Woodmere, Pepper Pike, Orange and Moreland Hills hold meetings to consider merging

WOODMERE VILLAGE, Ohio - The mayors of Woodmere, Orange and Pepper Pike kicked off a series of community meetings to discuss merging services of the four communities in order to save money.

Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Collaboration Ed Jerse said the meeting's origins began nearly two years ago with a request to the county.

"In June of 2011, the mayors of Pepper Pike, Orange, Woodmere and Moreland Hills approached Executive Fitzgerald and asked if he could help them study the possibility of merging those four communities," Jerse said.

The areas applied and received more than $130,000 in grants to fund a study by the Center for Governmental Research , a New York-based firm that specializes in collecting data for communities to help them determine which services might best be shared to save money. Sharing services such as fire and police has already taken place between the communities, but they wanted a comprehensive study to determine what more can be done.

CGR is not just supplying facts and figures. Its approach includes an interactive process that give residents the opportunity to express their feelings.

Once the findings are compiled, the research group will present the communities with information they can use to determine how, and in which areas, they can cooperate to run their cities as efficiently as possible.

Meetings took place on Thursday in the villages of Woodmere, Orange and Moreland Hills. The next meeting is at 8:30 a.m. Firday at Pepper Pike City Hall, at 2800 Shaker Blvd.

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