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Council addresses return of Richfield School bell

8/14/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Richfield Village Council voted against a resolution advocating the return of the Richfield School bell to the village for display in the improved Village Green.

The bell was cast in 1887 and hung in the Richfield Center High School before being installed in Richfield School on Streetsboro Road, which was built in 1917.

Before the vote at the Aug. 5 Richfield Village Council meeting, Council President Rick Hudak said the resolution would “support the effort of people who feel very strongly” about the historic bell.

However, the resolution only garnered three “yea” votes: from Hudak, Andy Ellis and Mike Wheeler. James Kahoe and Roger Swan voted against it. Mike Lyons was not in attendance due to the death of his mother, and Barbara Lanford abstained.

“We don’t have a place in this decision,” she explained. “It’s not our place to offer an opinion.”

Wheeler disagreed.

“As community leaders, we should support the return of the school bell for folks who went to Richfield School,” he said. “We’ve heard talk for years that it would be displayed at Hillcrest [Elementary School], but it hasn’t happened.”

Lanford replied, “If they [Revere Local Schools] want to give it to the village, that’s their place.”

Also at the meeting, Mayor Bobbie Beshara offered her condolences to the families of former Council member Chuck Kozelka, who recently passed away, and Revere High School student Katherine Babak, of Bath Township, who died in a car accident Aug. 3.

Beshara got Council’s approval to appoint Kristen Doroslovac as a part-time dispatcher to replace the retired Jackie Ingersoll.

Council also approved the mayor’s appointment of Brian Stulak to the park board to replace Lisa Durst, who stepped down. Stulak will complete Durst’s term, which runs through the end of 2015.

In other business, Council voted to accept a $150,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the Village Green parking lot improvement and stormwater control project. The village estimates the cost of the entire project to be $409,497.

Council also voted to enter into a right-of-way agreement with the National Park Service to install a pump station in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for the Briarwood sewer improvement project.

In other news:

  • Sue Serdinak discussed the history of the Sweet Corn Challenge. Serdinak started the annual bike and hike event in 1994 when she was president of the Richfield Chamber of Commerce.
    The ride, which took place July 27, has raised more than $123,000 for the Richfield Town Trust’s efforts to improve century buildings in the historic district, she noted.
    Serdinak showed Council members photos of the improved Treasure Loft, Taverne of Richfield, Applied Financial, Houseblends, Integrative Wellness and other buildings in the district.
    “This is an incredible, wonderful program,” Swan commented. “It has been a great benefit to Richfield.”
    “The hike has been a nice addition to the event,” said Beshara. “It really showcases our community.”
  • Police Chief Keith Morgan reported that Vuki, who served as Richfield’s police dog from 2003 to 2012, died recently. The chief offered condolences to Sgt. Chris Fyffe and his family for their loss.
  • Service Director Melanie Baker reported she has been talking to Ronyak Paving about possibly upgrading and paving the Village Green parking lot.
  • Recreation Director Ruth Jocek showed Council a sign designating Eastwood Preserve as a “Monarch Waystation,” as described on monarchwatch.org. She said the park contains a large amount of milkweed, which she called the “food of choice” for monarch butterflies.
  • Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz talked about the demolition of the buildings on the former Consolidated Freightways (CF) property. He also said the old miniature golf site on Brecksville Road had been cleaned up, and the abandoned building at the corner of Broadview Road also had been demolished.
    “The whole community appreciates that, especially the CF buildings,” Swan said.
  • Finance Director Sandy Turk reported that income tax receipts for July and for the year to date are both running 2.9 percent higher than last year.
  • Wheeler said the park board was interested in bike lanes on new road construction. Swan said it would take “a lot of engineering to make that happen.”
  • Swan reported the Richfield Joint Recreation District had met the deadline to put a bond issue on the November ballot for the acquisition and operation of the Crowell/Hilaka Girl Scout Camp property, among other purposes.

The next Richfield Village Council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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