Avon Growth News, 6-21-00 to 8-16-00

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6-22-00 "A rose by any other name ..."
7-01-00 Plea deal for Red Tail developer
7-1-00 Unite for electricity bid
7-8-00 Red Tail still earning rave reviews
8-2-00 Carnegie now in full control of Red Tail
8-3-00 "I'll take the sprawl"
8-12-00 Wonder Machine Services Inc. is coming to Avon
8-15-00 Avon to take aim at deadly ditches

NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 6-20-00, REBECCA GRAY, Morning Journal Writer

"Avon thinks large, small

AVON -- Avon residents want to see their community grow, but they want to retain the ''small town atmosphere,'' according to a recent survey.

The Imagine Avon project surveyed more than 200 residents last fall in an effort to learn what was important to the community. The findings were presented to Avon City Council last night.

''People said growth is good, but they wanted to keep a small town atmosphere in Avon,'' said Imagine Avon Consultant Fran Bostwick.

Also at the top of the wish list was a full-time fire department and a recreation center that would include swimming facilities, said Imagine Avon Co-Chairman Sharon Kratt.

''In spite of having a very fine volunteer department, people wanted a full-time department as the city grows,'' said Imagine Avon Coordinator Sheila Wilson.

Mayor Jim Smith agreed a full-time staff should replace the 28-person volunteer fire department ...

Kratt said she hopes the group's findings will serve as a guideline for future decision-making.

''We hope the political and community leaders will take these goals into consideration when making decisions,'' Kratt said ... "

rgray@eriecoast.com

Imagine Avon

Posted by Sheila Wilson on 5/29/2000 to the Avon History Message Board

Imagine Avon will hold a Press Conference before the city council meeting on Monday June 19, 2000. Imagine Avon will present it's findings in booklet form to city council at the June 19 council meeting.

Copies of the Imagine Avon Booklet will be available at the Avon Libarary and at Avon City Hall after the June 19 Press conference and council meeting.

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 6-20-00, WENDY L. SCOTT, Morning Journal Writer

"Fix Nagle to Nagel, Ridgeville is asked

NORTH RIDGEVILLE -- When Shakespeare's Romeo asked Juliet ''What's in a name?'' he should have asked George Bliss.

History and legends are preserved by names, and Bliss believes that should be demonstrated in North Ridgeville by changing the spelling of Lear Nagle Road to be consistent with the founding father for which it was named -- Jacob Nagel.

''I have no idea how it got started wrong in North Ridgeville'' said Bliss, who lives on Detroit Road in Avon. ''It's time we got it straightened around so we're not perpetuating an error.''

Nagel, a German immigrant, was one of the first settlers of Avon in 1812.

[Wilber Cahoon, 1n 1814, led the first permanent settlers across the Cuyahoga River onto the land that was to become Avon. Prior to 1814, the west bank of the Cuyahoga was still threatened by the British and the Indians. Only with Perry's victory at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 could the western frontier in northern Ohio be safely moved across the Cuyahoga.

The first settlers from Bavaria, Germany, came to Avon in the 1830's.]

A driveway he [Jacob Nagel] constructed from the log cabin he built along the former North Ridge Road [now Detroit Road, SR 254] was named Nagel Lane. The drive continued north into Avon Lake (where it was named Lear Road) and south into North Ridgeville as an extension of Lorain Road.

That extension has since been named Lear Nagle road, which Bliss said is a mistake.

He presented the problem to the North Ridgeville Planning Commission at its May 23 meeting. The issue has since been referred to City Council's Streets, Sidewalks and Bridges Committee, which could recommend the change be brought before council for a formal vote.

''We can't find any records in North Ridgeville that gives a reason it was spelled differently in Avon,'' said Mayor Deanna Hill, who agrees the spelling should be consistent.

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said he believes the problem originated in the Lorain County Engineer's office many years ago. He would like to see the mistake corrected on maps and street signs in North Ridgeville.

''Then I won't get lost anywhere,'' Smith joked. ''I think it's a good idea because (Nagel) is the family it was named for. How it ever got messed up I'll never know.''

