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Thursday, February 16, 2006

School officials seek 1-mill levy renewal on May 2 ballot

by Emily Canning-Dean,
Bedford Times Register

Bedford Ñ Voters in the Bedford City School District will have to decide in May whether or not to renew a permanent improvement levy.

Public Relations Coordinator Margaret Bierman said the levy was first instated in 1986, and funds from the levy are used to purchase equipment and make repairs on buildings and other school property. The levy must be renewed every five years.

“It’s not going to mean any additional taxes for our residents,” said Board President Joe Mestnik. “It is just a renewal.”

Treasurer Janet Pavlik said the levy is still considered a 1-mill levy, but residents are paying closer to .57 mills.

Pavlik said the levy was 1 mill when instated in 1986, but according to state law, the district can’t charge taxpayers any more for this specific levy than it did in the beginning.

Pavlik said the owner of a $100,000 pays approximately $57.50 a year.

“Because property value has gone up since then and taxpayers are paying the exact same amount, they will pay closer to .57 mills each,” Pavlik said.

Business Manager Jerry Zgrabik said the levy brings the district about $600,000 per year Ñ the same amount since 1986.

Zgrabik said the funding is needed to make necessary repairs to buildings. He said the district already has an idea what it might use the money for next year.

“The high school needs a new cooling tower, which is part of the air conditioning system,” Zgrabik said. “The current one is about 36 years old. The roof on the gymnasium at the high school also needs replaced.”

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Renewal levy on May ballot

From the Bedford Sun Banner 
Feb. 16, 2006

A 1-mill renewal levy for the Bedford School District will appear on the May 2 primary election ballot.

The permanent improvement levy brings in about $620,000 a year for improvements like new roofs and boilers in the district's seven school buidlings and the administration building .

The money can be used to renovate, furnish, improve or equip buildings and also improve school grounds, purchase new equipment.

By law, the money cannot be used on salaries, which are paid through the district's operating budget and supported by operating levies.

The Bedford Board of Education voted Monday night to put the renewal levy on the ballot.

For the rest of the story, see your local Sun newspaper.

© 2006 The Sun News
Go to The Sun News home page

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Shameless plug

If you are a cigar smoker (and aged 18 or over-- trust me they will check), be sure to check our new advertiser; Thompson Cigar!
(See banner ad above-- It's flashing at you now!)
I have purchased from them, and have always found their merchandise to be of top quality.  Also they often run some great specials.
----And now that Romito's has closed it's doors, this banner link is the closest thing we have to a Bedford smoke shop.
Now back to our regular programming......
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No stopping traffic flow


Not enough cars to warrant stop sign on Washington

By Mike Lesko,

Bedford Sun Banner 

Feb. 2, 2006

BEDFORD —  Motorists are no longer seeing red —  red, as in stop signs, that is —  on Washington Street.

But resident Terry Svagerko is a little flushed over the removal of stop signs on the street.

"I'm concerned about taking them all out," Svagerko said, noting that there is less than a half-mile on Washington between Columbus Road and Central Primary School.

"Why can't we leave just one stop sign, maybe at Woodrow Avenue, to slow people down? Cars fly down that street," he said.

Washington, which is next to Southeast Branch Library, was closed much of last year while new water lines were installed. When the street was repaved and reopened a month ago, the stop signs were removed.

It also has been an adjustment for Bedford's Joyce Daunch. "I have to remind myself that there is no stop sign when I cross there," she said.

City Manager Bob Reid said because the street was upgraded, town leaders consider it new.

For the rest of the story, see your local Sun newspaper.

© 2006 The Sun News
Go to The Sun News home page


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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Managing increasing expenses focus of City administration

State of City offers optimistic outlooks: Expansions, ways to manage increasing expenses focus of city manager’s, mayor’s address

by Emily Canning-Dean


Bedford Ñ How does City Manager Bob Reid feel about the state of the city?

“We’re in good shape,” he said at the Jan. 18 State of the City address.

At the end of 2005, Reid said the city had an excess of $7 million.

“This was not an accident,” Reid said. “We worked hard with department heads on [last year’s] budget.”

Reid said income tax revenue increased 11 percent from 2004 to 2005.

