NOACA is paying for 80 percent of the $3.3-million repaving job, while Cleveland Heights will get another $636,000 to pay for the work from Ohio’s District One Public Works Integrating Committee.
Meanwhile, NOACA, through ODOT, is funding the Cedar Fairmount Streetscape Plan in the amount of $1.5 million, with the city of Cleveland Heights adding another $330,000.
“We were disappointed, but we really don’t have a choice,” said Cedar Fairmount SID Board President Sal Russo, Jr. “ODOT controls the funds.”
Cedar Fairmount SID Executive Director Kay Lowe shared Russo’s feelings. “We are very disappointed it will be delayed until spring 2017, but we understand the reasoning behind the decision,” Lowe said.
At the meeting, mention was made several times of the fact that, with the Republican National Convention coming to Cleveland in 2016, construction workers will be busy repairing roads until the convention’s opening. With that thought in mind, Nighttown owner and Cedar Fairmount SID Treasurer Brendan Ring said of the delay, “Maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s going to be so expensive to have work done in the next year because construction companies will be busy. Maybe it will cost less if we have to wait another year.”
Councilwoman Mary Dunbar attended the SID meeting and said City Council was notified the night before of ODOT’s decision. Dunbar said she thought someone had informed the SID’s board about the decision, but that did not happen until Tuesday’s meeting, adding to some board members’ frustration.
City Architecture Principal and Partner Alex Pesta, a Cleveland Heights resident, did go ahead and deliver an update on the streetscape improvements, which will eventually include several amenities. The improvements will take place between Buffalo Wild Wings, 12459 Cedar Road, and Nighttown, 12383 Cedar Road, on the north side of Cedar Road, and from Luna Bakery, 2482 Fairmount Blvd., to Chase Bank, 12388 Cedar Road, on the opposite side of the street. Pesta showed images and spoke of new bike racks and metal benches that will include the Cedar Fairmount logo. Sidewalks will be widened in some areas and will include brick pavers set in a design that reflects the Tudor style of some of the district’s buildings. The architect also showed new planters and freestanding trees to be planted, and bioswales near the Cedar Road curbs that will serve to catch water runoff from sidewalks. He said that the redesign should create approximately 40 additional on-street parking spaces within the district. “Overall,” he said of the plan, “there’ll be more landscaping.” Pesta said the plans haven’t changed much since he initially showed them to the board, but that City Architecture is moving along with the process of having plans approved by ODOT.
Plans for the streetscape improvement were begun in 2013. The streetscape improvements will also include a multi-purpose trail that will run parallel to Cedar Hill, from Harcourt Drive to Ambleside Drive. The trail will connect, through Cleveland, to the under-construction Lake to Lakes Trail that will connect with Lake Erie.