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Richfield Village officials applaud news of ranking

6/12/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Council also OKs joint recreation district with township

Richfield Village Council members applauded the news that Richfield Village was named the No. 1 suburb in an annual Cleveland Magazine poll at the June 3 Council meeting.

Village officials played the video of a WKYC Channel 3 News report announcing the news. Orange Village placed second and Solon took third in the magazine’s countdown, which ranked suburbs on safety, education and housing.

“This is a testament to our community, the residents, business, police and fire; it really takes everyone to make this a great place to live,” said Mayor Bobbie Beshara.

Also during the meeting, Council approved a resolution that creates a joint recreation district with Richfield Township to provide community programming in recreational, educational, social, cultural and athletic areas, according to the resolution. The district also was created to acquire property for constructing, operating and maintaining parks, playgrounds and play fields and to preserve and protect real property, such as the Crowell-Hilaka property in the township, as parks and spaces for governmental, civic, educational or recreational activities, according to the resolution.

For the past several weeks, village officials have been in discussion with township officials to create a joint district to look into funding the purchase of Crowell Hilaka, a 336-acre former Girl Scout camp located between Broadview Road and state Route 303.

Four residents spoke before the vote to express their support for the district.

According to the resolution, the joint recreation district will be governed by a five-member board.

Council President Rick Hudak read a letter from resident Doug Wenger expressing his opposition to the idea of a tax levy to purchase Crowell-Hilaka.

The reading took a few minutes and Hudak learned from Law Director Bill Hanna that Hudak has the discretion to have letters entered into the record without being read in full. Hudak encouraged residents to come to the Council meeting if they can to express their viewpoints.

Hudak also announced the dates of upcoming summer events, including the Kelly Miller Circus (July 26), Sweet Corn Ride (July 27) and Community Days (Aug. 8-10).

In other business:

  • Beshara reported the Broadview Road bridge over Interstate 271 will be closed for approximately 90 days beginning June 9.
    The half of the Brecksville Road bridge that has been under construction will reopen, she said, with the other half being fixed after the Broadview bridge is completed.
    The mayor also said the Richfield Night at the Akron RubberDucks baseball game is scheduled for July 18.
    Beshara also congratulated the recent Revere High School graduates and reminded motorists to watch out for children now that school is out for the summer.
    In addition, the mayor said Safety Town graduation will take place June 30 at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The ceremonies will take place at Town Hall.
  • Council passed a resolution to spend $6,250 for environmental testing on the former Highpoint Trucking terminal on Congress Parkway. The village had already committed $20,000 to the project and received $113,000 in grant money from the Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization (NEFCO).
  • Council agreed to support Summit County’s declaration of August as Kids Month.
  • Service Director Melanie Baker said this summer’s paving program will take place the week of July 7. It will include Sawbridge, Scanwood, Burrwood and Ramblewood drives, as well as the road into West Richfield Cemetery.
  • Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz urged residents to keep their lawns mowed. He said his department spends considerable time sending out violation notices and using contractors to mow the grass.
  • Finance Director Sandy Turk reported May income tax receipts came in 10.7 percent higher than last year. The year-to-date receipts are up 2.6 percent from 2013.
  • Recreation Director Ruth Jocek said the Food Truck Round-up is scheduled for June 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Town Hall. Also, the Wednesday farmers’ market events will begin June 18 from 2:30 to 6 p.m. in the center of town.

Council announced that its June 17 meeting is canceled. The next meeting is scheduled for July 1 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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