and Marconi was signed last week, Haas said he has acquired a new facility for his business allowing Marconi to take full control of the facility by April, 2001.

All Pro has made steps to move to the Chester Industrial Parkway in Avon and will be adding 8,000 square-feet of office space and 25,000 square-feet of warehouse to an existing 60,000 square-foot building by the end of the year.

``We can stay in this building until April 2001 according to the agreement,'' Haas said. ``We wanted to get out as soon as we could and by April Marconi will be the only tenant.''

The move is scheduled to be completed by January 2001 and Marconi wants to be fully functional by April. The move to All Pro Freight and the city of Avon is the second move Marconi has made within one calendar year.

``Obviously we are thrilled to have 200 jobs in Avon,'' Brady said. ``Marconi is a first class company and everywhere they have been located, they have been a first class corporate citizen.''

Marconi is among the top five employers in Lorain County and Smith said he is pleased with the company's rate of improvement and expansion.

``Our transformation into a leader in Northeast Ohio and in the new economy has been thrilling,'' Smith said. ``This new facility is just one of several planned expansions this year.'' "

NEWS ARTICLE from CRAIN'S, 11-9-00, By STAN BULLARD and JEFF STACKLIN

"Marconi expands to big Avon space

In a possible sign of things to come, Marconi Communications is expanding its Lorain County operations by leasing a big building in Avon to meet surging demand for its products created by the booming Internet economy.

Marconi plans to shift final assembly of its power conversion devices from Lorain to a 109,000- square- foot building at 1350 Moore Road in Avon that currently serves as the headquarters and warehouse of All Pro Freight Systems Inc., said David J. Smith, vice president and general manager of Marconi Communications. Marconi just last Monday, Oct. 30, signed a five-year lease on the building with renewable options ... "

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE PRESS, 11-13-00, By Mike Ferrari

`` Avon -- Part of First Interstate's agreement with the city of Avon was to improve the traffic conditions with new signalization in preparation for their multi-million dollar Avon Commons shopping center ...

According to Avon Service Director Jerry Plas, the new signals will be fully functional by Dec. 18, [2000] with the one exclusion coming at the intersection of SR 254 and SR 83 that will happen later in the month.

Several bright, orange signs have been posted that can be seen near the new lights and signalized intersections. The quick-read signs are posted to inform residents about the new traffic patterns and to notify them there will be fully operating traffic lights coming in the near future at that specific location.

According to Avon Planning Commission Chairman Jim Piazza, the posted signs are required by Ohio law through ordinances associated with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the State of Ohio as a ``warm-up period'' for residents.

``The orange signs by the new signals are required to be posted for a warm-up period,'' Piazza said. ``It's for the residents. It is supposed to allow them time to realize that there will be a stop and go signalization coming.''

Over 10 different intersections and portions of highway will have new signals, including at Jaycox, Middleton, Shakespeare, Avon Commons Drive and the intersection of Detroit Road and SR 83.

In addition, there will be signals on both exit and on-ramps that access I-90, while more lights will be located on two portions of Chester and SR 83 -- the first of which will be preceding city hall going westbound on Chester Road, as the other will be near the intersection opposite of Dairy Mart before the I-90 exchange.

``This is all part of the First Interstate commitment to improve the traffic situation,'' Piazza said. ``When signals are functioning the intersections that were listed as D and F conditions will be upgraded to all A's and one B.''

The traffic conditions or grades are determined through a traffic study that is conducted by the state and pertain to the national standard of traffic flow.

Piazza said regardless of the new shopping center opening, the traffic patterns would still maintain their improved grading from the state because the impact was factored into the locations of the new signalization.

Piazza also noted because of the rash of city expansion and growth the city has been experiencing, planning commission requires traffic studies for all incoming businesses and developments.

``Even with Avon Commons open the grades will stay the same,'' Piazza said. ``The continued growth calls for traffic studies based on developments as part of the Planning Commission prerogative to have an understanding about the areas that will be impacted based on new traffic patterns.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from CRAIN'S, 12-14-00, By DAVID PRIZINSKY

`` Avon company on roll to build bigger bearings

Avon Bearings Corp, a maker of large, turntable-type bearings, is expanding its shop in Avon and is investing in production machinery that will enable it to make bearings of up to 20 feet in diameter, some of the largest in the world.

Avon Bearings president John Walsh said the expansion will cost ``several million'' dollars and will increase the shop floor by 15,000 square feet, to a total of 100,000 square feet. The 110- employee company plans to add 20 production jobs and to buy machine tools and other metalworking equipment as part of the expansion and retooling strategy. Mr. Walsh said Avon Bearings expects to complete the expansion project by May [2001] ...

Industry expert Mel Hoard said he was not aware of any domestic manufacturer with the capacity to produce 20-foot diameter bearings. ''

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