Friday, December 20, 2013

Weather Advisory & Holiday Cheer

Dear Elyrians,

Please see the below National Weather Service Warning Advisory for Elyria and the region. If you experience flooding problems over the holidays and need assistance, The City of Elyria is ready to help.  For information and/or assistance, please call the Elyria Waste Water Treatment Plant 24 hours per day seven days per week at 366-2211.  You will receive a recording.  Please dial 0 and leave a message.  Your call will be responded to within 20-30 minutes.  In an emergency a Police Department Dispatcher can also take your call at 323-3302, but they will refer the call back to the Waste Water Treatment Plant.  
In the meantime, please enjoy the holiday week.  Click play below to hear few choruses performed by the Elyria High School Madrigals for your listening pleasure.  Happy Holidays!

Part I:

Part II:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Spotlight Elyria - Holiday Edition

The Holiday Edition of Spotlight Elyria is now airing on Cable Channel 12, and is being streamed on the City of Elyria’s website at The program is updated bi-monthly and features special guests including the Mayor’s senior staff, department heads, police and fire chiefs, leaders from partnering organizations and community volunteers and activists.  This special Holiday Edition of Spotlight Elyria video will help you and your loved ones embrace the holiday spirit and will help remind you of all the wonderful things the Elyria community has to offer.  Please join Mayor Brinda to celebrate the season and learn more about how you can join in moving the City of Elyria forward.
Spotlight Elyria
With Mayor Holly C. Brinda & Guests
(Viewing Time 110 Minutes)
Holiday Edition of Spotlight Elyria Topics:

An Elyria Holiday Tour: New Lorain Arts Council Elyria Art Depot & Festival of Lights
Mayor Holly Brinda & Guests
Home & Personal Safety over the Holidays & All Year
Fire Chief Benton & Police Chief Whitely

A Home for the Holidays: Community Housing Improvement Program & Available Homes to Purchase
Community Development Director Angela Byington

Over the River & Through the Woods: New Ford Road Bridge Open
City Engineer Tim Ujvari

Holiday Neighborhood Safety & Elyria’s Block WatchesBlock Watch Coordinator Jen Schibley & Asst. Safety Service Director Bruce Shade

Sights & Sounds of the Holidays
A Special Elyria Holiday Tribute for Your Viewing Pleasure

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

In Elyria, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

The City of Elyria, our partners and families kicked off the holiday season this past weekend with a host of activities that warmed the hearts of hundreds even in these frigid temperatures.  Please enjoy the following photo gallery of highlights of the City of Elyria’s Festival of Lights.  Featured are: the new Elyria Art Depot, all of the activities last weekend on Ely Square and in City Hall, and the glowing Finwood Estate - which is open now through December 23 for indoor activities and through January 5 for drive-through viewing.   To see live video of all of these events tune into Cable Channel 12 beginning Monday, December 16th!

This year’s celebration was even bigger and better than ever.  We added more lights to Finwood Estate and our downtown events started earlier in the day with a children’s petting zoo, ice carver, crafts, movies, gift bags, a free storybook giveaway – complete with storybook characters, a coat and accessory giveaway, caricatures, storytime, Santa’s workshop, caroling, hot chocolate, and of course – Santa himself!  If you didn’t join us this year, we hope you’ll join us in 2014 for this growing celebration of fellowship and families.  In the meantime, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

As always, if the slideshow isn't working for you, click on the link below to view the album.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Festival of Lights Kick-Off - Saturday, December 7!

It’s Time to Celebrate the Season!

2013 Elyria Festival of Lights Holiday Kick-Off
Saturday, December 7 – FREE Events, Activities and Gifts
Throughout the City All Day!
Bring the entire family and join the City of Elyria and our partners for a fun-filled day of holiday events and activities designed to bring a smile to every age.  All events and activities in Ely Square, Elyria City Hall and Finwood Estate are FREE and open to the public and are being made possible through the generous donations of individuals and organizations throughout our community. 
This year’s celebration is bigger and better than ever.  We’ve added even more lights to Finwood Estate and our downtown events will start earlier in the day  with a children’s petting zoo, ice carver, crafts, movies, gift bags, a free storybook giveaway – complete with storybook characters, a coat and accessory giveaway, caricatures, storytime, Santa’s workshop, caroling, hot chocolate, and of course – Santa himself! 