Donald Nagel, a descendant of Jacob Nagel, said he agrees with the change.

''That's how it should be,'' he said.

Bliss became aware of the problem after researching the name because it was repeatedly misspelled in a weekly newspaper. When it was changed to N-a-g-l-e in a Letter to the Editor Bliss wrote, he decided to do something about it.

''Why should we have two spellings of the same road?'' he asked. ''(The name) was N-a-g-e-l.''

During his proposal to the commission, Bliss said he was reminded of Dale Carnegie, who once said, ''A man's name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.''

''I think that is also true of the spelling of the name,'' he said ...

If approved by Council, the change could take up to one year to implement in order to allow Lear Nagle Road residents to adjust. The delay will allow residents to use up stationary and mailing labels with the current spelling."

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 7-1-00, JOYCE McCARTNEY and SARAH FENSKE, Morning Journal Writers

"... Plea deal for Red Tail developer ...

ELYRIA -- The developer accused of bribing former Avon Council President Edward Krystowski pleaded guilty yesterday to a lesser charge after passing a lie-detector test.

Peter R. Restivo Jr. was indicted last year on one felony count of bribery. The indictment was amended earlier this month [6-00] to add one misdemeanor ethical violation, according to court records ...

Restivo was charged for allegedly purchasing thousands of dollars worth of equipment from Krystowski's Wellington tractor business the day after Krystowski voted in favor of the Red Tail Development in Avon ...

Yesterday, after a pre-trial conference between Lorain County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jonathan Rosenbaum and defense attorneys, the more serious bribery charge was dropped. Restivo then entered a guilty plea to the misdemeanor ethics charge ...

The investigation had been ongoing since indictments were filed last year and Restivo began cooperating with the prosecution, White said ...

The plea deal with Restivo will not affect the case against Krystowski, Lorain County Prosecutor Greg White said yesterday ...

Krystowski is facing two counts of felony bribery, along with four misdemeanor ethics violations ...

Dropping the bribery charges vindicates Restivo and the Red Tail development, said Russ Khouri, president of Carnegie Development. Restivo works for a division of that company ...

Ted Graczyk, who was an at-large councilman at the time Red Tail was approved and staunch supporter of Krystowski, agreed ...

Ward 4 Councilman Jack Kilroy, an outspoken critic of Krystowski, wasn't so sure.

''If he's pleading guilty to something, he's guilty of something,'' Kilroy said.

Restivo will be sentenced in about six to eight weeks after a pre-sentence investigation. He faces up to six months in the Lorain County jail and up to $1,000 in fines.''

jmccartney@eriecoast.com

sfenske@morningjournal.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 7-1-00, SARAH FENSKE, Morning Journal Writer

''Communities look to unite for electricity bid

AVON -- More local communities are jumping on the bandwagon to bid together for cheaper electricity after a county-wide meeting this week.

Faced with the highest electrical rates in the state, area mayors want change. To some, a plan pushed by the Northeast Ohio Mayors Legislative Action group to unite communities across the Cleveland area is becoming more and more appealing.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2001, individual customers will be able to choose their electric company, thanks to legislation signed by Governor Bob Taft last summer.

But despite the individual choices the plan will offer, local communities believe the best rates may come from working together.

The mayors' group hopes to unite area communities into one group, or aggregate. The group could then seek competitive bids for cheaper electricity ...

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said he wasn't sure what deregulation would mean for his city. Then he went to the meeting ... Now Smith is excited. This Monday [7-3-00], he will present legislation to Avon City Council, urging them to put the question on the November [2000] ballot.

If Council supports the move and Avon residents vote yes in November, Avon would join the six-county group, Smith said.

The group would then solicit bids from electricity providers. Residents would get power from the group's choice, unless they ''opt out'' and tell the city they want to make their own selection.

Smith, like a growing number of mayors across the area, wants his city to vote yes.

''If you compare the electricity rates across the state, we're getting gouged,'' he said. ''These rates are so high, we're becoming non-competitive.''

