Richfield trustees discuss possibility of staying in current offices
After years of discussing possibilities for new headquarters, the Richfield Township government may end up staying in its current home.
At the July 19 Board of Trustees meeting, the trustees got a visit from Richfield Village Mayor Bobbie Beshara and Council Vice President Richard Hudak.
They discussed the possibility of keeping the township offices in the village-owned brick building behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.
When Richfield Village and Richfield Township separated into two governments, the township was allowed to stay in the building rent-free for a 10-year period that will expire in August 2013.
Since then, the trustees have explored several options for a new administration building, looking at homes, office spaces and the prospect of a new building at Rising Valley Park.
None of those ideas worked, and Trustee David Wyatt said that remaining at its current home would require the township to spend money on renovations.
“We don’t want to make improvements and then be out of here in two years,” he said. “It would have to go hand-in-hand with a long-term lease.”
The trustees and village representatives agreed they were comfortable with the idea of a 50-year lease, and agreed to have the village and township’s lawyers collaborate on a lease agreement.
“It’s only the practical thing, to have the seat of government in our community in one specific area,” said Wyatt.
“This is our community, and we would love to keep you here,” Beshara added. “It only makes sense.”
The mayor added the township trustees and employees would be welcome to use space in Town Hall while their building is renovated.
Beshara also talked about the Community Day celebration, which will take place the second weekend of August. The parade will take place Aug. 10, followed by the steak fry Aug. 11 and the Community Day celebration Aug. 12, for which the trustees approved the expense of $5,100 to Party Animals for inflatable amusements.
The steak fry will also include a Safety Forces Open House. Children can explore the police and fire departments, check out the vehicles and get an autograph from Akron Aeros mascot Orbit.
Other attractions that day will include a landing from the MedFlight helicopter and rabies shots.
In other news:
• The Akron Aeros will have Richfield Night Aug. 18. Tickets cost $5 and are available in the mayor’s office and the recreation department. The Richfield Color Guard will present the flag for the national anthem before the game.
• The Akron Zoo will have Richfield Days Aug. 20 and 21. Those tickets are free and available at the township offices and the recreation department.
• Beshara also informed the trustees Village Council had approved a new contract with the firefighters union two days earlier.
The firefighters agreed to a three-year contract with no raise in 2012, a 1.5 percent raise in 2013 and a 2 percent raise in 2014.
Also, the firefighters will contribute to their health insurance at a rate of 7 percent this year, 8.5 percent next year and 10 percent in 2014. That is the same as rates for the new police labor deal, Beshara said.
• Trustee Laurie Peters Gilmore said Black Road will be resurfaced this summer, along with Boston Mills Road from the service garage to the valley.
“That’s not in the township, but a lot of residents drive through that area,” she said.
Gilmore also reported that the second round of brush chipping is complete, and the next opportunity will be in the week of Oct. 1.
• Township Administrator Linda Bowmer talked about the concerns of a resident of The Woods about truck traffic on Wheatley Road. The resident pointed out Sharon Township in Medina County was able to curtail truck traffic on a certain street.
“Unfortunately, Wheatley Road is a county road, so we are not able to do that,” Bowmer explained. “I know it’s an ongoing complaint, but there’s not a lot we can do.”
The next meeting of the Richfield Township Board of Trustees is scheduled for Aug. 2 at 10 a.m. at the township offices, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.
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