And, if you’re an art lover, visit the new Lorain Arts Council Elyria Art Depot at 336 Broad Street to admire local art and shop for that unique gift!  Look for discounts and extended hours throughout downtown for your shopping and dining pleasure.    

Downtown Elyria Events

10:00am – 6:00pm
ART DISTRICT OPENING: Shop or Browse at the grand opening of the new Lorain Arts Council - ELYRIA ART DEPOT at 336 Broad Street (former Brandau Jewelers) – a new arts partnership between the Lorain Arts Council, the City of Elyria, the Haywood family, and local artists

Noon – 3:00pm
ICE SCULPTOR: Watch a professional ice sculptor carve an 8’ snowman in the Ely Square Gazebo

1:00 – 3:00pm
KIDS HOLIDAY CRAFTS & HOLIDAY MOVIES:  Come make a free holiday craft and watch a holiday movie classic in Elyria City Hall. 

1:00 – 4:00pm
CHILDRENS’ PETTING ZOO:  Ely Square will come alive with real animals for your child’s petting pleasure!

1:00 – 6:00pm
MAYOR’S STORYBOOK GIVE AWAY: the first 500 children will receive their choice of a FREE book
2:00 – 6:00pm
COAT, SCARF, HAT, GLOVE GIVE-AWAY:  Grace Community Church will be providing free outerwear for children, youth and adults in Elyria City Hall 
3:00 – 6:00PM
CARICATURE ART: Ad some cheer to your holiday with a free caricature portrait           

4:00 – 6:00pm
CAROLING: Local scout troops and schools
KIDS CRAFTS:  Make a holiday craft in City Hall
LUMINARY DECORATING: Make a luminary in City Hall
MEET AND GREET MOTHER GOOSE: in the square and City Hall
STORY TIME: The Elyria Public Library shares some holiday classics
GRINCH APPEARANCE:  In and outside of City Hall
SANTA’S WORKSHOP:  Lorain National Bank grand window display and activities
HOT CHOCOLATE:  Warm up in City Hall with the American Red Cross
FREE GIFT BAGS: to the first 500 children

5:00 – 5:30pm
SANTA’S ARRIVAL: Santa will make his grand arrival and help Mayor Brinda flip the switch to turn on the lights on Ely Square

5:30 – 6:00pm: 
MEET SANTA:  Visit with the jolly old elf in the Elyria Sunrise Rotary Santa House

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Elyria Art Depot - Opening Saturday, December 7th



A new partnership between the City of Elyria & the Lorain Arts Council has created the Lorain Arts Council’s Elyria Art Depot – the first arts initiative of several that the City hopes will help breathe new life into its downtown and set the stage for revitalization and growth.   
Just in time for the City’s Holiday Festival of Lights, the former Brandau Jewelers Building at 336 Broad Street will have its grand opening Saturday December 7 from 10am to 6pm both as an art gallery and a working space for artists. Visitors can browse through the gallery and admire local art and jewelry, shop for the holidays, and eventually take classes out of the facility.  Initial days and hours of operation are Thursdays from 11am to 2pm, Fridays from 4pm to 7pm, and Saturdays from 4pm to 7pm.  The schedule may be expanded based on demand. 

So far, ten artists have committed to participate.  Among the art disciplines to be represented include painting, drawing, print making, photography, digital art and 3-dimensional modeling, wearable fabric art, beading, metal sculpting, pottery, weaving, metal jewelry making, guitar, and street performances.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ELYRIA CITY EMPLOYEES: It’s All About Giving and Giving Thanks….

On behalf of the City of Elyria and all of our employees, we would like to express our most sincere thanks to you the citizens, for your support during this special season and all year long.  We are fortunate to live and work in this caring community and we know that you are the reason we as public servants exist.  I’d also like you to know that those who serve the public in Elyria do it with care, compassion, enthusiasm and great humility.  That is what I am privileged to witness as your Mayor every day, and what is being demonstrated in the acts of kindness this holiday season.  Here are just a few examples.

