by Sue Serdinak
Nov. 9 village council special meeting
In quick order, council read an ordinance to purchase about two acres at 3901 Brecksville Rd., suspended second and third readings and unanimously passed it. The cost of the property is $380,000.
All Engineering Corporation has owned the property since 1997. A “For Sale” sign was displayed on the front of the 1,500-square-foot building for many months. The back of the property is fenced and was used to store equipment and supplies, but those have been liquidated.
After the meeting, Mayor Michael Wheeler said the property provides additional frontage for the village’s adjacent property at 3921 Brecksville Rd., from which the service department operates.
Town center projects
Council spent the remainder of the meeting prioritizing projects and the 2023 budget. The mayor and council agreed that it is past time for the village to make improvements to the center of town at the intersection of routes 303 and 176.
“We need to get the plans done and start to put money aside,” said Councilperson Ralph Waszak, who has been pushing for improvements for years.
Council and the mayor added $250,000 to the budget to pay for an engineering study of the area.
The improvements would include turn lanes, traffic signal improvements and stormwater control, at an estimated cost of $600,000. This cost was not included in the 2023 budget.
The electrical wiring in the area will be moved underground in 2024, in association with the Richfield Brewery being constructed on Grant Street at a cost of $300,000.
Council also asked that money be budgeted to design the green with a welcoming element on the corner of routes 303 and 176 and a timber frame building near the center of the green for shelter and for bands to perform.
Carter Pedigo Trail
The Carter Pedigo Trail was originally designed to connect to a trailhead on Brecksville Road from the library. However, the connection to Brecksville Road was never completed because of the cost associated with building over a severe grade change.
Planning Director Brian Frantz said the village cannot get funding for the project because the trail is not in compliance with the Americans Disability Act. About $400,000 has been set aside for the project.
Wheeler reminded council he plans to have a basketball court, two tennis courts and eight pickle ball courts built in 2023. Village land to the east of the Senior Center has been proposed for the tennis courts and pickle ball courts.
Wheeler recommended delaying the construction of a sidewalk along Broadview Road from Olesia’s Taverne to Richfield Woods until 2024. Waszak reminded the mayor that when Ohio Hardwood moved to Richfield, the owner was promised there would be a sidewalk in front of the business.
The police department’s proposed budget included the cost of a K-9 vehicle and pay for training the dog and trainer.
The fire department’s proposed budget showed a 10.2% increase over 2022, which was an 8% increase over 2021.
Fire Chief George Seifert said the department is no longer receiving donations of medical supplies as it did during COVID. He added that some vehicles continue to have mechanical problems.
Seifert said that rather than bring in part-time help, the department often requests mutual aid from Brecksville. He said with three full-time paramedics, frequently two people are sent on a call and one is left at the station to take another call.
Richfield frequently requests Brecksville’s aid for calls to hotels on the north end of the community. “Once the Sherwin Williams development goes in [in Brecksville], we may need to supply more mutual aid to Brecksville,” Seifert said.
The cost of sidewalk installation in Kinross Parkway was removed from the budget because a painted pedestrian lane was put on the roadway.
The budget included the cost of adding an assistant zoning director. ∞
Featured Photo: The village created a walking path on the side of the roadway of Kinross Lakes Blvd. for pedestrians in the office park. Photo by S. Serdinak.