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City Manager Ken Filipiak Reflects on a Busy Week in Mentor

Filipiak talks about the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and the cost associated with President Barack Obama's visit

Following the passage of ordinances regarding inter-fund transfers and road projects near centerpiece properties, City Manager Ken Filipiak offered reflections on a hectic week in Mentor.

"With the remnants and impact of Hurricane Sandy — it certainly had an impact on Lake County and the City of Mentor — as well as the presidential visit last Satruday, it's been a very busy week in Mentor," Filipiak said. "We just wanted to thank the public for their patience and community spirit shown.

"There were a great number of inconveniences that our residents had to incur as a result of both of those events."

During the city manager's report Monday at the Mentor City Council meeting, Filipiak said no deaths or major injuries were reported during the storm. Public Works director Matt Schweikert confirmed that about 7,000 residents had no power at one point.

"We did fare well in that we had very few water-related or flooding issues," Filipiak said. "That was not the experience of other communities in Lake County."

The city encourages those who still have branches and limbs in their yard to use their regular waste. The city will honor special pickup requests, but only to take out limbs of six inches in diameter or less. Filipiak said residents should schedule a pickup with the Public Works Department.

JTO Inc. is also offering free dropoff of branches, Schweikert said.

The city manager thanked the American Red Cross for helping the city run the only storm emergency shelter in the county. Filipiak also praised FirstEnergy Corp. for its response, though "we had to exercise some level of patience." He said the city fielded thousands of calls related to the storm. He said he wished the city had done a better job of information sharing, but workers were waiting to hear from the utility company like residents were.

"We will keep you informed as to any procedures or policies that might change that could maybe help us peform better in the long run."

Filipiak said President Barack Obama's visit to Mentor High School cost the city about $22,000. He said that was spent on hiring additional police officers, firefighters and security during Obama's visit.

Check Mentor Patch later this week for more stories from this meeting.

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