The Elyria Fire Department initiated Operation Warm last week and distributed 427 winter coats to first and second graders in need at Crestwood, Franklin and Oakwood elementary schools.  The bright blue, green, pink and purple coats were a hit with the youngsters, not only because they were warm, but because they had lots of pockets!  Moreover, some of Elyria’s youngest citizens got to meet a real firefighter and see their fire truck.  “For us, it’s all about seeing their smiles and warming their hearts,” said firefighter Dean Marks. 

Friday, November 22, 2013


EPD Captain Phil Hammonds, Superintendent of Communications Larry Showalter, EPD Chief Duane Whitely,  Mayor Holly C. Brinda, Superintendent of Street Dept. Scott Payne, and City of Elyria Engineer Tim Ujvari
Please join me in congratulating the Elyria Police Department (EPD) for being at the top of their game.  Not only are they sweeping the City in an unprecedented crime-fighting effort to rid us of the drug dealers hurting our citizens and the region, but they’ve also found the time to win a major award! 

Last Wednesday the Elyria Police Department (EPD) received the Gold Award from the American Automobile Association (AAA) for its efforts to reduce the number of traffic accidents in the city.  Elyria was one of only nine law enforcement divisions across Northeast Ohio to earn the coveted award.  Accepting the accolade for the department were Chief Duane Whitely and Captain Phil Hammond, who heads the department’s service division and serves as the chief traffic investigator. 

Friday, November 15, 2013


It’s been five years since we’ve been able to go over the river and through the woods……but that all changed in Elyria today, November 15 with the grand opening of the new, grant-funded $3.1 million Ford Road Bridge.  The new two-lane, 263 foot bridge is located just north of the old bridge and was re-positioned to improve alignment with the Lorain County MetroPark entrance to the north and the hill on the south. 
Funded by funds from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Public Works Commission, the scenic gateway and short-cut to the Midway Mall area from Elyria’s north side will improve access to commercial areas, Bur Oak Park and residents who live in the area. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thank You for Protecting Elyria’s Future…..

Thank You for Protecting Elyria’s Future…..

 Dear Elyrians,

On behalf of the Elyrians First Committee and the City of Elyria, please accept our most sincere appreciation for your support of Issue 5.  Because of your actions and personal commitment to protect Elyria’s future, our community will continue to move forward.
Whether you exercised your right to vote and/or made a donation, attended a fundraiser, walked door-to-door, put up yard signs, made telephone calls, or wrote a letter of support – you and others like you, made a difference.

Monday, November 4, 2013


ELYRIANS, PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE.  The City of Elyria’s Issue 5, a renewal and not a tax increase, is vital to the city’s ability to move forward.  Issue 5 represents over 20 percent of the city’s General Fund budget and supports basic city services including police and fire protection, road maintenance, leaf pick-up and snow removal, building code enforcement, and parks and recreational programming.  Without its passage, the City will be forced to cut 20 percent of its workforce – an equivalent of about 125 positions.  Given that the City has already cut $1.7 million in the past year, additional cuts of this magnitude will have catastrophic results.         

Your new city administration is working hard to make the best possible use of precious tax dollars by reducing costs.  City employees have accepted a salary freeze.  Many contracts have been re-bid.  The city take-home car fleet has been drastically reduced – including the elimination of the Mayor’s car.  Longevity for senior staff has been eliminated.  Increased employee contributions to health care, participation in a new energy cooperative, intensive purchasing oversight, and downsizing by not filling 11.5 positions in the past 12 months - among other reductions -  have helped stretch our tax dollars.  
Now we need citizens to step up and protect Elyria’s future.  Again, Issue 5 is NOT A TAX INCREASE and retirement, social security, unemployment and disability income are NOT taxed.  We have been paying this tax for over 30 years and need it to keep Elyria moving in the right direction.  Please, vote on November 5. 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yes, Trick or Treat is On and…Remember: Change your clock, change your smoke detector batteries

Trick or Treat Is On
We know there are concerns about the weather, but City Hall has been monitoring it very carefully and like our surrounding communities, we are keeping Trick or Treat tonight – Thursday evening October 31 from 6:00 – 7:30pm because it appears that the bulk of the predicted storm will not hit until later tonight.  We expect light sprinkles in early evening so bring umbrellas. 

