What a great September – it is hard to believe it’s Fall already and you would never know it. We all know what is coming, though, so let’s get ahead of the curve. Enjoy the Autumn but at the same time get prepared for the Winter ahead. If you have any potholes or road issues please turn them in NOW. No streets in the neighborhood should have road deficiencies as we move into the winter months. Please be proactive. To report road issues, streetlights out, housing issues, etc., please call them into the City Hotline number at “3-1-1”; just as you would call 9-1-1 for a Police emergency, or 2-1-1 for County Assistance, this number is the new go-to for City complaints.
I hope you all have noticed that there are new LED streetlights going up throughout our ward. As of this writing our ward is about 95% complete according to the City. There were two test wards completed, one east and one west. We were the third ward to receive the new lights due to the fact that our community has the largest customer base of Cleveland Public Power. We have experienced some issues on streets where one side of the street is lit too bright and the other side is too dark. If you are experiencing any problems as a result of the new LED lights installation. Please call CPP Customer Service at (216) 664-4600. In addition, if there are tree branches obstructing the streetlights please call that in as well. We have waited a long time for the new lighting to be installed and we want to make sure that it is having the positive impact on our neighborhood streets.
I want to thank all the folks who came to the presentation at the Recreation Center regarding the Cleveland MetroParks plans for our lakefront which includes Euclid Beach, Villa Angela and Wildwood Marina on September 11th. There is no doubt that our three parks are playing a major role in bringing people down to the lakefront and providing additional recreational opportunities. My sincere thanks to our partners at the MetroParks.
Work on the East 185th Street / Marcella Road storm sewer project is going strong. In fact, they are now working around the clock on the project in an effort to speed up completion and to enhance the tunnel boring, which is taking place far below street level. So far, there have been no major issues or problems with this $15 million project. Let’s hope it stays that way.
I wish to thank everyone who turned out for the rededication of the Mark Tromba Pool and Playground located in Collinwood Village on Mandalay Road on Saturday, September 21, 2019. We had a great turnout and I wish to thank Mayor Jackson, Director of Public Works, Michael Cox, and their team for the design and new construction. I worked on this project for almost three years and I am greatly gratified by the final product. It has been my goal to put our parks on par with suburban facilities. I am not through yet. Stay tuned for future recreation projects.
This is the first playground renovation in Ward 8 that has included public artwork. My sincere thanks, as well, to the Tromba family who showed up in force for this rededication. The late Mark Tromba was a neighborhood activist who devoted his short life to neighborhood children and athletic programs. He died at the young age of 49 in 1966. He was a graduate of Collinwood High School. He left behind his wife, Teresa, and two young sons. Those sons combined families now represent a large, close-knit family. Thank you, Mark Tromba, for what you did for the community. It was a special day for me personally for I remember, with fondness, playing football for Collinwood at the Mandalay Field across the street and swimming at the pool. It was a great and beautiful day. THANKS to all who came.
The new Walgreens at 16100 Lakeshore Boulevard is almost complete. It will open the first week of October. I don’t have to tell anyone what an improvement this is to the site of the former site of Popeye’s Chicken, which was vacant for a long time. I have to commend Walgreen’s for they did a great job on the exterior of the building and the landscaping. Let’s hope this location is successful, and they keep it well maintained. The soon to be old location at the corner of East 156 Street is now for lease.
I wish to personally thank U.S. Marshall, Pete Elliott, and his team of law enforcement officials. On Thursday, September 12, at the Pro-Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Ward 8 Safety Coordinator, Greg Pollard, and myself were recognized by the U.S. Marshall Service for our role in “Operation: We are CLE.” Greg and I were a part of the planning process for this massive crackdown and sweep of outstanding felony warrants, gang members and individuals involved in the sale of illegal drugs and firearms in the 5th District. My sincere thanks to all of our law enforcement partners for our “Men and Women In Blue” risk their lives every day to protect us; they are truly the “Thin Blue Line.”
As I attend one neighborhood meeting after another, you have heard 5th District Commander, Sammy Morris, and I repeatedly say, “If you see something, say something.” I cannot stress how critical that is; for, Ward 8 still remains one of the safest places to live on Cleveland’s east side and the only way it stays that way is by neighbors being engaged and paying attention. My continued appreciation to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Michael O’Malley, and his office, for their aggressive prosecution of violent criminals, not only in our community but city-wide. We have set the tone, time and time again. If you do the crime in Ward 8 – be prepared to do the time. It takes each and every one of us to do our part, though, too. Stay proactive.
I want to also officially announce that East 156 Street between Trafalgar and Lakeshore Boulevard will be resurfaced starting NOW and ending in late October. It will entail a new road surface and new handicapped ramps at all intersections. This is a project that has been on my radar screen for a long time. At least one lane will be open at all times so be aware of any detours. There cannot be any parking on the street between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM during the week. If there are any issues, please let me know. Please be careful driving. Even though this may be an inconvenience – this project was long overdue and I am glad to finally see it become a reality. As we move into next year I have other resurfacing projects on my radar screen I will be working on, as well.
Last, but by all means not least, I am excited to announce that the LONGFELLOW senior housing project at the former Longfellow School, an historic landmark, located on East 140th Street, is steps closer to becoming reality. We have recently met with Vesta Corporation, the Developer and their construction and planning contractor, Marous Brothers, to discuss the latest plans on this $18 million project. Financing is lining up, which means we can optimistically look forward to ground breaking on this project sometime early next year. Let’s hope and pray. I will share updates with you as they become available.
I look forward to working with the Greater Collinwood Development Corporation, the neighborhood groups and all of our residents as we work to improve our safety, develop our community and create unique opportunities for our residents and businesses, alike. As always, if there are any questions or comments, I may be reached at my office at (216) 664-4236 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael D. Polensek
Councilman, Ward 8