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Richfield Village officials discuss budget

11/15/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Richfield Village Council is considering a $19.1 million budget for 2013.

Council introduced the budget resolution for the first of three readings at the Nov. 6 meeting.

Finance Director Sandy Turk said the budget is based on flat income tax collections. She said October’s collections are 5.7 percent above last year.

Turk projected this year’s income taxes would come in $150,000 higher than expected in the 2012 budget but still 2 percent below the 2011 total.

Some of the proposed appropriations from the General Fund include $762,000 for administration, $2.1 million for police, $1.5 million for fire and $540,000 for dispatch, she said.

The budget also includes appropriations from the Street Maintenance and Repair Fund ($1.7 million), Parks & Recreation Fund ($197,000), Bond Retirement Fund ($937,000), Sewer Operations Fund ($911,000) and Capital Improvement Fund ($807,000), said Turk.

In other news, Mayor Bobbie Beshara thanked everyone for all their work during Hurricane Sandy, including Service Department workers who cleared trees from the road, as well as members of the police and fire departments who worked extra shifts.

Beshara also thanked Peninsula Mayor Doug Mayer for donating radios to the Service Department.

Residents Dave and Penny Rzonca sent a letter thanking Beshara for helping them and other Harold Drive residents after a tree fell during the storm and caused a power outage.

“If it was not for Mayor Beshara’s pushing FirstEnergy to stay on top of the situation, we would have been without power a lot longer,” they wrote.

The Rzoncas also thanked the fire and service departments, “especially Rick Kovak, who [was] on our street constantly assessing the situation,” they wrote.

Also during the meeting:

• Police Chief Keith Morgan received Council’s approval to promote Dave Polak to a full-time police officer position, replacing retired officer Jeffrey Revlock. Polak started in Richfield as a part-time officer earlier this year.

• Acting Fire Chief Phil McLean said his department dealt with 19 calls, including two fires, during the storm. One of the fires was at the Revere Local Schools Board of Education administration building and was extinguished before it could be considered significant.

McLean said his department also responded to a serious accident on the Ohio Turnpike Nov. 3 involving five cars and three commercial trucks. Some of the victims had to be life-flighted to a hospital.

McLean also commended administrative assistant Mindi Schaetzle for the level of professionalism she has displayed on the job.

• Service Director Melanie Baker said her crews worked from 5:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on the night of the storm and all the damage was cleared by 4 p.m. Oct. 31.

Baker also hired a new employee, Jeff Tecco, who started brush chipping before moving on to other assignments.

Baker also stated her department is ready for snow-plowing season and will switch to that schedule Dec. 10 unless Richfield is hit with a severe snowfall before then.

• Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz said the Planning and Zoning Commission was considering a plan for the R4 zoning to add higher-density housing, as well as a proposal to reduce R1 rear-yard setbacks from 100 feet to 60 feet.

The next Richfield Village Council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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