A Message from the Elyria Fire Department:

Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries When You Change Your Clocks
Smoke alarms save lives. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) should be installed in homes.
  • Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer's instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturer's instructions for testing and maintenance.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 year old or sooner if they do not respond properly.
  • Be sure the smoke alarm has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Alarms that are hard-wired (and include battery backup) must be installed by a qualified electrician.
  • If cooking fumes or steam sets off nuisance alarms, replace the alarm with an alarm that has a "hush" button. A "hush" button will reduce the alarm’s sensitivity for a short period of time.
  • An ionization alarm with a hush button or a photoelectric alarm should be used if the alarm is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance.
  • Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound, may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice.
  • Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices use strobe lights. Vibration devices can be added to these alarms.
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Positive Momentum is Building in Elyria

By Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda

Despite serious financial challenges, the City of Elyria is finding ways to build positive 
momentum towards a more promising future.  A recent voluntary Performance Audit by the State, prudent management, cost-cutting, reorganization, aggressive grant and other fund development, creative thinking and willing partners have allowed the City to advance a number of projects. 

That being said, despite progress, the positive momentum will only continue if the City of Elyria passes Issue 5, the half percent income tax renewal that does not increase taxes but simply continues to fund vital basic city services like police and fire protection, maintaining our roads and parks, and leaf pick-up and snow removal.  Because Issue 5 represents 20 percent of Elyria’s General Fund Budget, failure will unfortunately result in the layoff of about 125 of the city’s 450 employees, thus stopping the momentum and crippling city services. 
Over the past 22 months the City of Elyria’s new administration and city employees have worked very hard to create a more efficient and effective city government and do more with less. Over $1.7 million of reductions have already occurred and additional cuts are being made even with the passage of Issue 5. Grant dollars discussed here cannot take the place of public funding to support basic city services.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Today’s Blog: City Continues Spotlight Elyria Cable Program

The City of Elyria has been able to continue its Spotlight Elyria cable television programming highlighting current events and recycling initiatives thanks to a grant from the Lorain County Solid Waste Management District.  The Autumn Edition of Spotlight Elyria is now airing on Cable Channel 12, and is being streamed on the City of Elyria’s website at   The program will be updated bi-monthly and will feature special guests including the Mayor’s senior staff, department heads, police and fire chiefs, leaders from partnering organizations and community volunteers and activists.  Please join Mayor Brinda and guests for the Autumn Edition of Spotlight Elyria to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing Elyria – and how you can join in moving the City forward.          

Click below to view the Autumn Edition of
Spotlight Elyria
With Mayor Holly C. Brinda and Guests
(Viewing Time 90 Minutes)
Autumn Edition of Spotlight Elyria Topics:
  • City Financial Challenges with Finance Director Ted Pileski
  • Winning the War on Crime with Police Chief Duane Whitely & Captain Chris Costantino
  • Fire Safety with Fire Chief Richard Benton and Inspector Scott Vincze
  • Highway, Road & Bridge Project Updates with City Engineer Tim Ujvari
  • Parks & Recreation Activities & Celebrations with Director Frank Gustoff and Recreation Supervisors Annette Solet and Lisa Bowman
  • Growing with Community Gardens with Volunteer Holly Huff

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Today’s Blog: City Reaches Agreement With Four Unions – Including Pay Freezes

The City of Elyria has reached agreements with the four collective bargaining units that have expiring contract deadlines this year.   “I am so very pleased to say that all of our employee groups understand the financial challenges the City is facing and are working collaboratively with the City administration to reach practical agreements that allow us to offer the best possible services with limited resources,” said Mayor Holly Brinda.   “The pay freeze offered by firefighters coupled with the willingness by police to make concessions related to employee contributions to health care and to continue the conversation regarding eliminating or limiting longevity are among many important steps we are taking towards both  short-term and long-term cost-containment. “       

The City of Elyria and the Elyria Firefighters Local #474 of the International Association of Fire Fighters reached agreement for a one-year pay freeze, agreeing to extend the terms of the current contract through June 30, 2014. The parties have agreed to re-open negotiations in the first quarter of 2014. 
The Elyria Police Patrolman’s Association has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Elyria to defer and then resume Fact-Finding in late 2013 to further explore remaining wage and longevity issues.  Agreement has already been reached on 21 other issues in the current contract.     
Significant developments with the EPPA thus far include: 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Today’s Blog: Road Resurfacing Begins, East Falls Repair Begins, Autumn Activities Continue…

If you’ve noticed more orange barrels than usual coloring the Autumn landscape, its because the City of Elyria has begun $796,049.00 in road resurfacing projects thanks largely to an infusion of temporary cash from a demutualization insurance settlement received by the City earlier in the year.  Elyria City Council wanted to make sure that the residents saw the benefits of some of this temporary infusion of cash and so many long-awaited road repaving projects that the city would not otherwise be able to complete due to financial constraints are being completed.  As information regarding temporary road closings and detours become available, we will be posting the information here and on the City’s Cable Channel 12.       

