November 25, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
38°F

New tenant to use trail house to serve developmentally disabled

MEDINA — The city has found a tenant for one of its oldest houses.

Intervention for Peace, a group that serves the city’s developmentally disabled residents, will move into the house at 406 S. Broadway St. and partner with local businesses to cater to customers who use the nearby Champion Creek Multi-Purpose Trail.

Intervention for Peace, a group that serves the city’s developmentally disabled residents, will move into the house at 406 S. Broadway St. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

Intervention for Peace, a group that serves the city’s developmentally disabled residents, will move into the house at 406 S. Broadway St. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

The plan involves operating outlets of Cool Beans Cafe and Just Mike’s Jerky Co. to provide refreshments at the trail-head, which is next to the house. Developmentally disabled residents will be employed by the businesses.

David Clardy, the residential manger for Intervention for Peace, said the group also plans to reach out to Century Cycles to provide bicycle rental for residents or visitors who want to ride the trail.

“The goal is to bring community businesses together and to employ residents with developmental disabilities.

City Council unanimously approved the proposal Monday.

“It fits almost exactly with what we had plans to do with that building,” Councilman Bill Lamb, at large, said. “And the way it serves the community, it’s just an exceptional addition to what this city already has to offer.”

Clardy said he hopes to have the house open for business by mid- to late-summer.

He said the building needs some renovations to make the deck, entrances and bathrooms handicap-accessible, but his group will pay for those costs as well as any other improvements, and will pay any taxes applicable to the building.

Council President John Coyne said the deal is mutually beneficial because it relieves the city of maintenance responsibilities for the building, which it would still own, while Intervention for Peace would get the house rent free.

Intervention for Peace began serving the developmentally disabled in 1994 and has been operating in Medina since 1997. The group provides more than 15,000 hours of residential service each month. The group also provides employment support services in partnership with the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Last year, Medina Creative Housing fell short with a similar plan that would have turned the building into a bike rental, cafe and gift shop. The group said then it couldn’t afford to pay the more than $50,000 cost of bringing the property up to code.

Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty, executive director of Medina Creative Housing, proposed tearing down the house and replacing it with a log-cabin built with wood from a barn at the back of the property.

Council members disapproved of razing the home, because of its historical significance to the city.

In other action Monday, Council also approved installing a camera surveillance system at the splash pad at Ray Mellert Park.

Parks Director Jansen Wehrley said the system is for security as well as protection of residents who use the splash pad.

“It’s to protect our investment in the facility, to protect the property and for liability issues, as well as the residents in the event of any incident or accident,” he said.

Wehrley said the cameras will allow city officials to monitor the park in real time and the system will include an onsite emergency phone for public use.

The network, system, cameras and installation costs will be covered by a $30,000 federal Community Development Block Grant.

Wehrley said his staff plans to have the new system up and running in time for the park’s opening on or about May 19.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.