Smith is convinced joining the group would get residents lower rates and help big industries as well ..."

sfenske@morningjournal.co

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 7-8-00, JASON LLOYD, Morning Journal Writer

"Red Tail still earning rave reviews

AVON -- Mark McKinney calls it the ''natural look,'' but the golfers just call it beautiful.

Semantics aside, Red Tail Golf Club, home of the First Annual Morning Journal Amateur Golf Championship on July 22, [2000] offers golfers different looks and perspectives depending on different locations.

Since the front nine is still under development -- it opened for two weeks last October before officially opening in the spring -- no houses have been built yet.

''It's a more naturalistic look,'' said McKinney, CGCS at Red Tail. ''You have bigger lakes and more exaggerated bunkers, but still the same number. We do 36 bunkers on each side, 72 total.''...

Jerry Wolens, a Brunswick resident and a member of a golf group that will be competing in the Morning Journal Amateur Championship, said the front nine is easier than the back.

''The back nine is tight,'' he said. ''On the front nine, everything shapes left to right. Back nine, everything is right to left ...

Since Red Tail is a golf community, the space for wooded areas on most courses is replaced with homes, causing the unusually high amount of out-of-bounds areas.

Wolens said he expected high scores at the tournament in two weeks.

''I don't think anybody will shoot par,'' he said. ''Par would be a great score.'' ..."

e-mail: jlloyd@morningjournal.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 8-2-00, SARAH FENSKE and JOYCE MCCARTNEY, Morning Journal Writers:w

"AVON -- The original developer of Avon's Red Tail golf course has bought out its partner, ending a five-month legal battle.

The private Red Tail course now belongs solely to Westlake-based Carnegie Development. Senior Tour Players, its Massachusetts partner, has given up both management and financial interest of the course.

Senior Tour Players filed a lawsuit to obtain sole ownership in February, claiming Carnegie had failed to honor a previous agreement. Carnegie disagreed, charging Senior Tour Players with delaying and then downsizing plans for the Red Tail clubhouse.

The two companies reached a settlement July 7 [2000] after a half-day hearing, said attorney Dennis O'Toole, who represents a branch of Carnegie ...

Senior Tour Players received some money, representing their 50 percent ownership interest, but the amount was not disclosed, O'Toole said.

Neither Senior Tour Players nor its attorney, Thomas Smith of Elyria, returned calls for comment over a two-day period.

Ward 4 Councilman Jack Kilroy, whose ward includes Red Tail, said there are still complaints from neighbors about the development.

Some areas lack sidewalks, forcing children onto golf cart paths, he said. And even with the construction of a golf cart tunnel under Nagel Road, a path across the busy road is still marked, he said.

Khouri said he was unaware of the complaints and would address them if given more information.

Kilroy said the settlement of the lawsuit can only help ...

Kilroy blames Red Tail's problems on a ''sweetheart deal'' its developer received from Avon City Council after a Carnegie official bought valuable tractor equipment from then-Council President Ed Krystowski. Krystowski has been indicted on two felony bribery counts and faces a Nov. 15 [2000] trial on those charges.

EDITORIAL from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 8-3-00,

"It's taking too long to try Krystowski

It was 1997 when reporters for The Morning Journal uncovered indications of corruption in Avon City Council -- questions about the connection between votes on building projects and the private business dealings of the council president.

It has taken a long time -- too long, we think -- to bring these questions to the point of full review by the courts. We are disappointed to see a new delay approved this week in Lorain County Common Pleas Court.

It will now be another three and a half months before former Avon City Council President Edward Krystowski goes on trial. That's more than three and a half years after the circumstances in question ...

Delaying trial dates is a tactic that defense lawyers use, sometimes effectively. Memories of conversations and transactions fade and witnesses are less certain. Reasonable doubts creep in. The events in question took place in April 1997. They are now scheduled to get to court in November 2000.

The longer it takes for a case reach a jury, the greater the chance it will be weakened to the point of being unprovable. And that would be unsatisfactory to all concerned. Krystowski has a right to a fair trial, but the community is owed one, too."

