City in pursuit of NOACA funding to construct multipurpose trail

by Melissa Martin

May 2 city council meeting

Brecksville City Council held a public hearing before its committee meetings and regular meeting about a resolution allowing the mayor to apply for funding through the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality Program.

Council unanimously approved the resolution later that evening.

Though a public hearing was not required as part of the grant application process, city officials said they wanted to give residents a voice in the process.

Planning and Development Director Monica Bartkiewicz said CMAQ funding would be used to construct sidewalks or a multi-use trail, along with a transit waiting station, on Brecksville Road between Valley Parkway and Miller Road. She said the program could provide up to 80% funding for the project; the city intends to fund the remaining 20%.

Because planning for CMAQ grants takes several years, Bartkiewicz said construction of the trail and the bus station would not take place until 2028 or 2029 if the funds are awarded to the city.

Several residents asked which side of Brecksville Road would house the trail and where the bus stop would be located. Bartkiewicz said those decisions remain undecided.

Snowville Road resident Andy Whitehair, a self-identified cyclist, said that for safety reasons, he strongly supports the construction of the trail or any bike path that would be constructed on state Route 21.

“It’s an extraordinarily busy road at times,’’ he said. “Even though its 35 mph and 25 mph [near city hall], people drive like its 50 mph.” 

Whitehair would allow his children to ride their bicycles to school if the trail were built. “That would be the dream scenario,” he said. “I’m very much a strong proponent of this.”

Bartkiewicz updated council and the public on the status of other projects associated with the city’s connectivity plan. She said the Glenwood Trail sidewalk project is expected to be completed by August, and the Blossom Hill Trail project will start later this summer.

Bartkiewicz also said the city received $50,000 to install three audible pedestrian signals at state Route 82, Arlington and Community Drive, all of which intersect Brecksville Road.

Councilman Daryl Kingston reinforced the importance of all of the city’s connectivity projects.

“When we go back to the city’s connectivity plan from last year, really the 2,000-foot view was to make the connection between the two arterials,” Kingston said. “With the precursory work being done on state Route 82, with sidewalks to follow, we’ll soon have connectivity from Broadview Heights to Sagamore. With [the multipurpose trail] project, we’ll complete connectivity from north to south.”

Council approved $70,070 in repairs to city hall baseball fields A, B and C. Those repairs will not only include walkway repairs and fence replacements but the construction of new concrete stairs to the fields’ dugouts. Most of the work will be performed by the service department, said Service Director Ron Weidig.

Council also:

  • Approved independent contractor agreements with Margaret English as Brecksville Travel Baseball Association president and liaison to the recreation department for 2023;  Tom English as youth baseball and softball league director for 2023; and  Geoffrey Thacker as Community Youth Soccer Director in 2023.
  • Revised the meeting schedule to delay approval of six proposed amendments to the city charter as crafted by the Charter Review Commission earlier this year. According to Law Director David Matty, if council approves the resolutions prior to 120 days before the November election, the city would be forced to host a special election this summer. Once the resolutions are approved in July, they will be forwarded to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to be placed on the November ballot.
  • Authorized Police Chief Stan Korinek to complete an application through the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program for funding to hire a school resource officer for the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. ∞