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January 18, 2019 Newsletter



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Weekend winter weather:

With heavy snow expected this weekend, rest assured we will have crews working around the clock to keep our roads clear and safe. We ask you for your patience as we clear the main and secondary roads first and then move on to the side streets, subdivisions and cul-de-sacs. Additionally, the emergency snow parking ban may be activated on Saturday. Please check the North Royalton Police Facebook page and local media outlets.

If you must venture out on Saturday, please be safe!


 

ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT UPDATE


JANUARY 16, 2019




When do I need a permit?
In the Engineering Department, we get this question asked of us a lot of times.  Most work will require a permit from the City, but it’s best to ask before proceeding with the proposed work.  For a typical homeowner, for work outside of the home, the typical list of work requiring a permit is as follows:

          Change of Grade
          Storm sewer repair/replacement (including disconnecting
          downspouts)
          Sanitary sewer repair/replacement
          Driveway/sidewalk replacement or installation
          Addition of a storm drain on your property (i.e. French drain,
          etc.)

While this is not all of the work included, it is the list of items we see most often.  If you have a question regarding these type of items, please feel free to contact the Engineering Department at (440) 582-3001.

Safety Tips for the Driver
Remember these driving tips to avoid "A Sudden Change in Plans" and perhaps save a life including your own!

Stay Alert and Minimize Distractions

  • Dedicate your full attention to the roadway.
  • Avoid changing the radio station, using a mobile phone, eating, or other distractions that can remove your concentration from the road

Keep Your Headlights On

Pay Attention to the Road

  • "Listen to the signs"
  • Watch brake lights on vehicles ahead
  • Watch traffic around you and be prepared to react

Merge into the Proper Lane
Merge well before you reach the lane closure

  • Be aware that traffic patterns can change daily

Don't tailgate

  • Follow other vehicles at a safe distance

Obey the Posted Speed Limit

  • Workers may be present just feet away
  • Fines may be doubled for moving traffic violations.
  • Be prepared to slow down further if conditions indicate the need.

Change Lanes Safely

  • Change lanes only where pavement markings indicate, and only when traffic conditions permit.

Follow Instructions from Flaggers

Expect the Unexpected

  • Workers, work vehicles, or equipment may enter your lane without warning
  • Other vehicles may slow, stop, or change lanes unexpectedly

Be Patient. 


A WORD FROM THE POLICE DEPARTMENT





Vehicle Maintenance

Start winter off right by ensuring your vehicle is in good condition.  Check the battery, tire tread and windshield wipers.  Keep windows clear, put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir, and check the anti-freeze.

Know Your Car
If possible, practice driving in icy or snowy conditions in an empty parking lot in full daylight.  On the road:
  • Slow down and allow plenty of distance to stop for vehicles ahead of you.
  • Know what your brakes will do.  In general, if you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure.  If you don't have antilock brakes, pump the brakes gently.
  • In a skid, ease your foot off the gas while steering in the direction you want to go.  Stay off the pedals (gas and brake) until you are able to maintain control of your vehicle.  This  procedure, known as "steering into the skid," will bring the back end of your car in line with the front.
Stock Your Vehicle
Carry items for common winter driving tasks and supplies you  might need in an emergency:
  • Snow shovel, broom and ice scraper;
  • Abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter, in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow;
  • Jumper cables, flashlight and warning devices such as flares and markers;
  • Blankets;
  • Cell phone with charger, water, food and any necessary medicine (for longer trips or in lightly populated areas).
Plan Ahead

Check the weather, road and traffic conditions.
Leave early if necessary.
  • Familiarize yourself with directions and maps before you go, even if you use a GPS system.  Let others now your route and expected arrival time.
  • Keep gas tank close to full.  If you get stuck in traffic or snow, you might need more fuel to get home or keep warm.
  • If possible, avoid driving in hazardous conditions or wait until conditions improve before venturing out.
Stopped or Stalled
  • Stay with your car and don't overexert yourself.
  • Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light on.
  • To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, clear the exhaust pipe and run your vehicle only long enough to stay warm.

