Fire-medic promoted; fuel expenses likely to exceed budget

by Sue Serdinak

June 25 village council meeting

Before Cleveland Water gave a presentation on delivering water to the village, Richfield Mayor Michael Wheeler swore in fire medic Anthony Katzakis as a lieutenant in the Richfield Fire Department.

 Fire Chief George Seifert said Katzakis has been with the department since 2014 and has been instrumental in training new staff.

Wheeler also swore in Joshua Strenk as a part-time fire medic.

Police Chief Michael Swanson said he sent letters to Amazon, FedEx and UPS advising that delivery people are prohibited from parking on Richfield roadways. Drivers will be given a warning on their first offense and cited for additional offenses.

 Swanson also reported that due to the increased cost of fuel, officers have been instructed not to let their cruisers idle for extended periods of time. Tim Baker, IT coordinator, and Ken Horn, member of the service department, were able to prolong the time officers can use mobile data terminals without a car engine running.

Finance Director Sandy Turk reported that $139,284 was budgeted for department fuel expenses in 2022, and at the current rate that amount will be exceeded by over $50,000.

Turk said the village has paid $428,982 in income tax refunds to people employed by Richfield businesses who worked from home. She anticipates that $8,000 more might have to be paid. The village has received $300,524 in refunds from communities where Richfield residents work.

Council passed a resolution to pay Teladoc Health Inc. $5,273 annually for the 153 village employees to make virtual doctor visits. 

The village will raze seven structures on the former Frank’s Nursery property on Wheatley Road at a cost of $41,500. The village acquired the 6.6-acre property in 2018 for $860,000. 

Recreation Director Laura Toth reported that Richfield residents have picked up 136 vouchers to become subsidized members of the Broadview Heights Recreation program.

Toth said the park board is discussing constructing a replacement barn at Eastwood Preserve and is considering upgrading the pit toilets at Richfield Woods.

Service Director Scott Waldemarson reported that the planned sidewalk from Emerald Parkway to Giant Eagle has been delayed because of an inability to get an easement through one property. ∞