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Richfield Village assisting township with aid after fire

8/28/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Richfield Village Council agreed Aug. 19 to help Richfield Township in the aftermath of the fire that destroyed its Service Department building earlier in the day.

“We met with the township trustees about a mutual-aid agreement,” said Mayor Bobbie Beshara. “We wish the township well, because they are out of equipment.”

Council approved the agreement, which allows the Richfield Village and Township service departments to work together to serve the needs of all Richfield residents.

Fire Chief Jason Mihalek said the building on Boston Mills Road was “fully involved” when his department arrived on the scene.

“One of our firefighters suffered a minor injury,” he said. “I’d like to thank our Service Department for helping to pick apart the building for the investigation.”

In other news:

  • Police Chief Keith Morgan reported the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign will continue through Sept. 1. He also stated Richfield is part of the OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) task force and his department has made 25 OVI arrests so far this year.
  • Service Director Melanie Baker reported she has received two bids for the demolition of the Brown Building on the Village Green. She also said this year’s village street paving program is complete and came in under budget at $192,070.
  • Recreation Director Ruth Jocek reported the Community Days weekend “could not have been any better.” She added the Eastwood Fall Fest is scheduled for Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Eastwood Preserve.
  • Planning and Zoning Director Bryan Frantz reported Mobility Works, which specializes in wheelchair-accessible vehicles, will move from Akron to the Kinross Lakes area by the end of the month. The company will bring 40 employees to Richfield, according to Frantz.
  • Council President Rick Hudak announced the Finance Committee will meet Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
  • Council Vice President Andy Ellis called the Explorers Pancake Breakfast, which took place during Community Days weekend, “a tremendous example of the contribution firefighters make to our community.”
    Ellis said several of Richfield’s firefighters, including Mihalek, came through the Explorers program.
    Hudak also thanked everyone who helped with the Community Day parade for their “amazing amount of cooperation.”
    He thanked Beshara and the police and fire chiefs, noting the parade route had to be altered due to construction detours.
    “This event is important to our community and lots of organizations, and it was really well received,” he said.
  • Councilman Michael Lyons thanked everyone who extended their condolences on the recent passing of his mother.
  • Beshara also said the village received a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Justice for bulletproof vests for the police department.

Also during the meeting, Council:

√ approved Beshara’s appointment of Marty Kruszynski to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). He replaced Tessa Torowski, who moved to the Zoning Commission. Kruszynski previously served on the BZA in the mid-1990s;

√ passed an ordinance to set aside money for the Village Green parking lot improvement and storm water control project;

√ agreed to purchase a new leaf collector vacuum for the Service Department from the ODB Co. at a cost of $48,235;

√ voted against an ordinance that would have changed the time of its meetings from 8 to 6:30 p.m. The caucus and work session, which currently take place before the regular meeting, would have been incorporated into the meeting agenda.
“Residents know that if they show up at 8, they can see the meeting,” Hudak said, “and if they want to hear the deliberations, they can come at 6:30”;

√ voted against an ordinance that would have added limitations on parking commercial vehicles in the parking lots of commercial buildings.
Before the vote, Councilman Jim Kahoe said he was “vehemently opposed” to the ordinance.
“This is not the way to solve the problem,” he said. “It’s way too broad.”

The next Richfield Village Council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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