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LCOPEDA Board updated on involvement in Lake Health project

Marion McMahon | Gazette News

LAKE COUNTY – Tim Cahill, director of public finance and controller for the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority, updated the Board of Directors on the Port’s involvement with the new Lake Health facility in Mentor. 
The building will be an 86,000-square-foot medical office, urgent care, and wellness and fitness and aquatic center.
Cahill noted, at the Jan. 13 meeting, that the final agreement needs to be signed by all parties involved—the city, the developer, the Mentor Board of Education and Lake Health prior to being submitted for the ballot to the Mentor voters.
The voters would be asked to approve changing the 11 acres of undeveloped land at Market Street and Munson Road from R-4, Single Family Residential to B-2, General Business.
If the referendum passes, then the Port Authority will proceed with the bond financing. 
“It’s a $30 million project and everybody wants it bad …,” Cahill said. “It’s going to garner $400,000 more a year in taxes.”
The Port Authority would receive about $50,000 for handling the bond financing and administration, Executive Director Mark Rantala said.
He later explained the Mentor Schools own the property and would need to transfer it to the Port Authority to make the project work. The Port would then ground lease the property to the developer, Wisconsin-based Boldt Company for a nominal fee.
Cahill noted Lake Health also has plans to construct a $9 million, 27,000-square-foot facility on Route 306 in Willoughby at the former Brown Derby Roadhouse site which is vacant. It would be a joint venture with Boldt Company and the property owner, the Kirtland Country Club.
It has not yet been determined if the Port Authority will also be getting involved with that project.
Rantala said this is to be a women’s health center.

In other business:
• Bill Martin, the newest board member was asked to provide some background on himself. He replaces Tony Debevc who retired.
Martin, a lifelong county resident, has been a business owner the past 40 years, mainly housing construction and some commercial development. He has served on a number of boards and is also a pilot.
• The Board held election of officers as follows: chairman, Christopher Madison; vice chairman, John Konrad; and secretary/treasurer, Rita McMahon.
• Rantala noted the Board had not been meeting on the regularly scheduled fourth Wednesday of the month. He pointed out the next regularly scheduled meeting would be Feb. 24 which is six weeks away. Due to some important projects in the works, he suggested having a meeting Feb. 3 at 4 p.m., which was in three weeks. Most of the members stated they could make it.
• The Board discussed why an outside financial firm needed to be hired. Cahill stated recent changes required that governments and related agencies were now required to report payouts to eventually be made to retirees as financial obligations. Previously they had been reported when employees retired and the funds were paid out. The complication was not so much reporting the amounts, but rather the lengthy explanations required to explain how the figures were compiled.
• Concerning the Bank Street property, Rantala said Pinnacle was reviewing its lease and it was expected it would move onto the property in March.
“We also completed the lot split; it was filed with the county this week,” Rantala said. 
The lot split will make it easier for the Port to either lease or sell the smaller parcels in the future.
• The Board passed a resolution authorizing the execution and delivery of an agreement for the financing of lakeshore improvement projects with the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
“This is the first step in implementing the hotel tax increase,” Rantala said. “The commissioners have to enter into an agreement with the Port Authority as the first step in the process … and then they have about three more steps to take.”
• The Board passed a resolution authorizing the executive director to execute and deliver an extension to an existing contract for 2016 maintenance services at Lost Nation Airport not to exceed $88,800 for fiscal year 2016.
• The Board passed a resolution authorizing an amendment to the 2015 Airport Budget.
• The board adjourned to executive session to discuss employment.
• An additional meeting of the board is set for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3 (unless deemed unnecessary). The next regular meeting is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24.