Trustees waiting on village to decide future of current offices
At the Richfield Township Board of Trustees meeting Aug. 2, trustees decided to take a wait-and-see approach regarding the future of the township offices, which currently are located in the Richfield Village-owned brick building behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.
Last month, Richfield Village Mayor Bobbie Beshara and Council Vice President Richard Hudak discussed the possibility of the township remaining in its current offices.
“Regarding discussions of renovation of this building for the township office space on a long-term basis, I think it would be prudent to wait until an agreement [is presented] with the village,” said Township Trustee Chairwoman Laurie Peters Gilmore. “I understand the mayor is working on an agreement, but until it’s passed by Council, [we should wait to proceed].”
Currently, the township is allowed to use the building rent-free until next year. This was part of the deal when Richfield Village and Richfield Township separated into two governments, according to township officials.
“I think the thing we could point out is we wouldn’t change the footprint of this building,” said Township Trustee Vice Chairman Dave Wyatt. “We can do quite a bit for this building. The only thing we might think about is including the parking area as part of the lease. We’ll let them think about that. There are ways to pave that and make it look very nice.”
When Trustee Janet Jankura asked about the timeline of such a lease presentation, Gilmore said, “It could be a couple of months. So let’s wait for the cart to get built before we put the horse with it.”
Also during the meeting:
• Township officials discussed fracking.
“I asked [Fiscal Officer Laurie Pinney] to look into putting together a fracking seminar,” Gilmore said. “The village hosted one several weeks ago that dealt with leasing of land. When people talk about fracking, everyone has their own ideas as to what it means. I asked her to see if she could find somebody to put together a basic seminar — what it is, what it entails and the exact information and requirements that have to be met.”
Pinney said the township is looking at the fall for the seminar.
• Police Chief Keith Morgan announced his department has new part-time officers who have completed training and will begin their shifts soon. The additions will help keep his overtime figures down. Also, he said there are new police cars — Ford Interceptors — that should be put into use soon.
• Acting Fire Chief Phil McLean, making his first appearance at a trustees’ meeting, talked about his department’s use of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS).
“For any large structure fire or confirmed bus accident on the turnpike or freeway — anything that overtaxes our service — MABAS gives me 13 fire departments coming here with resources,” McLean said. “We haven’t used that system a lot because we haven’t had large incidents, but here this summer we’ve had two [on Alger and Medina-Line roads] that have been kind of large. It’s a great resource. We needed that many people there for those fires because there is no water. We had to bring in a water tanker. It was kind of a test of our system, and I thought it worked very well.”
When both chiefs were done speaking, Gilmore said, “I’d like to thank both of you. Sometimes when new people come here there’s a breath of fresh air, without being disparaging to other chiefs. I appreciate the reports. It’s just something we haven’t had in a long time.”
Added Morgan, “A lot of it boils down to communication.”
Both chiefs also listed the various events scheduled for the upcoming Community Day weekend Aug. 10 through 12. [For more on that, see the Aug. 2, 2012, issue or visit the archives at www.akron.com.]
• Wyatt mentioned the special trustees’ meeting held last month was called so the village could get a $500 discount for the paving of the Rising Valley Park driveway, which required chip and seal. A local construction crew was already in the area and offered to do it at a cheaper price.
The next meeting of the Richfield Township Board of Trustees is scheduled for Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the township offices, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.
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