Was it a talk show? Was it a quiz show? No, it was the annual North Ridgeville State of the City Address with a few new twists!
Presented in the North Ridgeville Schools Academic Center on Friday, Feb. 25, the address saw North Ridgeville Supt. of School Roxann Ramsey-Caserio join with Mayor Kevin Corcoran before a full house in the NRAC cafeteria.
The presentation was staged in a talk-show format with the mayor and superintendent sharing microphones on a sofa as they shared both sides of the state of the City AND the Schools, 2022.
The implied message was clear – even though the city and schools are separate entities, North Ridgeville is one community with both agencies serving the same population.
There were other new twists as well. Audience members were live-polled during the talk via cell phone on questions from the mayor and superintendent on a number of civic interests.
The event was sponsored by the North Ridgeville Chamber of Commerce.
Some of the takeaways:
– The population of North Ridgeville has grown to an estimated 36,000 people! That represents a growth of 19.7 percent from 2010 to 2020. The figure is very accurate as North Ridgeville was awarded for being the city with highest census response rate (85.5 per cent) in all of Lorain County.
– Close behind is the city’s student population. Supt. Ramsey-Caserio reports that enrollment figures for the North Ridgeville School District have grown from 4,169 in 2017 to 4,678 today. That means 175-200 new students in the district every year, and the need for facilities growth. In addition to mobile classrooms being added to the high schools this year, voters will be asked to pass a 4.9 mill operating levy in May. This will cost homeowners $14.16 per month on a $100,000 home. The operating levy is for a 10-year period and will raise $5,673,000 million per year. North Ridgeville has the SECOND lowest school district tax rate for residents in Lorain County at 48.4 per cent. Due to student enrollment growth in the district, North Ridgeville High School is overpopulated and Liberty Elementary is at capacity. The District goal is to build a new high school and elementary school to accommodate the growth of North Ridgeville and increased enrollment.
– City economic activity is vibrant. Discount Drug Mart at Bagley and Lorain will open in April. Other new businesses coming this year include Kenneth A. DeLuca, PhD & Associates, Mootown Creamery, Ohio Mills Storage, Primrose Schools, Smoothie King, Starbucks and Young Explorers Montessori. On the city side, Fire Station #2 renovations are underway. Project cost estimated at $1.456 million. And plans are underway for the new police station passed by voters via a bond issue last November.
– Large parcels of land and their strategic use will positively impact North Ridgeville’s future. One involves the former Middle School site combined with city land that equates to about 30 acres of real estate between Center Ridge and Bainbridge Road. The city and district and are collaborating to determine plans for the plot of land where the old middle school was located.
Polled at the luncheon, respondents said they would most like to see a new recreation center/pool, new high school/middle school, and more retail in the community.
Another critical piece of land will be opened up starting this year when the city connects Cypress Road, a dead-end street off Lear Nagle, to Lorain Road. This will open up about 88 acres of land convenient to the I480 exit ramp. It is the most “economically viable piece of property in the city,” said Mayor Corcoran.
The 2022 State of the City address has much more information than can be included on these pages. Residents should turn to the city’s website for the complete slideshow.