Private fireworks banned; Water line construction beginning July 14

by Sue Serdinak

June 7 village council meeting

Richfield Village Council passed an ordinance to prohibit the discharge, ignition or explosion of fireworks at all times except by licensed exhibitors.

This ordinance overrides the recent passage of Ohio House Bill 172 that amended the Ohio Revised Code to allow fireworks on private property by private individuals on 10 specific days of the year.

Councilperson Rick Hudak spoke against the ordinance. He said the state legislature looked at this for quite a while, and the types of fireworks permitted by the state include sparklers, fountains, Roman candles and other small fireworks.

“These are not the type of fireworks that create loud explosions that irritate neighbors or animals. … We have motorcycles in this town that are much louder,” he said.

Summarizing, he said, “I think this would be a useless piece of legislation to put in place.”

Councilperson Pat Norris agreed with Hudak, saying the legislation is too severe, and he considers it target enforcement.

Council passed the legislation 4-2 with Hudak and Norris voting against it. Sue Ann Philippbar was absent from the meeting.

The legislation cannot go into effect until 60 days from passage because it did not receive five affirmative votes to declare it an emergency.

Water line

Construction of the water line in the central historic district should begin about July 14, according to Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz. On June 29, Cleveland Water will give a presentation to council and property owners who will be able to tap into the line. A second meeting may be scheduled.

The water line will be constructed on West Streetsboro Road starting at Town Hall and ending at Eastwood Preserve. It will be constructed on Broadview Road between Grant Street and Richfield Woods Park.

Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.


The village continues to pay more in income tax refunds than it receives. Finance Director Sandy Turk reported that the village paid $391,832 in income tax refunds to other communities. These refunds are paid for people employed in Richfield who worked from home last year. Their home communities are paid the refunds.

The village received $282,982 in income tax refunds from communities where Richfield Village residents are employed but working from home. Of that amount, Turk said $255,000 was a one-time payment. 

In 2021 the village paid out $315,608 in refunds.

The village’s main revenue source is income tax. When preparing the budget for 2022, Mayor Michael Wheeler and council took a conservative approach, acknowledging that future income tax collections could decline because of employees working from home.

Council approved appropriation changes to pay $150,000 to Agrana Fruit U.S. to construct a research and development building on the corner of Broadview and Brecksville roads. 

The revised appropriations also covered major repairs to fire department vehicles. The cost was about $25,000.

The Human Services fund has a cash balance of $115,824. The revised appropriations legislation covers the cost to purchase a new stove for the Senior Center for $15,000.

Council adopted a resolution to pay $1.48 million to Roundstone Management for health care insurance for the 66 full-time village employees. Turk said this is a 2% increase over the previous year. Village employees pay 13.5% of the premium.

Tree donation

Winar Connection, a Richfield company that makes custom cables and wire assemblies, is celebrating its 40th anniversary by donating 40 trees to Richfield.

Councilperson Ralph Waszak said the tree and landscape commission had the opportunity to choose which species of trees to plant and the locations. He said linden, maple and oak trees will be planted. The village will use equipment to dig the holes, but the Winar staff will plant the trees.

Council adopted a resolution honoring the company, which was founded by Bill Winar, Jim Winar, Roy Winar and George Rees in 1982 in Brookpark. The company moved to Richfield at a Brecksville Road location in 1992.

Bill Winar and George Reese retired in 2014 and sold the company to their sons. In 2016, the second generation built a 30,000 square-foot manufacturing building on Timberline Drive.

Delivery trucks

Waszak said delivery trucks stopping on roadways create hazardous conditions and asked Police Chief Michael Swanson if something could be done to stop it.

Swanson said officers are told to give warning tickets for a first offense and follow up with citations for additional offenses. However, the stoppages happen quickly and it is difficult for officers to catch them. He said he would contact the companies and advise them that the law will be enforced.

Hudak said a collection point could be created in the community where packages could be dropped rather than at homes.

CPR classes

Fire Chief George Seifert reported that the department would resume its public CPR classes. The classes were discontinued during the pandemic.

New businesses

Frantz reported that several small businesses are opening in the village. He said two anesthetists are moving into the Best Stop building on W. Streetsboro Road. Also, Primo Ridge Ranch, which gives gun transfer permits, will be moving into that building.

Frantz said the company would not store or sell firearms in the building but serve as a gun permit transfer office.

Front Door Gallery will move into the space that had been occupied by Pink Velvet on Brecksville Road, north of the Stage Coach building. A chiropractor plans to move into the space in Village Square that had been occupied by Activ Physical Therapy.

Wheeler said he has received 62 applications for the park and recreation director job.

He thanked Lora Toth for organizing the Tree City Program in which Richfield was recognized for being a Tree City for 27 years. He also recognized Debbie Bluso Rogers, councilperson and former mayor Bobbie Beshara, for starting the planning in 2020 and Dr. Gary Domanick and Waszak for their help.

He recognized the service department for its effort to prepare for Memorial Day and Tree City and grooming the community garden area.

Meeting canceled

Hudak asked that the regular June 21 council meeting be canceled. He said he will be on vacation and often summer council meetings are canceled. Law Director Alejandro Cortes immediately prepared a resolution to cancel the meeting and make the June 29 meeting with Cleveland Water a regular council meeting. ∞