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Richfield trustees discuss burglaries in township

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

Richfield has been hit with a string of burglaries in recent weeks, reported Richfield Township Trustee Laurie Peters Gilmore at the Sept. 20 trustees meeting.

Gilmore talked about a police report that detailed burglaries on Townsend and Boston Mills roads in the township, followed by one on Brush Road in Richfield Village. The burglars entered the homes from the rear, so Gilmore advised residents to stay alert and to keep their doors and windows locked. She said Police Chief Keith Morgan will keep the trustees updated on the situation at the Oct. 4 trustees’ meeting.

Gilmore said she would also like Morgan to talk about Summit County’s reverse alert phone system, which called residents to warn them about the burglaries.

“I think people are hanging up because they think it’s another political call or a survey,” she said.

“I got an alert from Summit County,” added Trustee David Wyatt. “I pressed ‘1,’ and it talked about a robbery in the neighborhood and the message was all garbled. I couldn’t understand it.”

Trustee Janet Jankura said when the Revere Local School District makes a reverse alert call, the superintendent  speaks and identifies himself. The listener also doesn’t have to press any buttons to hear the message.

Also at the meeting, Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker appeared and delivered a draft version of his annual report on Richfield Township projects.

The report included speed studies on Southern, Townsend and Wheatley roads and crack sealing on Wheatley Road. The speed limits on Southern and Townsend were reduced from 55 to 45 mph, but the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) declined to make a similar reduction on the portion of Wheatley Road between Everett and Revere roads.

“One of my goals is to deal with county speed limits separate from ODOT, like a city,” Brubaker said. “That would be better than fighting with ODOT over lowering speed limits.”

Brubaker also dropped off some county and bike trail maps, which are available in the township offices.

In other news:

• Wyatt reported he met with village officials about renovating the township office building, which the township is leasing for free for a 10-year period that ends next year. Both sides have discussed extending the lease and keeping the township offices where they are while renovating the building.

“The building needs rehabilitation with new windows and wiring,” he said. “We need some idea of what we are agreeing to. They want the same thing, so we’re working on it.”

• The trustees voted to authorize bids for a new trash hauling contract, as the current deal will expire on Dec 31.

• Township Administrator Linda Bowmer said ODOT is working on the “wavy road” on Brecksville Road near the Pilot station.

“They should be finished soon,” she said. “They will keep the road open, but you can expect delays.”

Jankura said Wheatley Road is suffering from similar “waviness” due to truck traffic.

• Before the meeting, the trustees conducted an executive session to discuss a legal challenge to a decision of Zoning Inspector Laurie Pinney. She explained she had cited a property owner in the Light Industrial/Office District May 30 for having “a large amount of broken concrete.”

The owner appealed, but the Board of Zoning Appeals upheld Pinney’s decision. The owner then filed an administrative appeal lawsuit in the Summit County Common Pleas Court.

The next Richfield Township trustees’ meeting is scheduled for Oct. 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Township offices, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.

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