PEPPER PIKE, Ohio — City Council unanimously approved Wednesday, Aug. 24, an expenditure of up to $82,000 for a new security camera system on the grounds of City Hall and adjacent Pepper Pike Park.
The new system, which should be installed in six weeks, replaces a 10-year-old system, which does not include park cover.
Although the police will not be constantly monitoring throughout any given day, the monitors will allow viewing if needed and the system will provide alerts to the police if needed.
“For example, if we have the area at the back of the after-sales service closed for the weekend, we can install it where, if there is a person or a vehicle stopping there , an alarm will go off and either the dispatcher or the agents. will be advised,” said Police Lt. Jim Colbert, who has gone around on behalf of the city about bids for the new system.
The city saw interest from six companies, but only received two firm offers for the work. He chose to purchase a system, along with the installation, from Turnkey Technology of Cincinnati. The contract also includes system maintenance for five years.
Colbert said the Orrville City Police Department uses Turnkey, employing more than 100 of its cameras, and gave the company positive reviews.
Mayor Richard Bain said he, along with Colbert and CFO Joseph Brodzinski, attended a demonstration of the Turnkey product.
“He has a very impressive ability to pull information from the (municipal) campus. We strongly recommend that the board move forward with this,” Bain said.
Digital cameras will record high definition images and have the ability to record license plate numbers of intruders.
Colbert said Turnkey will remove the current 34 cameras on Pepper Pike municipal land, of which only about 25 are currently in working order.
“They will equip us with 32 or 33 cameras, brand new,” Colbert said.
A proclamation of RITA
Brian Thunberg, a representative of the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA), presented the city with a proclamation on Wednesday recognizing Pepper Pike as one of the organization’s 39 founding municipalities.
The proclamation was given on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of RITA, the organization having been founded in 1971.
“Over the past 50 years, we’ve grown to over 380 municipalities,” Thunberg said. “We collect $1.9 billion in income taxes for the State of Ohio and we continue to grow.”
Pepper Pike Councilman Tony Gentile is part of RITA history, serving as its Executive Director from 1988 to 1991.
Thunberg said that currently 50% of all documents filed by Pepper Pike come to RITA electronically, which he said “is a huge number.”
“So your residents, whether they’re professionals or doing their own taxes, they’re using our new record services, which is absolutely amazing.”
He said many communities are in that 50% range as more ratepayers become more tech-savvy.
Thunberg said Pepper Pike’s tax revenue was about 14% higher than it was at this time in 2021. When asked if he had seen that percentage continue through the end of the year he said it was likely that level would be maintained, plus or minus a percentage point or two.
“The Town of Pepper Pike is currently in a great position with respect to income tax collection,” he said.
Social ice cream
Bain and Services Manager Jim Advent decided early Sunday morning (Aug. 21) to postpone the Ice Cream Party scheduled for that day at Pepper Pike Park because of rain.
The event has been rescheduled from 2-4 p.m. this Sunday (August 28) at the park.
Along with serving ice cream and socializing with residents, the free event will include pony rides, flip-flopping, bubbles, prizes, face painting, cake, snow cones and, from 15 a.m. to 5 p.m., a show in the park pavilion by The Swing Time Big Band.
Learn more about the Sorrow Solon Sun.