A REMINDER FROM NORTH ROYALTON POLICE






A Message from your Fire Department



This week, the Fire Department assisted University Hospital instructors with Stop the Bleed Training at the High School. This class is part of a partnership between University Hospitals, the North Royalton School District and the City of North Royalton. University Hospitals is donating over 400 kits so that all classrooms and school district vehicles will have the supplies.  We are proud to partner with University Hospitals to bring this valuable training to our schools. 







NEWS FROM THE OFFICE ON AGING-SENIOR CENTER

The Office on Aging will be closed on Monday, January 21 to observe Martin Luther King Day. 

Are you having a hard time balancing your bills? Ohio Benefits Bank can help you stretch your budget.  Sometimes we all have trouble making ends meet. You’re not alone. With Ohio Benefits you can find out if you qualify for budget-stretching work support programs and benefits.  Call the center and we will be happy to set up a time with the Benefits Bank representative on Thursday, January 17.

University Hospital Parma Medical Center located 7007 Powers Boulevard, Parma will be hosting a Wellness Seminar – “How’s Your Sleep”? Thursday, January 17 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the auditorium. Light refreshments will be served. Please call to register 440-743-4932.

Why not try our Chair Yoga every Thursday at 2:00 p.m. Our Yogi-Marty will lead you through yoga positions and teach you the benefits of yoga. There are many benefits from balance, breathing and relaxing just to name a few. Even if you have never tried Yoga this is you’re opportunity to come and see what it is like.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation to anyone of any age-especially if you are 50 or older or can’t afford paid tax preparation. Every Wednesday, beginning February 6 through April 10, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. at the North Royalton Public Library (5071 Wallings Road) returns are electronically filed with the assistance of a tax counselor.  We will begin taking appointments in person at the North Royalton Senior Center or by calling the center 440-582-6333.

The Office on Aging offers activities for anyone over the age of 55. You can find our calendar on the website www.northroyalton.org, under Aging and Human Services.  We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and are located at 13500 Ridge Road in the Deaconess-Perry Senior Apartment building (South side entrance). If you have any question or comments, contact Judy McLaughlin or Debra Burrows at 440-582-6333.


Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs Warns Residents of New Round of Impostor Scams 

CLEVELAND
– The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs is warning residents about a new round of impostor scams impersonating County Sheriff’s deputies or court officials.

Arrest and court scams were the most-complained about category of scams reported to the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs in 2018.

Over the weekend, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department received multiple complaints about impostor calls in which scammers identified themselves as deputies. When a Sheriff’s Department employee dialed one number reported by a resident, the scammer answered by saying, “Cuyahoga County Sheriff.”

In these scams, callers posing as police or court officials tell potential victims they missed a court date and threaten them with immediate arrest or account seizure unless they pay a fine. Some scammers may initially tell people to go to the Justice Center to pay, but when victims call back as instructed, they ultimately are told to pay using retail gift cards or money wires—forms of payment that government agencies do not accept.

“Calls threatening you with arrest, lawsuits or account seizure are flat-out scams,” said Sheryl Harris, Director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs. “These scammers steal the names of real agencies solely to scare you into paying them.”

Nine of the top 10 scams reported to Cuyahoga County Consumer Affairs in 2018 were impostor scams. They are:
1) Arrest/Court Scams (Scammers pose as law enforcement or court officials)
2) IRS Scams (Callers pose as IRS agents)
3) Computer Tech Scam (Callers pretend to be techs offering help with one’s computer)
4) Sweepstakes/Lottery Scams
5) Grandparent Scams (Callers pretend to be grandkids in trouble with the law)
6) Robocalls (Tie with grandparent scams)
7) Social Security or Medicare Scams
8) Credit or Account Scams (Callers pose as banks or offer to lower credit rates)
9) Charity Scam Calls
10) Debt Collection Scams (Tie with charity calls)

So far in 2019, Consumer Affairs has been receiving additional reports of impostor calls offering free braces or other medical equipment.

