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Public hearing set for aggregation program

9/27/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Richfield Village voters who approved an electric aggregation program May 4 can learn more about what it means at a public hearing Oct. 2 at 7:45 p.m.

Council did not take action at its Sept. 18 meeting on an ordinance to approve the operating plan and to join the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) electricity aggregation program.

The program would allow the village to join other communities to increase bargaining power to purchase electricity. [See related story on Page 1.]

Council conducted its first public hearing before the Sept. 18 meeting, and NOPEC Executive Director Leigh Herington talked about the group, which currently includes 135 communities.

“It’s a remarkable program,” he said. “It allows governments to put before the voters an aggregation plan with an opportunity to opt out.”

Also at the meeting, Council approved Mayor Bobbie Beshara’s appointment of Jason Lorenzon to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Lorenzon will serve through 2016.

“This is a wonderful place to be; thank you for the opportunity,” he said.

Beshara also reported she recently officiated her first wedding ceremony.

“They cried, I cried, we all cried,” she said.

In addition, Police Chief Keith Morgan said a violent prisoner recently did $1,000 worth of damage to the jail. He said the suspect may not be around long to make restitution.

“There’s a good chance he will be deported,” the chief said.

He also said his police cars were following the school buses for a while, “but the bus drivers didn’t like that too much.”

The reason was to keep an eye on the children in the wake of a reported abduction attempt in Copley.

“We’re going to change things up and stay visible without following the buses,” Morgan said.

Speaking of police cars, Morgan thanked Service Department employees Chuck Soulek and Ken Horn for their work on the department’s two new vehicles.

In other news, Acting Fire Chief Phil McLean reported there was a gas leak on state Route 303 recently.

“It was marked improperly,” he said. “The backhoe operator followed the instructions, but there still was a leak.”

McLean also talked about his department’s chili cook-off fund-raiser, which took place this past weekend along with the Carter-Pedigo Trail dedication and library open house. Proceeds from the cook-off will go to improvements on the safety trailer. [See related photo feature on Page 1.]

McLean also thanked Beshara and Service Director Melanie Baker in making progress with the city of Cleveland toward repairing several fire hydrants in Richfield.

Baker said she also spoke with Cleveland about plans for a bypass line to avoid Richfield’s water getting shut off, as it did the last time there was a water main break in Brecksville.

In other news:

• Recreation Director Ruth Jocek said residents have doubled their use of Paypal this year to pay for recreation programs.

“It’s good for when you want to pay for a program in a hurry, so you don’t get shut out,” she said.

• Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz said the Bencin Trucking property will go up for a sheriff’s sale Jan. 4.

• Councilman Ralph Waszak said the Tree and Landscape Commission talked about the look of the welcome sign north of town by Yellow Freight.

• Council Vice President Richard Hudak said the majority of residents do not want to move the Community Day parade to Saturday, so it will remain on Friday of the second week in August.

• Council voted to approve two change orders with DunRite Construction: one for $3,200 for the painting of the old Town Hall, and the other for $4,950 for the painting of Richfield Fellowship Hall.

• Council also approved a change order with Cavanaugh Building Corp. in the amount of $27,008 for the construction of the Carter-Pedigo Trail.

• Council also agreed to accept funding for the “Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program,” which would reimburse the village if a building needed to be demolished. Baker pointed out the village would need to act by Dec. 31 to collect the funds.

The next Richfield Village Council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road. The public hearing is set to begin at 7:45 p.m.

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