MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — Nearly 900 residents participated in a survey or focus group answering questions about what is most important to them when it comes to city recreation.

The questioning, which took part over the course of four months, comes in the wake of the springtime passage of Issue 9, the city’s .5-percent income tax increase. The city has earmarked 40 percent of the approximately $5 million the tax increase will generate by 2023, or about $2 million per year, to recreation.

“I’m very, very thrilled,” said Krista Rodriguez, of The Impact Group, which performed the survey, in speaking about the 852 residents who completed a survey on paper or online. “That’s a high number for getting a response rate for a city of your size, and that was very good to see.”

Rodriguez gave results of the survey to City Council during a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting held Monday, Oct. 12.

First discussed were a number of questions pertaining to the city’s stated goal of building a new swimming pool to replace the more than 60-year-old Dragga Pool at City Park. It was found that 77 percent of respondents were aware of the city’s plan for a new pool, as well as its plans to use tax money to upgrade roads, sidewalks and parks. Sixty-two percent said that they do not use the pool at all during the summer, but some stated that their lack of use was attached to the condition of the pool which, among other things, needs regular repairs to cracks at its bottom.

In other responses, 56 percent thought it was very or somewhat important that the new pool has a splash pad; 89 percent favored umbrellas or shaded areas; 69 percent, a water slide; 68 percent, a children’s playground in the water; 63 percent, zero-depth

Updated

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — More than 550 employees of Worcester have been targeted in a nationwide unemployment insurance benefits scam, city officials say.

The scam involves identity thieves using the victims’ personal information to file claims for unemployment benefits.

The city received about 40 fraudulent claims from March to mid-August, Dori Vecchio, the city’s human resources director told The Telegram & Gazette. Since then, more than 500 have come in, she said.


Employees in every department have been targeted. About 100 people who work for the Fire Department and another 100 who work for the schools have been affected. The city employs about 6,800.

“Several high-ranking officials and elected officials in the city have been compromised,” Vecchio said.



Schools Superintendent Maureen Binienda said she has been targeted three times.

Security experts say much of the fraud appears to be committed by scammers using personal information stolen from earlier commercial data breaches or direct attacks on state systems.

The state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said between March 8 and June 30, almost 60,000 of 1.6 million unemployment claims were determined to be fraudulent. Information on claims filed since July 1 has not been made public.


The Department of Unemployment Assistance did not say how much has been stolen.

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LIBRARIES REOPEN

Two branches of the New Bedford Free Public Library system and several city offices are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, according to a statement Monday from Mayor Jonathan Mitchell’s office.


The Lawler and Wilks library branches will be open four hours per day with limited browsing with social distancing, and grab-and-go book pickup.

Three city departments are also scheduled to reopen for limited in-person services. The Health Department, Veterans’ Services Department, and Licensing Board offices will reopen from 9

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — Although it is uncertain what lies ahead, the city’s finances are looking a lot better these days after University Heights recently received an additional $461,000 in federal CARES Act money to help it deal with COVID-related expenses.

Gov. Mike DeWine, by signing into law House Bill 614 Oct. 1 allowed for the distribution of an additional $650 million to local governments across Ohio, bringing the total of money distributed to Ohio governments to $1.2 billion. The added $461,000 means that University Heights has now received just over $1.1 million in relief money.

“At first, we didn’t know if we’d get any (CARES Act) money,” said Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. But, now that the city has been granted the money, Brennan, in his report at the start of Monday’s (Oct. 5) City Council meeting, told of how the aid has significantly closed the gap on what was once a projected $2-million deficit the city faced.

With the added funding, Brennan also plans to pay city employees money they had to forego by working four-day weeks over the course of 20 weeks, beginning in June. Brennan announced at the council meeting that the furloughs, that were to carry on until Oct. 31, were ending earlier than planned.

Initially, when faced with a possible $2-million shortfall, the administration and council worked to reduce the city’s spending by about $1 million. The reduction was made, among other things, by putting off this year’s road repair program, instituting the furloughs, and, due to the pandemic, not having to spend money on opening the city’s pools or in programming summer activities.

“While tax revenues remain down from this point last year,” Brennan reported to council, “for everything we have been through, we are down just 1 percent from this time last

The Boca Raton Country Club hasn’t been making money, and now its owners are handing it over to the city.

Will it become a municipal money pit? No one knows.

Optimistic city officials say they might break even or perhaps lose a bit of money, but it’s a gamble they’re willing to take.

“It’s a matter of preserving green space,” said Boca City Councilman Andy Thomson. “The city of Boca Raton takes an enormous amount of pride in its beaches, parks — none of those things generate money. It’s an amenity, and that’s how we view it.”

The owners of the exclusive club announced the unusual donation this week, and the city plans to open the 130-acre property to the public in about a year.

The club, at 17751 Boca Club Blvd., features an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a clubhouse and pool. The course and clubhouse are surrounded by 12 subdivisions in a giant gated community featuring townhomes, single-family homes and condos.

The country club’s owners, MSD Partners and Northview Hotel Group, acquired the property in June 2019 when they also bought the Boca Raton Resort and Club, a luxurious destination situated off Camino Real that is frequented by the wealthy, famous and business leaders.

The owners said they were giving up the country club to focus on the Boca Raton Resort and Club. They would not reveal the country’s club’s finances on Friday.

The city’s cost to operate the Boca County Club course will be built into next year’s budget, but a city spokeswoman said no records are available to show what the cost will be or how much the city expects to lose, if anything. Those projections are still being studied, said spokeswoman Chrissy Gibson.

Thomson said he was told the course could cost “something like $1

BANGOR — The City Clerk’s office will be moving to the Cross Insurance Center Monday to Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. starting Tuesday, Oct. 13. Regular City Clerk services such as business licenses, marriage licenses, birth certificates and voter registration will continue to be offered in-person during regular hours.

The City Clerk’s Cross Insurance Center location will stay open until 5:30 p.m. each day for early in-person voting. Early voting closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. This will allow for the city to follow physical distancing guidelines while continuing to provide in-person City Clerk services.

“As a city we continue to prepare and take proactive steps for what we anticipate to be high voter turnout for this election,” said Bangor City Manager Cathy Conlow. “This move gives us more room for people to physically distance and stay safe while utilizing important City services like voter registration and early voting.”

With the City Clerk’s office moving to the larger space, the Treasury Department for the City will relocate back to City Hall, effective Tuesday, Oct. 13. Hours for the City’s Treasury Department will be Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. All Treasury Department services such as vehicle registrations, property tax payments, and sewer/stormwater payments will once again be offered in-person at City Hall.

Many of the in-person services are also offered on the City of Bangor website at www.bangormaine.gov.

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