The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs offers these tips for avoiding impostor scams:

• Don’t trust caller ID readings—scammers often spoof names and numbers.

• Let numbers you don’t recognize go to voicemail. And don’t call unknown callers back.

• Hang up on anyone who threatens you with arrest, legal action or seizure of your accounts.

• Hang up if someone claims to be a grandchild in trouble with the law.

• Remember, it’s not “free” or a “prize” if you have to pay.

• If you’re worried, call police, Scam Squad or family for help checking out the call.

• Hang up if a caller insists on staying on the phone while you go to the bank or to buy gift cards.  That’s a ploy to keep you from checking out the story.

• Hang up if anyone directs you to pay using store gift cards, money wires or mailed cash. They’re scammer favorites because they’re hard for police to trace.

Cuyahoga County residents who receive scam calls are encouraged to report them by visiting consumeraffairs.cuyahogacounty.us or by calling the Scam Squad line at 216-443-SCAM (7226).
  


NEWS FROM THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT

2019 SHRED DAY EVENTS ANNOUNCEMENT

Mark your calendars for our annual Community Shred Events this year. These events are open to all North Royalton, non-business, residents (please make sure you bring proper identification) at no cost. Funding for these events is provided through a grant from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.

The first Shred Day will be held on:

Saturday, April 20th, 9:00 AM to Noon at North Royalton City Hall, 14600 State Road.

The second Shred Day will be held on:

Saturday, September 21st, 9:00 AM to Noon at North Royalton City Hall, 14600 State Road.

Document destruction services will be provided by Gateway Products Recycling, Inc. All documents are shredded on site and there is NO LIMIT to how much material you can bring!

Acceptable items include financial documents, bank statements, tax returns, credit card statements, expired credit cards, insurance forms and records, junk mail, family records and confident information. Staples and small paper clips are okay, but here’s a list of what you can’t bring: Newspapers, phone books, magazines, binders, books, pendaflex folders, food and candy wrappers, waxed paper, photographs, napkins and Styrofoam containers.

Protect your identity and our landfills by shredding!

If you are unable to attend our Shred Events or are a local business, and still want to dispose of your personal records, there are many options for paper shredding and document destruction in Cuyahoga County see a list of options.



Just in time for those New Years’ resolutions Netflix released the series “Tidying Up” and its making others aspire to get organized and declutter.

If you are feeling inspired to do some serious purging Simple Recycling, the world’s most convenient way to recycle unwanted clothing & shoes, is here to help!

Free, curbside collection is available on your regular collection day. Simply fill your orange bags and place them beside your recycling cart on your regular collection day.  It’s that easy!

For additional bags or information, visit www.SimpleRecycling.com



Building Permits are Very Important to Buyers

What is the downside of purchasing a property that has had improvements performed without a Building Permit?

If you are purchasing a home or commercial property you should carefully check if any additions or improvements to the property were made after the original construction. If you don’t research the status of past and current Building Permit activity for the property with the local Building Department having jurisdiction for the property, you could be at risk if you purchase.

Local municipalities issue building permits for work that could affect the public’s health or safety if improperly performed. In order to obtain a permit, certain information must be provided to the local Building Official having jurisdiction. Intermediate and final inspections may need to be performed by their inspectors to verify that the work was performed in accordance with applicable Building Codes.

