Safety forces have few back-up personnel

by Sue Serdinak

July 19 village council reports

Richfield Village Police Chief Michael Swanson reported that part-time officer Shane Williamson is leaving the department to take full–time employment, leaving the chief with only two part-time officers. This creates a scheduling problem and increased overtime hours for full-time officers.

Swanson said 141 children participated in Safety Town. This is a combined program for Richfield and Bath children sponsored by the fire and police departments.

Fire Chief George Seifert reported that his department fought three structure fires in a two-week period. One fire on Streetsboro Road caused significant damage. Two of the structure fires were in Bath, and fire fighters fought the two fires for about nine hours.

Income tax deficit

Finance Director Sandy Turk reported that income tax refunds continue to put Richfield in the negative column. To date, the finance department processed $450,682 in refunds for people employed by Richfield Village companies but worked from their homes in other communities.

The village has received $304,213 in income tax refunds for 2021. Of that amount, $255,000 was a one-time income tax payment. Turk concluded that only $49,213 has been received from Richfield residents employed in other municipalities.

The village budget will continue to reflect the negative tally from income tax payments, and council passed a resolution to amend appropriations to add $50,000 to pay higher-than-anticipated refunds. 

In addition, the resolution added $32,000 for fuel usage by the fire and police departments and $15,000 for additional legal expenses for contract negotiations for the two departments.   

Construction delay, demolition

Again there is a short delay expected for the Historic District water line. Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz reported that because of a materials backlog, the construction of the water line on West Streetsboro and Broadview roads will be delayed from the original start time of July 17. Frantz said the project should be completed by the end of 2022, weather dependent.

The former Heinle building has been razed, and the construction of the Richfield Brewery and the roadway to the library is expected to begin this summer. Fencing was installed around a very old oak tree to protect the roots from damage by construction equipment.

Kinross Lakes Parkway will be restriped this summer to create a pedestrian walkway. A separate sidewalk had been proposed, but it came with a high price tag.

Alcohol permit

Interim Recreation Director Laura Toth said the park and recreation board has requested council approve alcohol be served in Richfield Woods on Community Days.  The board also asked the village pay for the porta potties, hand-washing stations, fireworks, tents, tables and chairs for the weekend for the cost of $16,000. Toth said that Kinetic by Windstream donated $825 to pay for the Rocket Car to give rides over the weekend.

Toth said registration is opening for fall T-ball, rookie ball and hummingbird soccer. Register on the village website,

She also reported that the cost to join the Broadview Heights Recreation Center would be increased in September. The new prices have not been announced.

Grounds maintenance

Like homeowners, the service department has been busy watering plants. Service personnel had to remove a large catalpa tree at Fairview Cemetery that was struck by lightning.  They prepared the holes for 40 trees that Winar Connection donated to the village and have been maintaining the ball diamonds and outdoor bathrooms. ∞