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Richfield Township administrator retiring

2/13/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Richfield Township Administrator Linda Bowmer told the Richfield Township Board of Trustees after the Feb. 6 meeting she planned to retire in April.

“We will miss her dedication and professionalism, and we wish her the best in the next phase of her life,” said Trustee Chair Janet Jankura.

Jankura said the township will advertise the open administrator position.

Also during the meeting, Bowmer discussed the time frame of the township’s effort to construct a new administration building. A bid opening is scheduled for Feb. 17 at noon, and the trustees could approve a builder at the next meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

In legislative business, the trustees:

√ appointed Ken Dorsett as an alternate member of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA);

√ agreed to expand the mobile technology policy to allow BZA and Zoning Commission members to use the township’s tablet computers. Trustee Robert Luther said it’s important for the zoning members to use tablets so they don’t have official information on their personal computers in the event of a legal dispute; and

√ approved an agreement with the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District regarding its attempt to educate the public about avoiding water pollution.

In other news:

  • Police Chief Keith Morgan said three new police vehicles have arrived. Mechanics are taking equipment out of the old police cars and installing it in the new ones.
    Morgan also stated his department received an $11,000 grant from the Ohio Criminal Justice Services Office to begin replacing its radio equipment.
    “This is the new digital protocol,” he said. “We still have analog radios, so this will help us to talk to other departments.”
    Morgan also said the Richfield police have been busy helping with vehicle slide-offs and accidents.
    “Fortunately, we’ve had no serious injuries or fatalities,” he said.
    Jankura talked about the work of Richfield’s animal control officer, Cindy Clark, who led a search-and-rescue mission of a mother dog and three puppies in the area of Revere and Wheatley roads. With the help of police officers and local residents, the dogs were located and saved, she said.
    “It’s very rewarding to see that kind of commitment and dedication,” Jankura said.
    Morgan agreed, stating Clark is an “invaluable asset” to the police department.
  • Fire Chief Jason Mihalek reported his department assisted after an oil well exploded in Boston Heights. He said that while the explosion is still under investigation, it was not an instance of hydraulic fracking. The well was being cleaned when it exploded, the chief said.
    Mihalek also said his department is investigating a vehicle fire as a possible arson.
    “If you ever suspect arson, call the fire department,” he advised. “A lot of times, these vehicles have been involved in a crime.”
    Mihalek’s crew also performed its annual ice rescue drill.
    “Don’t ever step onto the ice,” he said. “If your pet goes onto the ice, call the fire department. Otherwise, we’ll have to rescue you and your pet.”
    Mihalek also reported his department is seeking bids on a pumper/rescue vehicle to replace the current 18-year-old unit, which holds 500 gallons of water. The new machine will deliver twice that amount.
  • Township leaders met with representatives from JJJ Properties on Columbia Road regarding an extension of the road. Trustee Jeff Shupe said Summit County would like to see the road extended to connect with Black Road, but the township and landowner are opposed to the idea.
    “We’re objecting to that all the way,” he said.
  • Jankura reported Richfield resident Jim Koewler was named the chairman of the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) Board.
    Zoning Inspector Laurie Pinney said the board is looking for new members and will meet again Aug. 27.
  • Shupe said the owner of 125 acres in the Briarwood subdivision has not yet submitted a written proposal to have the land annexed from Richfield Township to Richfield Village.
    Representatives of both Richfield governments have met to discuss the financial ramifications if that takes place.
  • Jankura said the township road crew has done a “tremendous” job of keeping the roads clear.
    “It’s amazing what three guys can do,” Luther agreed.
  • Jankura will deliver the State of the Township address March 5 at noon at the Taverne of Richfield, 3960 Broadview Road.

The next Richfield trustees’ meeting is scheduled for Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the township offices, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.

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