Mayor outlines tentative plans for Brecksville’s summertime activities

by Kathleen Steele Gaivin

April 6 city council meeting

Mayor Jerry Hruby told Brecksville City Council that the water activity pool could be open by the end of May.

According to the mayor, “They are starting the final steps to remediate the problem we had with the roof at the activity pool, which is the addition to the natatorium that is at the community center.”

He said the work would be completed over the next few weeks.

“Depending on what the governor does, we’re hoping we can be open right around Memorial Day. We’ll see. We’re going to start planning for it, but the uncertainty still remains about COVID and what’s in the interest of the community and the community’s safety. The project should be done a few weeks before then,” the mayor said.

“It’s a good thing it was caught before the building was open rather than after,” he said.

Hruby said the city remains on hold with other summertime activities. For example, he said Home Days would not be held at the end of June as it was planned, but perhaps in August or September.

“If not, we’ll piggyback the fireworks onto Christmas like we did before,” he said.

Brecksville City Council authorized $10,195 for new and replacement spring trees around the city.

“We’re happy that this is happening. If you remember in the spring of 2020 with COVID, we did not have any spring tree planting, so this is a good step moving forward, in my opinion,” Service Director Ron Weidig said.

Fire Department

The Brecksville Fire Department is authorized to purchase a LUCAS 3 chest compression system with accessories at a cost of $11,116. Fire Chief Nick Zamiska said LUCAS 3 is an “automatic CPR device that frees up a paramedic on an incident” by performing automated chest compressions. He said the department’s current unit is eight years old and the parts are obsolete.

The fire department will apply again for funding through the NOPEC Community Event Scholarship Program. According to Zamiska, these funds have been used in the past to host an open house event with refreshments served to the public to showcase fire equipment and training. Another year, the fire department held an ice cream social to show off a new truck. Last year, the $2,000 grant was used to buy ice cream, helmets and stickers, but the event was postponed due to the pandemic. If approved, this year’s grant money would be used to host a safety-service event in the fall for the police, fire and service departments, the fire chief said.

Police Department

Two police vehicles were damaged in a vehicle chase on March 20. The cost of body repairs, including a $1,000 contingency on each vehicle in case there are unforeseen issues, will be around $21,914. The city’s own carrier, Selective Insurance, will reimburse Brecksville for all but the $500 deductible on each vehicle; damages were caused by an uninsured motorist.

“Most importantly – the first question I ask in this type of situation – no one was injured. I look at this way, we took down a convicted felon off the street with a handgun. That’s a good thing,” Police Chief William Goodrich said.

Agricultural District

City Council approved Cheryl McCabe’s renewal application for placement of farmland in an agricultural district. McCabe and Dave Boone own Greengate Farms, which produces maple syrup on approximately 14 acres at 9195 Highland Dr. Placing the farm under the legal status of an agricultural district decreases their tax liability. The designation permits Greengate Farms to take advantage of the Cuyahoga County’s Current Agricultural Use Valuation Program, which allows farmland greater than 10 acres and devoted exclusively to commercial agriculture to be taxed at its agriculture value rather than the full market value. The result is a lower tax bill for working farmers.

“They were the ones that originally suggested we bring it to you guys, to city council, to be declared an agricultural district, Boone said.

“It’s considered a harvestable product now. We tap our own trees. We tap about 400 trees [which yields about 40 gallons],” he said. ∞