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

Free Times, Letter, 8-3-00

"I'll take the sprawl

The loss of perspective is not a surprise (Interview, July 19). 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 dumbbell 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, 8-12-00, SARAH FENSKE, Morning Journal Writer

"Cleveland company plans to build new Avon headquarters

AVON -- A Cleveland manufacturer plans to build a new headquarters in Avon, bringing about 30 skilled employees and its precision machining operation to a 20,000-square-foot-complex.

Wonder Machine Services Inc. has submitted plans for Avon Commerce Park, a new industrial parkway on Jaycox Road just south of the railroad tracks.

George Woyansky Jr., president of the 24-year-old business, said he hopes to move operations to Avon by spring of 2001 ...

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said the company is a welcome addition to what he described as Avon's booming industrial base.

''This company is going to be a rising star in the county,'' he said. ''They're small, but they're growing fast, like most companies coming to Avon. When they expand, they'll be adding more jobs, and these are jobs with good wages.''

Woyansky's father, George Sr., founded Wonder Machine Services in North Ridgeville in 1976. It has been at its current location on W. 160th Street in Cleveland for 15 years, Woyansky said.

Avon's appeal was partly due to its affordable property, and partly due to its location, Woyansky said.

''We have a lot of customers in Lorain County, and we'll be close to them now,'' he said. ''And the corporate climate in Avon seems pretty friendly. It seems like a building-friendly community.''

Avon's Planning Commission will review the company's submission at its meeting Wednesday [8-16-00].

Planning Commission will also view plans Wednesday for a 12,000-square-foot addition to Avon Bearings, a business on Nagel Road.

Company officials were not available for comment yesterday, but Mayor Smith said the company has outgrown its current facility.

''They've been maxed out for years, but until we put the sewer in, they could not expand,'' he said. ''All they had was an aeration system.''

With the sewer system in place and Chester Road repaired, the northeast quadrant of Avon has been popular with developers.

In addition to some of the bigger businesses on Nagel Road, Schafer Construction's Lear Industrial Parkway and Kopf Construction's Avon Commerce Parkway have lured smaller, fast-growing firms.

''You've just seen the tip of the iceberg,'' Smith said. ''The city of Avon will be very proud of its industrial area when this is all done. We're getting inquiries, more and more every day.

''Avon is becoming the number one place to build industrially,'' he said.

Neither company has requested any tax break for its building plans, Smith said."

sfenske@morningjournal.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 8-15-00, SARAH FENSKE, Morning Journal Writer

"Avon to take aim at deadly ditches

AVON -- Mayor Jim Smith last night announced his intention to devote $1 million over five years to cover the deep, potentially deadly ditches along SR 83. ''This is the most hazardous area in the city, and when we get this done, it will be a real asset,'' Smith said.

The city hopes to fix the one-mile stretch of road from the Bob-o-Link golf course to the North Ridgeville line, Smith said.

''Previous councils for years have been trying to find a way to take care of this, and we just might be able to do it,'' he said.

At nearly 14 feet deep in some areas, the ditches have long been a top safety concern for both city officials and the Avon Police Department.

In May, a pedestrian walking down SR 83 fell into the ditch and required a fire department ladder to get out. Car accidents on the busy road have also been a problem.

''There are tens of thousands of cars that use that road every week,'' said Council President Shaun Brady. ''This is one of the last major health, safety and welfare issues the city has to address.''

Smith said that he hopes to use Avon's allocation of state road funds for the next five years to lay pipe through the ditches and fill them.

The city typically gets about $175,000 annually in the state grants, but Service Director Jerry Plas said this project could draw a larger sum ...

Ward 3 Councilman Tim Nickum, who represents the area, said the idea of even starting the project was ''mind boggling.''

During his door-to-door campaign walk last fall, Nickum found the dangerous ditches were his ward's top concern.

