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Richfield trustees discuss rental offer for township offices

5/9/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

With Richfield Township’s administration building’s 10-year rent-free period about to expire, Richfield Village has made a proposal for a new rental agreement.

The Richfield Township trustees talked about the written offer from Mayor Bobbie Beshara at the May 2 meeting.

Based on the township’s use of 1,300 square feet in the building and after researching similar spaces in Richfield, the village offered the township a rate of $1,200 per month to remain in its current home, starting at the beginning of August. The township would still have to pay for utilities and maintenance, but any improvements the township makes would be deducted from the rent.

The trustees will discuss the village’s offer at a work session May 22 at 10 a.m. at the township offices.

Also at the meeting, Zoning Inspector Laurie Pinney said the next public hearing on the proposal to rezone a corner of Broadview and Boston roads from R-1 (Rural Residential) to C-1 (Commercial) is scheduled for June 20 at 6:30 p.m. She said the issue won’t come before the trustees until then.

She added the Zoning Commission will meet today, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the township offices to discuss revisions to zoning regulations.

Pinney also noted an informational meeting on the “Moving Ohio Forward” demolition program will take place May 21 at 7 p.m. at the township offices.

“There is grant money available if you want to voluntarily have your home demolished,” she said.

In other news:

  • Police Sgt. Chris Fyffe reported one of the three new patrol cars is in service, with the second scheduled to go into service soon.
    Fyffe also thanked the Richfield Township Service Department for putting up 12 “No Parking” signs on Columbia Road.
    In addition, Fyffe talked about a situation in which a dog attacked the neighboring property’s chickens. Residents should call the police, he said, and the Summit County Animal Control unit can handle the situation. The Richfield Village animal warden may also assist, according to Fyffe.
  • Fire Chief Jason Mihalek reported on the death of retired Richfield volunteer firefighter Tom Hooper. A “last alarm” ceremony was included in his funeral services.
    Mihalek also said Dan Dopslaf has joined the Richfield Fire Department after spending 18 years working for the Bedford Fire Department and three years at the Copley Fire Department.
    In addition, Mihalek said residents should call the Fire Department if they have questions about open burning of trash.
    “There are regulations on the village website, and there’s not much difference between the village and township rules,” he said. “However, if the smoke enters another structure, we will put the fire out, even if it is otherwise legal.”
  • Trustee David Wyatt reported the damaged gate in Rising Valley Park is back in the “up” position. Township Administrator Linda Bowmer said the gate originally cost approximately $10,000, but it has needed $4,700 in repairs.
  • Bowmer said the Project Pride community cleanup day was a success. Residents also shredded 3,714 pounds of paper.
    “There was a steady stream of cars,” Bowmer said. “Not as many signed up for us to give them bags and gloves; most people just do their own neighborhoods.”
    Bowmer also said that canvassers are in the area through July representing Ohio Citizen Action.
    “They are a charitable, nonprofit, nonpolitical group, so they don’t need a permit,” she said. “They just have to register their vehicle with police, have an ID and be out of the community by dark.”
    Bowmer added the group isn’t selling anything and instead carries petitions on environmental and consumer advocacy issues.
  • Road foreman Jerry Schall reported the first round of brush chipping started.
  • Sandra Brownlee, of Verizon Wireless, delivered a presentation on iPad and smartphone technology for the township government.
    Administrative assistant Debbie Bluso Rogers said this technology would be useful for the Service Department and Pinney’s zoning work, but would not be necessary for the trustees’ email.
    Trustee Janet Jankura said perhaps smartphones would be the better option, while Pinney stated they could replace the pagers that some township workers carry.
  • The trustees also followed up on a discussion of a dog park from the previous meeting. Jankura said she visited the dog park in Twinsburg near Metro Parks, Serving Summit County’s Liberty Park.
    “Theirs is smaller than a football field; it’s a fenced-in square,” she said. “They’ve had it for 10 years, and it cost them $13,000. The main cost is fencing.”
    Resident Rich Fleming, of Columbia Road, said a dog park wouldn’t be necessary in Richfield Township.
    “People can walk their dogs in a lot of places,” he said. “I think it would be a total waste of money. We’re not Beachwood; this is pretty much a rural area.”
    Wyatt said the township has money in a fund that can only be used for improvements to the park.
    Pinney said that fund currently contains $93,000.
    “If it’s inexpensive, it might be worthwhile,” Wyatt said.

The next meeting of the Richfield Board of Trustees is scheduled for May 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the township offices, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.

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