Trustees take step toward alleviating traffic congestion in JEDD

by Dan Holland

Aug. 2 township trustees meeting

Richfield Township trustees passed a resolution to institute a “no parking” zone on Columbia Road within the Joint Economic Development District. The legislation was introduced to relieve traffic congestion along the busy stretch of road north of Brecksville Road.

“There were some options that were explored, and some were pretty costly,” said Trustee Chairperson Janet Jankura. “The [Richfield] police department helped identify which options would be best for us. One of the options we discussed previously was to designate a ‘no parking’ area so that violations can be enforced.”

Township Administrator Mindy Lott explained that the new law cannot be enforced prior to signs being posted for 30 days in five conspicuous locations and a notice is posted in a local news periodical for three consecutive weeks.

Lott explained at a previous trustee meeting that the congestion seems to be due to trucks trying to gain entrance to a parking area at the Pilot Travel Center at 5219 Brecksville Road and other locations along the roadway. Columbia Road, which runs alongside the travel center, also leads to a Fed Ex Ground depot, Exit 11 Tire, Best Buy warehouse and distribution center, Allega Concrete and other businesses. The travel center resides within Richfield Village with portions of the road and JEDD being in Richfield Township.

“They’re parking sometimes half off the road; sometimes all the way in the road or dumping trash over by the Marathon Oil facility,” explained Lott by phone. “If you’re there at certain times of the day – when the Fed Ex trucks are coming in and out in the morning – it’s just ridiculous. … Trucks parking on the road doesn’t help matters.”

Police Chief Michael Swanson said he believes the “no parking” signs will help alleviate the problems.

Old Business

Under old business, the trustees revisited the topic of solid waste hauling and recycling options in the township. Current plans call for the township to be in conjunction with whichever option Richfield Village decides upon.

A first reading-only of a resolution during a village council meeting, held that same night, proposed entering into a contract with Rumpke for trash and recycling options for the years 2023, 2024, 2025 with two one-year renewal options – a semi-automated collection program in which the company provides 65-gallon recycling containers – that would continue the current services in both the village and township if enacted. The current contract expires at the end of 2022.

“Mayor [Michael] Wheeler mentioned that they’re leaning toward keeping the services exactly the same,” said Lott during the trustees meeting. “We may want to wait until after the first reading just to make sure village council and the mayor are on the same page.”


Township Fiscal Officer Laurie Pinney confirmed that the township received its second and final American Rescue Plan Act payment of $131,148 from the federal government on July 12; the same amount it received in Sept. 2021. The current balance in the fund stands at $243,343, as the township recently purchased a brush chipper from the Richfield Joint Recreation District.

Trustee Don Laubacher, who serves as liaison to RJRD, announced the hiring of John Piepsny by Richfield Village, who will serve as the new parks and recreation director for the village as well as park director for RJRD.

Lott reported that this year’s bid cost for road salt through ODOT came back at $47.88 per ton; an increase from last year’s cost of $39.23 per ton. The township plans to order 475 tons at an approximate cost of just under $23,000.

In other action, the trustees approved participating in the OneOhio Opioid Janssen Agreement and the OneOhio Distributor Settlement Agreement. Pinney said the township may receive between $13,000 and $19,000 through the settlement, but surety of the distribution is uncertain at present. A new fund account will need to be opened to accept any income received.

Resident Forum

Jim Vocaire of Hecker Drive thanked trustees and township officials for installing a sign at Stubbins and Black roads reading “No Entrance to Best Buy.” Vocaire had commented during a previous meeting on numerous trucks turning around in the neighborhood, as drivers apparently believed Black Road provided access to the Best Buy warehouse and distribution center. ∞