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Richfield Council learns of library programs

5/10/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Richfield Library Manager Jennifer Stencel spoke at the Richfield Village Council meeting May 1 about some of the library’s new programs.

Stencel said the library is working with Metro Parks, Serving Summit County on a “Mind, Body and Soul” summer reading program. If you read 26 books, you will get a pedometer. The promotion will lead up to the Akron Marathon in September.

The library also is working on a Reading Garden, Stencel said, to combat “nature-deficit disorder” and to promote a connection between nature and literacy.

In addition, the library is working with Constantine’s Garden & Nursery Center and Master Gardeners of Summit County on “sensory gardens” that appeal to the five senses.

Also, Mayor Bobbie Beshara said Richfield’s summer-camp participants would spend a day at the library.

Stencel said all of the programs will help the Richfield Branch Library not to be known as “the ‘shhhhhh’ place in the neighborhood.”

In other news, Council passed the village’s new labor agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, covering the years 2012-14.

Council Vice President Richard Hudak and Councilwoman Barbara Lanford both expressed their approval of the deal, while Beshara thanked Council and “the great team we had working on this.”

Also at the meeting:

• Beshara reported the following:

√ She and Service Director Melanie Baker met with Cleveland’s director of water infrastructure about Richfield’s water needs.

√ Village employees recently participated in a drug-free training session.

√ The D.A.R.E. graduation will take place May 14.

√ Negotiations with the firefighters’ union are scheduled for May 23.

√ The Richfield Historical Society will sponsor a home tour June 9.

The mayor also welcomed Tessa Torowski as the newest member of the Board of Zoning Appeals. Her term will run through the end of 2014.

“She will be a very good addition to the community, and I welcome her involvement in Richfield government,” said Councilman Ralph Waszak.

The next Board of Zoning Appeals was scheduled for May 9 at 7 p.m.

• Council approved Beshara’s appointments of David Polak, Steven Robinson and Robert Young as new part-time Richfield police officers.

• Police Communications Supervisor Tim Baker said an anonymous donor has given the village exercise equipment for its employees.

He also said Richfield’s “click it or ticket” program will run from May 21 to June 3. Richfield’s participation in the seat-belt campaign may result in the department receiving free equipment, he said.

• Service Director Melanie Baker talked about the Service Department’s bid openings for the Carter-Pedigo trail May 2.

She also said she would meet with members of the Summit County Engineer’s Office for a preconstruction meeting on the summer paving project.

Baker also said she, Beshara and Recreation Director Ruth Jocek met with the original designer of the Parker/Serdinak trail to discuss ways to enhance the area.

• Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz talked about Appliance Warehouse, which is moving into a terminal on Brecksville Road. The company works with big-box retailers to pick up used appliances and then ship them to Pennsylvania to be fixed and then south of the U.S. border to be recycled, Frantz said.

Frantz also said he was seeking Council members’ comments on the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study report on the Brecksville/Broadview/Wheatley roads intersection and the area surrounding it.

• Financial Director Sandy Turk reported April income tax receipts came in 13.1 percent higher than one year earlier.

• Waszak said the Tree and Landscape Commission met April 26 and discussed improving the landscaping at major intersections and at “Welcome to Richfield” signs.

He then introduced Polly Wheeler, who gave a brief talk on invasive species like garlic mustard, multiflora rose and certain varieties of honeysuckle.

• Hudak said the Buildings and Grounds Committee will meet May 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the 27-acre village-owned property at 3921 Brecksville Road.

• Council voted to send the Planning and Zoning Commission a proposed ordinance that would allow Council to review commission decisions.

The next Richfield Village Council meeting is scheduled for May 15 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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