2013 Street Resurfacing Program:

Work has begun:
  • Lake Avenue from Erie Street to Oak Street – Work has begun

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Elyria Apple Festival

Dear Elyria Residents, Friends and Visitors,

We would like invite you to join us  for the 33rd annual Apple Festival, starting Friday, September 20th and running through Sunday, September 22nd.  Please come to downtown Elyria for a wonderful weekend of all American food, fun and entertainment in and around Elyria’s historic Ely Square.  Whether your passion is craft shopping or concession grazing, apple bobbing or apple pie eating, marching bands or one-man bands, the classic car show or Princess Pageant – or just enjoying one of Ohio’s premiere festivals on a crisp autumn day – you’ll find something of interest for everyone in your family!          

It just wouldn’t be autumn without this time-honored event, and what a great way for us to celebrate as a community.  Despite trying economic times, through the hard work of many, Elyria is on the rise.  Take a few moments while downtown to enjoy the waterfalls.  Stroll down to Cascade Park and experience the nature trails and see the $1 million of park improvements being made by your City through grants, with even more improvements coming in 2015 with our new partnership with the Lorain County MetroParks.

A few blocks down on Middle Avenue visit our new $70 million Elyria High School and the newly recognized historic site of the Easter Seal Society.  Next year, there will be even more downtown improvements with the replacement of Middle Avenue, new pop-up businesses, and several major commercial projects on Broad Street – not to mention the $28 million Midway Mall area 49th Street Bridge/State Route 57 reconfiguration project that will remedy a high crash zone, improve access and stimulate jobs and further development.          

As you can see, there is much to celebrate and members of Elyria City Council and I would like to express our sincere appreciation to each and every individual and organization that is helping the City of Elyria make important steps forward.  This includes community leaders and the hundreds of volunteers, sponsors, vendors, participants and patrons, of the Apple Festival.  Organizing an event of this magnitude is no easy task and we are so very proud of our caring community.  Special thanks are extended to organizer Linda Brown, Century Club contributors and many City of Elyria employees.  Working together, we are all making Elyria, Ohio’s Community of Opportunity!

Holly C. Brinda
City of Elyria                

Monday, September 9, 2013


The City of Elyria received fantastic news this afternoon!  The Ohio Turnpike Commission gave the final approval to Elyria’s Route 57/49th St. Bridge Reconfiguration project slated to begin in 2014 and be completed in 2016.  The $28 million infrastructure project will remedy a high crash zone by modifying the existing I-90/SR 57 interchange, incorporating a diamond interchange with traffic signals at ramp intersections that will move 620 feet north, removing the 49th Street Bridge overpass by Midway Mall and the ramps to Griswold Road and Midway Mall Boulevard. It will also widen SR 57 to six lanes between the Ohio Turnpike and I-90, widen Midway Mall Boulevard to four lanes and a left turn lane, bring Griswold Road to current design standards and add sidewalks and relocate the existing frontage roads.  Moreover, there are a number of anticipated job creation and long-term economic benefits to the project as well.  Here are the details:
Project Cost/City Investment:
  • Total anticipated cost: $28 million
  • City of Elyria’s investment: $1,880,369

Vital to Safety and Helpful to Our Economic Future
  • Improvements to safety to remedy high crash zone
  • Improved access/barrier removal between I-90 and the Turnpike
  • Improved access to Midway Mall, local hotels, restaurants and strip retail areas
  • Improved access to industrial park
  • Improves the appears and function of a commercially viable area as demonstrated by new or improved businesses in the past three years: McDonald’s, Olive Garden, Verizon, Chipolte, Hampton Inn and others
  • Aesthetic improvement to City and Mall entrance will retain and expand retail and other development
  • Opens the westside of Elyria to future development of 140 acres
  • Local and regional employment opportunities in construction trades
  • Sales increases to local and in-region construction firms
  • Increase in City of Elyria tax base from construction
  • Serves as a catalyst for the Mall area Redevelopment Plan

