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Richfield trustees discuss bid for office building

2/27/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

The Richfield Township Board of Trustees rejected the only bid they received in their second attempt to collect bids on a new administration building.

The trustees made the decision at the Feb. 20 meeting on the proposal of Cornice Co., which bid $485,000 to construct the building.

“I think we need a cooling-off period, because we were shell shocked by the price again,” said Township Administrator Debbie Bluso Rogers.

The trustees also discussed the possibility of doing a “designed build,” which would include collaborating with a designer, contractor and architect to determine if the building can be constructed at a certain price.

“I think we need to stay here a little longer and look at this all over again,” said Trustee Jeff Shupe.

Trustee Chair Janet Jankura said Richfield Village Mayor Bobbie Beshara sent a letter offering to reconsider the plan for the township to stay in its current village-owned building.

Shupe said that idea should include the application of building improvements to the township’s rent, as well as all of the township’s meetings taking place in Town Hall.

Trustee Bob Luther said the township offices should move to the proposed building site on Boston Mills Road.

“Our garage and our guys are there,” he said.

Also during the meeting, the trustees had a lengthy discussion about whether to negotiate a settlement with JJJ Properties about the use of a concrete crusher on Columbia Road.

The other option would be to let the Board of Zoning Appeals handle the issue at its March 17 meeting.

Carmen Carbone, of JJJ Properties, said the concrete crusher is not permanent. He said it is used to develop site pads for buildings.

The trustees decided to discuss the issue further at a future work session.

In other business:

  • Trustees talked about whether background checks should be required for baseball and softball volunteers, since Richfield Village had discussed the requirement.
    “I don’t think it’s necessary,” said Luther. “I don’t think we have to go to that extreme.”
    Greg Petersen, of the Revere Baseball-Softball Association, said his organization includes 100 volunteers.
    Luther said he wasn’t sure if the township could legally require the background checks.
    “I don’t think we should further tax a nonprofit organization by putting them through the extra step of a background check,” he said.
    When contacted after the meeting, Ruth Jocek, Richfield Village Parks and Recreation director, said, “We have not proposed that to the sports teams as of yet. There have been discussions about background checks, and we are researching what other communities do. Many sports leagues require background checks for their volunteers. This includes soccer, baseball, basketball, wrestling etc. We are checking with our lawyer to get his opinion.”
  • The trustees received a letter from Summit County about the possibility of using its fuel for township vehicles.
    Luther said he and Road Foreman Jerry Schall were both against the idea, stating it would involve too much “red tape.”
    “Now we’re fueling up at the Pilot station,” Luther said. “I’d just as soon stay with what we’re doing now.”
    The trustees agreed to drop out of the CUE (Community University Education) buying cooperative, which also includes the city of Akron, Summit County and The University of Akron.
    Township Administrator Linda Bowmer said the $200 CUE fee was due soon, but the township was not using the cooperative to buy road salt, opting to go through the Ohio Department of Transportation instead.
    Bowmer also said the township was not approved for an Ohio Public Works grant for the repavement of Hawkins Road. She said a loan for the project would not be feasible since it would include Richfield Village, Hinckley Township and Summit County.
  • Jankura will deliver the State of the Township address at the Richfield Chamber of Commerce meeting March 5 at noon at the Taverne of Richfield.

The next Richfield Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for March 6 at 10 a.m. at the township office building, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.

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