''People have been scared to drive through that area in the wintertime,'' he said. ''With the ditches so high and water in them, you potentially had a fatal accident there. This has to be done.'' ..."

sfenske@morningjournal.com

NEWS ARTICLE from THE PRESS, 8-16-00, By Mike Ferrari

"Council decides to fill the SR83 ditches

Avon Mayor Jim Smith announced this week that the city would soon begin an effort to fill in ditches along SR 83. According to Smith, because of an effort spawned from service director Jerry Plas, the city will try to complete all of the work and construction within a five-year period.

Because of obvious safety problems along SR 83, Smith and Plas could not ignore the dangers that lie on the road. Along SR 83 the very large ditches located south of Bob-O-Link Golf Course on the west side of the street had become a serious safety concern.

Smith said the city would use Issue Two state road monies over a five-year period to complete the project. The city plans to box-culvert the ditch in after reviewing options with engineers. Officials plan to finish the project quickly, but cost effectively.

The three-quarter of a mile project could exceed $1 million because of the depth and length of the entire area involved in the construction. Smith said that a structure needs to be built and the options for inserting pipe would not work because of the size and depth of the ditches, which reaches 14 feet deep in some areas.

``We feel that there is money we can get our hands on from the county,'' Smith said. ``We are going to put our heads down and move forward with this project.''

Smith said there is a possibility of looking into available grants and additional money that Avon could utilize.

``There have been a lot of wrecks in that area, and some people could drown in there when flooding occurs,'' Smith said. ``You could fit a whole semi in that ditch and it wouldn't stick out. Before, we used Issue Two money for smaller projects in the city. Now we can use general funds and earmark the Issue Two money for this. It would be a remarkable accomplishment if we could get this completed.''

Councilman Tim Nickum said he supported and campaigned for fixing the road's woes even before he was on council.

``I think it is a great idea,'' Nickum said. ``I have been asking for it and campaigning for it right along, even before I was on council. I applaud him Mayor Smith) and Mr. Plas, who are ram-rodding this thing. Any support they need they can get from me.''

Councilman Jack Kilroy said he feels the project has been a long time in coming and hopes the city will take the proper steps to complete the project in a timely fashion.

``I think it is a big priority and that it is long overdue and I hope it goes through,'' Kilroy said. ``It's a big project and I don't know how fast it can be done, and sure, I hope it could be done quicker. It depends on the financing. I think there will be a couple different layers of financing and different political jurisdictions involved, so it is going to take some time.''

Councilman Tom Wearsch also agreed with the project and said he hopes the city can get it completed as quickly as possible.

``I think it is fantastic,'' Wearsch said. ``Hopefully we can move it up even faster but if it a case of money, I would suggest that we bond it out and get it done as soon as possible.''

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In other business: Avon Council unanimously rejected the Equalization Board's reports on the Kinzel Road assessments. Because the project was going to cost the residents a large amount of money and that procedural errors were made by the Equalization Board, council decided against the acceptance of the report ...

Attorney James Dubelko addressed council at the end of the meeting and spoke on behalf of the 30 residents he represents in the assessment case.

``I met with the residents last Sunday,'' Dubelko said. ``The people have only exercised their right to challenge the assessment. They won't pay $148 per linear foot now nor will they pay it in five years.''

The project has not been officially dropped, as discussion between the city's attorneys and resident's legal representation has yet to finalize any agreement about the issue ...

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Council President Shaun Brady discussed the city's role in investigating their options for planned unit developments (PUD's) in Avon.

Brady said he wants to compare data from other local communities to get a better idea of which direction Avon should be pursuing when the possibility of PUD's arise. Several years ago Avon repealed PUD ordinances from legislation and Brady wants to revisit the issue.

``The city of Avon Lake adopted the same exact ordinance that we are putting forward,'' Brady said. ``It is basically density neutral and allows a lot of flexibility and creativity for developers. It offers planning commission another tool to encourage better looking, more creative developments.''

Brady said he hopes to eliminate the confusing language in the existing codes and hopes to look into the city's options when officials consider new legislation in the fall. "

pressferrari@yahoo.com

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