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Todays’ Topics: Reducing Energy Costs, Summer Fun and Great Employees

Energy Saving

Carl recently emailed to inquire about how the City of Elyria is addressing energy costs.  Here is what I explained to him. The City of Elyria has entered into two cooperative purchasing agreements with North Shore Energy.  The first agreement was entered into in 2012 to purchase electricity for our larger consumers like wastewater treatment and the water plant.  This agreement saved the City $36,000 in 2012 and is expected to save the City $903,935 through 2015. 

I signed a second agreement last month with North Shore Energy for cooperative purchasing of natural gas.  The intent of this agreement is to lock in a cost for the City for three years, as the price of natural gas is expected to rise.  Forecasters are expecting natural gas prices to increase as Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is exported and Compressed Natural gas (CNG) is used for truck fleets and other purposes.  In addition, new electric power plants are being constructed that run on natural gas.  This will create a huge demand.  By the City fixing the price for an extended period, we can remove the risk of volatility and allow for better budget planning.  While an analysis found that the City is likely to save $5,650 over the next three years – which is not much, without price-fixing we could see a much greater risk of escalating costs based on a historic look back at Natural Gas Commodity bare prices.      

More Summer Fun in Downtown Elyria

While the summer is winding down, the fun in Elyria Square continues in downtown Elyria.  Mark your calendars for the following upcoming events:
  • August 15:  Summer Concert from 11:30am – 1:00pm featuring Rich Gallo
  • August 30: An Evening of Bluegrass Music featuring local bands – 5:00pm - dusk
  • August 31: Warm-Up Music followed by the Cleveland Pops Orchestra – 5:00pm - dusk
  • September 1: St. Andrews Jazz & Blues festival – 1:00 – 7:00pm
  • September 20 – 22: Elyria Apple Festival
Don’t wait.  Start thinking about what you are going to enter in the pie baking contest Saturday, September 21 at 10:00am at First Place Bank.  The first place prize is $25.00, second place is $15.00 and third place is $10.00.  Bragging rights – priceless!  For more information call (440) 324-2000. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vibrant NEO 2040

You’re Invited to Create a More Vibrant, Resilient and Sustainable Northeast Ohio

Friday, July 26, 2013

This Weekend it’s Classic Cars, Great Music and Little League Bliss

Photo courtesy of the Chronicle Telegram.
The skies have cleared and the weather has cooled down a few degrees, and that means it’s going to be a great weekend to spend some time in downtown Elyria!  A couple of annual events have lined up again this year to provide all the entertainment you need on Sunday, July 28th.   Donna’s Diner Classic Car Show starts off the day and runs from noon until 3:00pm.  If you have a classic car you want to show off or just want to see some vintage Detroit steel, bring your friends and family downtown on Sunday.  Cars will be displayed on the street around Ely Square, and Donna’s Diner will have hot dogs, a 50/50 raffle, and music by Johnny Aces and the Wingmen.

At 6:00pm on Sunday, The Elyria Parks and Recreation Department is proud to bring you “Rockin’ in the Park,” a FREE CONCERT in The Square featuring Massillon-based band LA FLAVOUR in the Ely Park Gazebo, performing a medley of favorites from the 50’s, 60’s,  Disco Era and more!  Hershey’s Ice Cream will be on site to keep everyone well-fed and full of energy for the show. 

 Finally, we want to say congratulations to the Elyria East 11 and 12 year-old Little League Softball Allstars.  They won two big games on Thursday to secure a Regional Championship and a chance to play in the Little League World Series!  They have a few weeks off before heading to Portland, Oregon to play the host-team on August 8th.  Great job, girls!  The entire City of Elyria will be rooting for you!

PS- There will be some parking/driving changes downtown on Sunday to accommodate the car show.  Second Street between Court and West will run as a two-way street on the day of the show to give access to Ely Square, similar to the setup for the Apple Festival. Have a great weekend!     

