'Innovation' has Kept Strongsville Thriving

Strongsville has thrived over the last two decades because of the city’s focus on innovation, Mayor Tom Perciak said during his 2024 State of the City address March 12.

The mayor told a packed house at the Strongsville Recreation Center that the city has embraced change, from new ways to finance projects to new technology in the police and fire departments, to stay a step ahead.

“The key to Strongsville’s continued success is innovation,” Perciak said.


To boost economic development, Strongsville uses often-misunderstood Tax Incremental Financing – an innovative tool that retains future property tax gains for local infrastructure improvements – to get things done. The city used TIFs to get Pearl Road south widened and to revamp the traffic signal system citywide, among other projects.

“This is what attracts businesses to our town, and this is what pays our bills,” the mayor said.

The safety forces are also on the cutting edge, with plans to construct a state-of-the-art fire station near the center of town to better serve residents in that area.

And the police department is leaps and bounds ahead of other area communities in some areas of technology, including its use of drones to search for missing people or fleeing suspects or to investigate incidents like traffic accidents. New 3D software allows the six qualified drone operators in the department to reconstruct the accident scene in realistic fashion.

The department is also installing Flock cameras at 19 strategic locations around town to get a better handle on criminals’ movements. The cameras capture license plates – alerting officers when a wanted person enters the city – and also pick up vehicles driven by fleeing suspects. When a shoplifter takes off with merchandise, police will no longer have to pursue them, instead relying on the cameras to track their flight, reducing the need for a high-speed chase.

And Strongsville police officers are the only ones in the are to be able to hear 911 calls live in their patrol cars – allowing them to gauge the severity of a call, hear live updates and also start heading to the scene before dispatchers can even type in the address.

Other takeaways from the mayor’s speech:
  • The Town Center enhancement project is well under way and looking at a late summer opening. The playground and pavilion are now being installed; roads and trails and being built; and a roundabout to improve the three-way intersection of Zverina, Westwood and Roe is starting next week.
  • The city's four business parks have 8.1 million square feet of manufacturing or industrial operations and are 98 percent occupied -- the highest occupancy rate in more than 20 years. 
  • The Strongsville Rec Center will receive more than $2.8 million in needed renovations, including five new boilers, a dehumidifier in the pool and rooftop HVAC units. The Avenue will also be updated.
  • Infrastructure projects in 2024 will include reconstruction of the Ehrnfelt Covered Bridge on Whitney Road, the Prospect Road sewer project, extending Foltz Parkway to open up space for five to 10 new industries, and paving of all or parts of 18 residential streets throughout all four wards.
 They include:
Ward 1 – Moss Point Road, Commons Oval, Bonnie Lane and Meadow Lane. Zverina Drive and Roe Lane will also be improved during the Town Center project.
Ward 2 – Treasure Isle Circle, East Bend Drive, Stoneridge Trail
Ward 3 – Jonathan Drive (Prospect to Montclare), Saddlehorn Circle, Fair Road
Ward 4 – Wedgewood Court, Sherwood Drive, Colebright Drive, Northview Drive, Sunset Drive, Carol Drive/Ordner.