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Richfield officials eye future of camp site

5/8/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Discussion to continue at May 22 meeting

RICHFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Richfield Township Board of Trustees got a visit May 1 from potential partners in developing the Crowell/Hilaka Girl Scout Camp.

Richfield Village Mayor Bobbie Beshara and Council members Mike Lyons and Roger Swan attended the meeting, along with representatives from the Western Reserve Land Conservancy (WRLC) and Friends of Crowell/Hilaka. They discussed the possibility of a joint park and recreation district to fund and operate the property.

Lyons explained the district, if formed, would be run by two commissioners from the village and two from the township. The four of them would choose a fifth commissioner.

Joe Leslie, the director of acquisitions of the WRLC, said the district would decide how much of the property it wanted and then ask voters to approve a levy to purchase and maintain the property.

Richfield Village Council was expected to consider a resolution to join a Richfield recreation district at its May 6 meeting.

Leslie said the goal would be to get the levy on the Nov. 4 ballot.

“A district would spread the burden on all of us, so the burden would be light,” Swan said. “This is a great challenge, and it might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The property includes more than 300 acres, and Leslie estimated the cost of purchasing it would be about $4 million. Swan said grant money could also be used to reduce the burden on taxpayers.

The trustees decided to talk about this issue more at a special meeting May 22 at 6:30 p.m. They canceled the regular May 15 meeting.

Also during the meeting, Sean Zimmerman, of Morton Buildings, talked to the trustees about their efforts to construct a new township administration building.

“Basements and second stories are not cost effective,” he said. “If you give us a budget, the square footage and a conceptual design, we can make it fit to what you want to do.”

Trustee Jeff Shupe said he and Fiscal Officer Laurie Pinney, who is also zoning inspector, will make a second trip to Columbus to learn more about the possibility of funding the building with grant money. He said they met someone whose government built a home for a township, road department and fire department all on grant money.

“There is plenty of money available, according to the people putting the class on,” Shupe said.

In other news:

  • Police Sgt. Joe Davis reported two suspects have been arrested in connection with a car theft and burglary that took place on Boston Mills Road last October.
    Davis added the Ohio Department of Public Safety has a mobile-phone application available on its website. In addition to allowing residents to report suspicious activity, the app offers real-time traffic reports and instant connections to 9-1-1 and the Ohio Department of Transportation.
  • Assistant Fire Chief Phil McLean said members of his department attended a trade show and training exposition recently in Indianapolis.
    McLean also said the fire department was very busy on Easter Sunday. It fielded several EMS calls, battled a grass fire on Boston Mills Road and took on a structure fire on Richlawn Road.
  • Pinney said the next Board of Zoning Appeals meeting is scheduled for May 19 at 7 p.m. There is a chance the meeting may be moved to Town Hall, she said.
  • Trustee Bob Luther said the new trash container is in place at Rising Valley Park. The trustees approved the expenditure of up to $2,000 for the placement of movable speed bumps for the parking lot of the park.
  • Administrative Assistant Debbie Bluso Rogers said road foreman Jerry Schall needs a new computer and printer, which the trustees approved. She noted his desktop computer and printer cost $1,100 in 2006, but the new laptop and printer will cost $820.
    Rogers also said brush chipping is expected to begin the week of May 5. She advised residents to consult the township website to learn what is appropriate for the chipper.
  • Trustee Janet Jankura announced Mindy Remick will take over as township administrator May 12 for the retiring Linda Bowmer. Remick has experience as an office manager and in the Summit County government. Bowmer’s last day on the job will be May 16.
  • Trustees passed a proclamation to recognize St. Victor’s Church on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.
  • Trustees approved the expense of $67,372 for the repair of the lower part of Hawkins Road, from Medina Line Road to the Hinckley border. Luther said township officials hope to fix the rest of Hawkins Road next year, along with Stubbins, Hecker and Harter roads.

Richfield trustees will next meet May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the township offices, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.

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