June 27, 2016


Medina finance committee OKs additional upgrades at railroads

MEDINA — Lights and gates are expected to be installed at rail crossings on Lafayette and Ryan roads as part of an agreement with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

According to the agreement, PUCO covered the city’s estimated $325,000 share of installing crossing gates and upgrading warning signals at five railroad crossings — South Court Street between West Smith and Lafayette roads, South Elmwood Avenue, West Smith Road between South Elmwood Avenue and South Huntington Street, Medina Street and South Prospect Street.

In exchange, the city agreed to pay $293,400 for work at two additional crossings — Lafayette Road near the Medina County Fairgrounds and Ryan Road near West Sturbridge Drive. The work will be covered through the city’s street maintenance and repair fund.

The cost includes $12,500 to have Railroad Traffic Control Inc. of Georgia install the flashing lights and gates, and also contract with the company to perform monthly and annual inspections, City Engineer Pat Patton said. The inspection costs will come out of the city’s railroad fund.

City Council’s Finance Committee approved the expenditures Monday night.

PUCO is requiring installation be finished by June 30.

Also at Monday’s Finance Committee meeting:

• Members discussed the site plan for a 1,500-square-foot Handel’s Ice Cream stand on South Court Street.

By a vote of 3-2 Thursday, the Planning Commission approved the site plan, which would include 42 parking places.

If Council approves the plan, Handel’s would be located in a primarily residential planned unit development near East Sturbridge Drive, Planning Director Greg Hannon said.

Though the 0.92-acre parcel is zoned commercial, neighbors would prefer a business that primarily operates during the day, such as a dry cleaners or medical office, Ward 4 Councilman Jim Shields said.
The issue is expected to go before Council on March 28.

• Members agreed to allow CGI Communications to produce six one-minute videos for the city’s website. The videos will showcase various aspects of the city and could include a website welcome from Mayor Dennis Hanwell and information from community leaders about education, quality of life or real estate. CGI, a New York-based company, is providing the videos at no cost.

• The Historic Preservation Board is in the process of writing guidelines for art to be brought to Public Square. The Midwest Sculpture Initiative would set up six to eight modern art sculptures for a year-long temporary exhibit. Organizers are still looking for patrons, because only “two or three” have sponsors, Hannon said.

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@medina-gazette.com.