Plans and specifications prepared by an Architect or Professional Engineer describing new work or alterations are required for large projects where structural elements are involved or major electrical, air conditioning or plumbing systems are altered. Minor alterations may require a permit but usually do not require plans and specifications. The owner or a licensed contractor can obtain the permit by filling out a few forms and paying a small fee: The following common alterations or improvements require a building permit:

•Making a structural addition

•Installing a new roof

•Blocking off or adding a door or window

•Adding or relocating electrical outlets

•Adding or relocating plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, showers)

•Converting a garage or storage area to an air conditioned occupied space

•Installing or replacing an air conditioning system

Many property owners and some contractors feel that they can make these changes without a permit; however, the local Building Official has the legal authority to require permits and impose penalties on a property owner and contractors for non-compliance. The problem doesn’t go away when the property is sold. The problem just gets transferred to the new owner.

The requirement for the permit is passed on to each subsequent buyer of the property.

If renovations were made by a property owner in 1985 that required a permit and the property was later bought and sold several times, the Building Official has the authority to force the "Current Owner" to obtain the permit and satisfy all code requirements. All previous owners including the one(s) that made the renovations are off the hook and the current owner becomes responsible for compliance. If you just purchased the property then you are now the “Current Owner”.

The Building Official can impose penalties on the current owner for non-compliance. That penalty is usually doubling the fee for the permit. The permit can be applied for by the current property owner or by a contractor but the problem sometimes doesn’t end with a simple payment of a permit fee. If construction documents and inspections would have been required to satisfy the original permit, these items must now be obtained as well. In addition, all work must now meet the current code? Not the code that was applicable in 1985.

Most small violations will likely go undetected by the building department. They are quite busy and don’t actively look into people’s homes or buildings. Lots of people add an electrical outlet or light fixture without a permit. Converting a garage to an extra bedroom is another common alteration quietly performed by homeowners without a permit. Even if the building department found out that these minor alterations were performed without a permit, one can easily remove or change them back to the original condition. No real harm? May be just a little fine or reprimand.

However, many construction projects require intermediate inspections and final inspections by the building department. After an un-permitted project is completed there may be items now hidden behind walls, floors and ceilings that can no longer be seen. The building department inspectors will not assume that everything was performed correctly in 1985 if they cannot now see the hidden items. They will not sign off on the inspection sheets.

The property owner is usually then told to have an Architect or Professional Engineer document that all work meets current code. Most Architects and Professional Engineers do not like to document someone else’s design. A General Contractor may need to get involved to disassemble, dig up or otherwise expose all elements that need to be inspected and verified. This process can cost three times what it would have cost to involve an Architect or Professional Engineer to design the original project and provide documents to obtain a permit and get it passed by the building department.

The current owner can be faced with additional fines and liens on their property if they do not resolve all issues and satisfy the permit requirements. Some property owners find it cheaper and easier to remove the addition or renovation and start from scratch with an Architect or General Contractor. Some people have recently had to have a brand new roof removed and replaced because the contractor did not pull a permit and have proper inspections. In any similar event you don’t want to be the one coping with the problem.

Learn how to avoid the potential problem

If you employ a Home or Building Inspector to inspect the property prior to your purchase you should ask them if there is any evidence of work that might not have been permitted properly. If you employ a Real Estate Attorney they can help you research records in the Building Department or you can call or go to the Building Department yourself and ask them to look up permit activity and the status of final inspections for the address of the property you are interested in purchasing.


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JANUARY CALENDAR





Get a Glimpse
Inside 10,000
Small Businesses
February 12, 2019 at 9:30 AM



Interested in taking your business to the next level? Do you meet these qualifications? 

  • Small business owner or small business co-owner

  • Business in operation for at least two years

  • Business revenues over $150,000 in the most recent fiscal year

  • Business with a minimum of four employees (including the owner). Part time and 1099's count as half. 

If so, come take a peek at how the Goldman Sach's 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) program can set you apart by not only growing your business, but also cultivating growth in you as a business owner. 

Tuesday, February 12 at 9:30 AM

Register by February 4.


Accepting applications for Summer 2019 cohort.

Apply by February 12, 2019

We're Here to Help!

Cuyahoga Community College 10,000 Small Businesses

Email: 10ksb@tri-c.edu

Phone: 216-987-3220