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

UPDATED: ELYRIA FERAL CAT PROJECT LAUNCHED (and don't forget the Lake Erie Crushers Cash for Kitties Night on August 1!)

Elyria Feral Cat Project Launched

With an estimated 14,000 feral cats roaming the streets of Elyria, ignoring the problem is no longer an option.  To help address the growing issue, Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda, Lorain County Friendship Animal Protective League Director Greg Willey, and a group of compassionate neighborhood-level citizen volunteers are starting the Elyria Feral Cat Project. 

Members of the Elyria Feral Cat Project are dedicated to humanely controlling the growth of the feral cat population in the City of Elyria through a combination of educational programming and using the humane technique of Trap-Neuter-Return, often called TNR.   

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Sort 4 Elyria – that’s the new recycling and refuse collection campaign message that is being shared by a group of volunteer actors turned cable television celebrities as part of the City of Elyria’s efforts to encourage residents to follow four easy steps to proper recycling and refuse disposal.  Thanks to two grants totaling over $100,000 over 2012 and 2013 from the Lorain County Solid Waste District, the City of Elyria has launched an educational and awareness building campaign to help residents and other property owners make better choices about how to keep Elyria beautiful. 

The latest awareness building activity involved a casting call to all Elyrians to audition for a series of videos that are being aired on Cable Channel 12 and the City’s website.  The brain-child of Sanitation Manager Rodney Eye, the educational videos feature volunteer Elyria citizens playing out various scenarios that help demonstrate what one should do with regular garbage, recycling, compost and hazardous materials – and why making the right choices is so very important to both the environment and the city’s bottom line.  “I hear many of the same questions from residents talking to their neighbors or other family members about how to dispose of their waste and I just thought it would be more understandable and accepted by residents if they heard the message from their friends and neighbors,” explained Mr. Eye.  “We hope the videos will help answer unanswered questions and encourage residents to call at 322-3895 when they need more information or guidance.”

Mr. Eye worked with Scott Buzaleski, an administrative assistant in the Mayor’s office, and they wrote the scripts, advertised the auditions and auditioned citizens that participated in the casting calls.  Many thanks are extended to the following volunteer citizens for their hard work in developing these important Sort 4 Elyria videos: Andre Cato, Raven Hairston, Ronald Hairston, Crystal Morgan, Leah Weese, Alison Nowack and Pam Christian.  To view the new Sort 4 Elyria videos, go to,, or tune into Cable Channel 12. 

At the end of 2010, the City of Elyria switched over to the new waste and recycling program that we use today. With the introduction of different colored cans (black for garbage, green for recycling), and other changes related to the disposal of grass, brush, recyclables and hazardous waste, the city understands there is a need to offer more information about how to process these materials.  In addition to the new videos, the city is also making available through the grants brochures, informational coloring and activity books, new and more trash and recycling cans in public spaces, signage that encourages recycling, and last but no least – a new Mascot in Sir Sortsalot – the knight of recycling for Elyria that you now see in parades and at special events.  The information is being shared at community events, schools, civic and social organizations, and by mail.  A Sort 4 Elyria Speakers Bureau has also been developed so organizations can requests speakers to address their groups.  To book a speaker, call the Mayor’s Office at 326-1402.  

Sort 4 Elyria Videos

Click below to watch the Sort 4 Elyria videos explaining our waste and recycling program!