“About 86 percent of our income tax is from businesses,” Reid said, adding that the city received about $10 million in income tax from local businesses last year. “Of that tax, about 50 percent comes from Ben Venue Laboratories and the Bedford Automile.”

Reid said he credits part of the city’s success in tax revenue increases to a large expansion at Ben Venue and by new dealerships built on the Automile, including a Maserati and an Aston Martin dealership.

But even with new businesses and expansions, Reid said the city still must be careful with its budget. With state budget cuts, the city is losing about $1 million from state funding 2005. He said healthcare for city workers has also been a growing cost.

“We pay for healthcare for 175 employees and 550 family members,” Reid said. “The cost for that has gone from $1.3 million to $2.1 million in three years.”

Besides businesses and revenue, Reid said city officials also are interested in keeping up the quality of the city’s housing stock. He said the city has taken a new approach this year to blighted houses. One blighted house in foreclosure was determined a nuisance and was demolished. Two others were repaired by the city, and the city will be reimbursed when the houses are sold.

“I think it’s kind of a gutsy approach to solving the problem. I think it sends a message that people can’t just walk away from a mess,” Reid said. “A house is often the most important investment a person makes and to have a blighted house next door is unacceptable.”

Reid also highlighted the concerts, festivals and other events hosted in downtown Bedford this year.

“These events are often a lot of work, but we want to use these to get people into Bedford and get people downtown,” Reid said.

Besides Christmas in Bedford Falls and all of the summer events on the Commons, Reid said the city hosted a fall festival and produce markets on Saturdays in the summer.

“We are planning to have the produce market again this summer,” Reid said. “We would like to have about 10 vendors the first and third Saturdays of each month.”

Mayor Dan Pocek said the city has a lot to look forward to in 2006.

He said Taylor Chair will move into its new building at Tinkers Creek Commerce Park this summer, leaving its current site ready for a group of cluster homes. He said he also looks forward to the cluster home development on St. Pius property and the construction of three Ganley dealerships on the Bedford Automile.

But there are still goals the city would like to reach.

“Last year I said we would like to see a restaurant downtown, and I wanted to see one come in 2005,” Pocek said. “We didn’t get a restaurant. But I believe we are closer to that goal.”

Pocek said he wants to make Bedford a stronger city for the future.

“Cities are unique,” Pocek said. “They have a soul. A lot of cities come and go, but Bedford has been around a long time. When I pass my seat on to my successor, I want it to be an even stronger Bedford.”


Phone: 440-232-4055 ext. 4110
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Honoring Bedford's own Elmer Flick

Committee seeks funds for memorial

by Emily Canning-Dean


Bedford: A memorial statue for baseball hall-of-famer Elmer Flick could be erected in the city by next spring.

“There is a committee that has formed for the project,” said Mayor Dan Pocek. “It still hasn’t been decided where the statue will be placed yet.”

“I think we’re leaning towards putting it in the square,” said Jim Wagner, chair of the committee.

Wagner went to Council a year ago requesting that a memorial be set up for Flick, who lived in Bedford his entire life. Flick played for Cleveland between 1902 and 1910.

“We had decided a statue would be a better idea than a memorial plaque,” Wagner said. “A plaque just makes it feel like a graveyard.”

Wagner said after talking to a sculptor on the west side of Cleveland, he learned a statue would cost about $50,000.

“We’re trying to raise money for the cost of the statue,” Wagner said. “We are trying to get information to local businesses who might want to donate and be a part of this.”

Wagner said the sculptor will first make a small replica of what the original statue will look like. This will cost $2,000.

“After the small replica is made, we might have some small 7-inch statues made out of an inexpensive material like resin and give them out as a gift to people who donate for the statue,” Wagner said.

Once the money is raised and the statue is started, it will take about six months to complete.

“We originally were hoping to have the statue finished by the end of this year’s baseball season,” he said. “Now we’re hoping to have it finished by next year’s opening day.”

Wagner said the committee will plan an unveiling ceremony when the statue is complete.

Anyone who would like to donate to the statue fund can call the Bedford Historical Society at 440-232-0796.


Phone: 440-232-4055 ext. 4110
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