What do a pancake breakfast, a 5k race, and a city budget appropriation have in common? Answer – each is taking place in Kirtland this March. All three are worthy of an update but only one is state law.
On March 4th, 5th, 11th, and 12th, the Kirtland Kiwanis, in partnership with the Lake Farmpark, will be serving a pancake breakfast. From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the park located at 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kiwanis will be cooking and selling pancakes with the Farmpark’s own delicious homemade maple syrup. As always, proceeds from the Kiwanis event will assuredly be directed back into the Kirtland community.
Then on March 26th, the second annual Shamrock Shuffle and Shenanigans will be held at Kirtland City Hall. The day begins with the sounds of a bagpiper at 10:00 a.m. near the starting line of the 5k race, and will be followed by live music, food, and a Kiwanis sponsored beer garden. A 120 x 40-foot heated tent will be set up to ensure patrons are well protected from unwelcome elements, should March decide to go out like a lion.
Many thanks to Finance Director Louis Slapnicker for his extremely hard work preparing the ordinance placed before City Council. With Louis’s guidance, the budget before Council responsibly balances wages, pays down city debt, and replaces a snowplow from 2006. And thanks to better than projected income tax receipts in 2022, the budget carves out more than one million dollars for road work in 2023. In addition, the proposed appropriation sets aside several thousand dollars for economic development tools to both help bolster our commercial tax base and assist us in seeking further grant funding.
Over the last several years, we’ve worked very hard to establish fundamentals needed to operate our city government efficiently, and always with our taxpayers in mind. By consolidating dispatch, we reinvested savings in our Police Department and expanded our full-time staff. The emergency dispatch savings by partnering with Willoughby eliminated the dependency on a revolving door of part-time officers and will ultimately lead to less overtime costs for police patrol.
This year we capitalized on a grant that allowed us to hire three new full-time firefighters. By working together, Chief Hutton and I figured out a way to expand his staff while saving the city budget several hundred thousand dollars over the next ten years.
Today, our Service Department is again fully staffed and many of our new department workers bring new talents enabling us to better serve our residents. Public Works Director Joe Fornaro and his team continue to impress me with their responses to snow events and their professionalism while out working in the community.
And not to be overlooked, our Community Center is bustling with activity and rentals. The Senior Center continues to grow in membership and thanks to Director Teresa Szary, the spirit of community and helpfulness beams from the building. We also have State Senator Cirino to thank for his help with grant funding that will result in the construction of long awaited and requested outdoor bathrooms.
On a final note, the first phase of construction will begin this Spring on the Old Town neighborhood sewer project, specifically along the northern portion of Elm Street and on Eisenhower Drive. Once the county and contractor set the construction schedule, the City will send the residents a notice of timelines and helpful information related to the project.
Here’s to hoping for an early Spring and more good things to come in Kirtland.