Monday, July 15, 2013

City of Elyria Is Doing Its Due Diligence on LifeCare Contract

By:  Holly C. Brinda, Mayor of Elyria
As Elyria’s Mayor, I have an obligation to make sure that you and any other person in the city have access to high quality, timely, affordable emergency medical care and transport to the hospital.  The city can choose to provide one or both of these services itself, or contract with a vendor.  In Elyria’s case, the city chose to contract with LifeCare Ambulance in 1996.  In a Voluntary Performance Audit by the State of Ohio this past year, it was discovered that the LifeCare Ambulance contract has not been monitored or updated in 17 years.  To help insure accountability, quality and affordability – my administration is currently working with LifeCare Ambulance, as we do with all of our vendors, to provide the best possible service to the citizens of Elyria.  (As part of our due diligence process as a new administration, all contracts in the city are being reviewed, re-negotiated or re-bid.)            
Here are the facts regarding the City of Elyria’s negotiations with LifeCare Ambulance:
  • The Brinda administration’s intent is to make a good faith effort to re-negotiate the emergency medical service contract with LifeCare Ambulance. If our negotiation efforts are successful, as we hope they will be, it will not be necessary to re-bid the contract to other outside vendors.   
  • We have requested LifeCare Ambulance provide information to demonstrate they are in compliance with the existing agreement.  To date, they have complied with a portion of our request. We have clarified what additional information is needed for us to assure the citizens of Elyria that we are properly executing the current agreement and we are protecting citizen rights related to service, timing and billing.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank LifeCare for their cooperation.
  • Further, the requested information will help the city (1) create provisions for an updated or new contract; and (2) assist the city in making good decisions about how to better use the fire department first responder program.  At the request of 9-1-1, we send first responder units comprised of trained EMT and paramedic firefighters, to assure that help arrives as quickly as possible in serious medical and trauma emergencies.
  • A total of 70 percent of the fire department’s workload is for first responder calls and to assist LifeCare Ambulance.  Given the current economic conditions, the city can no longer afford to respond to the majority of these first responder calls in costly fire trucks that consume large quantities of fuel and depreciate with each trip, not to mention the cost of medical supplies.  The city’s average annual cost for this service to the public is approximately $200,000.
  • It is the intent of the Brinda administration to begin to limit the use of the fire department first responder program to the most critical emergencies as a means of reducing costs. However, we can only do that once we are assured that LifeCare Ambulance has the capacity to handle the current work based on the data the city has requested and further adjustments to the contract. 
  • Despite what you have read in the newspaper, as Mayor I have never stated my intent is for the fire department to take over EMS from LifeCare.  I do not have enough data to make that determination. The State Auditor did recommend that the City of Elyria further explore providing fire-based EMS itself to potentially generate revenue from insurance collections to off-set costs in the fire department.  Similar cities have created revenue streams by doing this.  The Audit also recommended exploring three other options for EMS delivery.   While I agreed with the Auditor in May that the city should at least explore the costs and benefits of ALL four options outlined in the Audit, my administration has only explored the re-negotiation or re-bidding option because Elyria City Council has said it will not approve fire-based EMS.   
  • While the city Charter does give me the authority to make final determinations on contracts, I have and will continue to, invite members of Elyria City Council to the table to join in the discussions and provide their input relative to this matter. 
The Brinda administration values all of our vendors and the investments they have made in our city, including LifeCare.  That being said, as a vendor of the city, LifeCare has an obligation to work under the terms of the contract with the city – and the city has an obligation to monitor and update the contract.  As your new Mayor, I inherited the difficult situation of a contract that had not been properly monitored, enforced or   updated in 17 years.  As your agent, I have an obligation to remedy the situation to assure your rights are defined and enforced.  My intent is to be fair, balanced and honest in the process.  If you have questions or comments about this issue, please feel free to contact me directly (440) 326-1402.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Kerstetter 5K Run and a Benefit for Feral Cats

This weekend is the annual Kerstetter 5K Run in the City of Elyria.   Officer James Kerstetter was a proud and valued member of the Elyria Police Department for 15 years before being killed in the line of duty on March 15, 2010. Join your fellow Elyrians as we remember one of our heroes and raise money for the Kerstetter 5K Scholarship fund. Go here for more information on the event.  Registration starts Saturday, July 13th at 7:00am and the race beings at 8:30.  Please come out and support our police officers and our community as we take a few more steps towards getting healthy!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I hope as you are reading this you and your surroundings are dry or on the way to drying out.  The down pours of the past few days have been challenging for both residents and the City.  We have been responding as quickly as we can to the challenges caused by 4.5 inches of rain falling in just a few hours on Tuesday.  Just to give you an idea, the Black River was 1.4 feet over flood stage on Tuesday afternoon and by midnight it was 7.99 feet above. 
That being said, please know that members of my administration understand that there are neighborhood concerns related to an aging infrastructure and our Engineering Department is in the process of conducting an assessment to address the issues over time.  As funds are available the City is slip lining older sewer lines as a cost-effective way of modernizing the system and helping to address flooding issues.  To report water in your basement between 8:00am and 4:30pm call the Waste Water Pollution Control Plant at 366-221.  After hours, please call the Elyria Police Department Dispatch at 323-3302.