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Richfield Council to address rezoning of Richfield School site

2/28/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Richfield Village Council President Rick Hudak announced at the Feb. 19 meeting that Council will discuss the proposed rezoning of the Richfield School property on West Streetsboro Road at the March 5 Council meeting.

If the ordinance passes, the property would be rezoned from the R-2 (Single-Family Residential) district to the R-3 (Cluster Residential) district.

“We told residents in the area that we would let them know when we are ready to discuss this,” Hudak said. “We are hoping to vote on this at the March 19 meeting.”

In other business, Council agreed to use FirstEnergy Solutions as its electricity supplier to the safety building at 4450 W. Streetsboro Road.

“We’re getting a 24-month deal at a term of 5.03 cents per kilowatt hour,” said Mayor Bobbie Beshara. “That will give us an $11,991 term savings over the previous rate of 5.86 cents.

“I want to thank Council for passing this,” she added. “The fire, police and service departments will be happy over the effect on the energy bill in that building.”

Beshara also mentioned that Fox 8 News sent a crew to cover the fire department’s ice rescue training at Richfield Woods Park.

Fire Chief Jason Mihalek said his department members completed the drills successfully.

Mihalek added that his department is in the interview process to add three new firefighters.

“We have a tremendous amount of great candidates,” he said.

The fire chief also said Mary Jo McMullen is taking over as the new medical director for the Richfield Fire Department.

In addition, Tom Sullivan has been chosen by his peers as Richfield Firefighter of the Year for 2012, Mihalek said.

In other news:

  • Police Chief Keith Morgan said fifth-graders will participate in the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program starting in March.
    In other D.A.R.E. news, the program received a $250 donation from an anonymous resident. The program also will benefit from a promotion for the Lake Erie Monsters hockey game March 23. A $5 donation for each $20 ticket will go to D.A.R.E.
    Morgan also said Lt. Joseph Davis will attend a Homeland Security conference in Los Angeles in June, at no cost to the village. The department also received a grant for technical upgrades to the dispatch center.
  • Service Director Melanie Baker said she is gathering numbers regarding the proposed renovation of the Richfield Township building.
  • Finance Director Sandy Turk said the village will receive a $50,000 grant from the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) for an energy-efficient project to improve the Masonic Hall. A NOPEC representative is scheduled to appear at the March 5 Council meeting to talk more about the project.
  • Councilman Ralph Waszak reported the Planning and Zoning Commission chose Chuck Boester as its chairman and Rick Alkire as its vice chairman for 2013.
    He also said the old truck terminal, located at 2755 Brecksville Road, has new owners, who are planning to upgrade the property and have leased it to Action Expediting, which is moving from Twinsburg.
  • Councilman Mike Wheeler reported the Park Board met with Larsen Architects to discuss ideas for a new recreation center. They advised the staff should be kept as lean as possible, using part-time help, in order to stay financially healthy.
  • Councilwoman Barbara Lanford reported the Richfield trustees voted at the Feb. 7 meeting to contribute $2,400 to the senior center.
    “It’s very much appreciated,” she said.
  • Council agreed to accept a proposal from Ohio Plan Risk Management Inc. for property and casualty insurance.
  • Beshara talked about the gas aggregation issue that the voters passed in November. She said village officials need to begin meeting with suppliers.
    “Residents have been asking when we’re going to pick a new company,” she said.

The next Richfield Village Council meeting is scheduled for March 5 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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