Q. How do I know if I need a Building Permit for my home improvement project?

A. A guide has been developed to help residents understand when a permit is required. “Before You Build: A Guide to Residential Permits” also explains and simplifies the process of obtaining and scheduling the required inspections. Technical questions can be directed to the city’s Chief Building Official.

Q. I want to report a burned out traffic signal (or a traffic signal is not operating properly). Whom do I call?

A. Call the Public Works Dept. at 974-5781 or send an e-mail to pubworks@cityofmentor.com.

Q. Do I need a permit to hold a garage sale? Are garage sale signs allowed?

A. A permit is not required for a garage sale, but the city does restrict where signs can be placed. Garage sale signs are permitted only on the property where the sale is being held. They may not be posted at the street corner, on tree lawns, or utility poles. Illegally posted signs may be confiscated by city staff without prior notice.

Q. When does yard waste get collected?

A. Mentor’s yard waste program begins the first FULL week of April and continues through December. Specific dates are always posted on The Mentor Channel 12, and on the Garbage, Recycling & Yard Waste web page. The yard waste is picked up the same day as your garbage.

Q. When should my garbage and recycling containers be set out at the curb?

A. Garbage containers, yard waste containers and recycling bins should not be placed in the public right-of-way BEFORE 7 p.m. the night before your collection day. They should be removed from the public right-of-way no later than 7 p.m. on the day of collection. There is a system to warn and ultimately punish those who violate this regulation. Contact the Public Works Department to report a problem.

The public right-of-way is typically the “tree lawn” or 10 to 15 feet from the edge of the road. There are no ordinances that govern the placement of these containers once they are removed from the right-of-way.

Q. What do I do when the power goes out?

A. You should immediately call the Illuminating Company’s Automated Outage Reporting Line at (888) 544-4877. Doing so will allow the Illuminating Company to restore service that much quicker. Please do NOT call the Emergency Dispatchers; the use of 9-1-1 is only to report a crime in progress, or a fire, or if an ambulance is needed.

Q. I’m having problems with the utility company. What can I do?

A. File a complaint with the Public Utility Commission (PUCO) by calling (800) 686-7826 or log on to the PUCO’s web site.

Q. I’m having problems with my cable provider (Time Warner or AT&T U-verse). Who can help me?

A. In 2007, the Ohio Department of Commerce became the franchise authority for cable and video service complaints. You can request their help by calling toll free, (877) 207-2225, or by e-mailing your request to VSA@com.state.oh.us.

Q. When is the Police Records Department open?

A. The Records Department is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Q. When can I come in to make a Police Report?

A. Police Officers will take reports at the Police Station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Q. How can I get a copy of a Police Report?

A. You can request a copy in person, by fax at 440-205-3614, or mail, at City of Mentor, Police Records Division, 8500 Civic Center Boulevard, Mentor, OH 44060. You can also send an e-mail to policerecords@cityofmentor.com. We cannot return a report by e-mail, so you will need to provide us with your fax number or mailing address so the report can be returned to you.

Q. Where do I go to pay a traffic ticket?

A. The Mentor Municipal Court is located at the Civic Center Complex at 8500 Civic Center Boulevard. The court’s entrance is just to the left of City Hall.

Q. Does the Mentor Police Department conduct vacation house checks?

A. Yes. You can fill out a form by stopping in at the police station, or download the Residential Checks form found at the Police webpage.

Q. What is on the next Council agenda?

A. All current Council agendas are posted on the Public Meetings page on the Friday before the upcoming meeting. If you have questions about an agenda item, you can call the Council Office at (440) 974-5755.

Q. Where can I view the Mentor Code of Ordinances?

A. A summary of ordinances and programs that are most commonly encountered by citizens can be found on the Ordinances webpage; to view the complete Codified Ordinances click here.

Q. How do I report a burned out streetlight?

A. Call Public Works at (440) 974-5781 and have an accurate description of the location of the pole. The outage will be reported to First Energy.

Q. Water is backing up in my basement through the floor drain (or through a basement toilet or shower); do I call the city?

A. No. Call the Lake County Dept. of Utilities at 350-3431 ext. 0. They will verify that the main sewer line is functioning properly. If it is, then it is the property owner’s responsibility.

Q. There is a dead animal (or other debris) in the road. Whom should I call?

A. Weekdays between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. call the Public Works Department at (440) 974-5781. Call the Police Department at (440) 974-5789 at all other times.

Q. Can I discharge fireworks in the City of Mentor?

A. No. It is against the law to possess, discharge or sell fireworks in Mentor. The city does hold an annual Fourth of July celebration on July 4th with a professional fireworks display at Civic Center Park.

Q. Who is responsible for repairing my sidewalk?

A. It is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain the sidewalks within the public right of way. The city can provide a list of licensed contractors.

Q. My neighbor’s grass is really overgrown, what can be done?

A. The Mentor Code of Ordinances states that “Lawns and landscaping shall be kept from becoming overgrown and unsightly —.” And “Any growth of weeds or grass to a height greater than eight (8) inches on average” is considered rank vegetation. High grass complaints should be reported to the Code Enforcement Officers at (440) 974-5740. The Officers will check out the complaint and post the home with a notice so that the owner has 48 hours to cut the lawn. If that is not done, a notice will be sent to the Public Works Department and they will cut the lawn and the homeowner will be billed for the service.

Q. I want to put address numbers on my house, what size numbers should I use?

A. Mentor’s Code of Ordinances addresses this topic. Each house and building shall bear the identification of the address in numeric form. The minimum size of number on the house or building is four inches. If the house or building is located between 61 and 100 feet from the road right-of-way and the address is posted on the building, the minimum size is six inches. The number size for posting on buildings beyond 100 feet from the road right-of-way is ten inches. Posting numbers on mailboxes may be accomplished with numbers provided with the mailbox.

Q. What is required to be a registered contractor?

A. Minimum bonding and insurance requirements must be met in order to be a registered contractor in the City of Mentor. The City requires an ORIGINAL Mentor Bond form for EACH trade registration. Contact the Building Department for complete information. Minimum requirements include evidence of liability for bodily injury and property damage in the amount of $1,000,000. A $100 registration fee is also required for each trade.