Drone is onboard for searches

by Sue Serdinak

Nov. 30 village council meeting

The Richfield Village special council meeting started with the audience watching a live photo shoot of village property taken by an indoor drone.

Mayor Michael Wheeler reported that the village purchased a drone that can search inside a building for $2,300 and a larger outdoor drone for $19,000.

The indoor drone will be used for interior searches. The outdoor drone, which will arrive in January, can search for lost persons or for criminal suspects, even in a wooded area. It can also be used for surveillance.

The drones were in the 2022 budget as requested by the police department. They were purchased from Ohio Drone Repair, a new Richfield company at 4131 West Streetsboro Rd. Herbie Long and Roger Mortimer operated the drone for the council presentation.

RJRD appointment

Council unanimously approved the re-appointment of Michael Selig to a three-year term on the Richfield Joint Recreation District board.

2023 budget

Council delayed passage of the village’s 2023 budget after Sue Ann Philippbar, acting council president in Bobbie Beshara’s absence, said she wanted more time to review the lengthy document and give the public an opportunity to do so.

“This is one of the most important pieces of legislation that we work on,’’ added councilperson Ralph Waszak.”

Said councilperson Rick Hudak, “I think council is way too involved in the budget. I don’t think it is essential to have three readings.”

Council then agreed to have two additional readings of the budget ordinance the first two weeks of December and cancel the Dec. 20 meeting.

Council did a second reading on a resolution to sign a contract with Poggemeyer Design Group, a Kleinfelder company, to review and update the comprehensive land use plan at a cost of $74,989.

Competitive bidding was not required for the contract because it involved professional services.

Council had a second reading of a resolution to add additional fees for the mayor’s court. Fees include $10 for a one-time hearing continuance, $15 to set up a payment plan, $45 for a check returned for non-sufficient funds and $15 for out-of-state residents.

Council had a second reading of an ordinance to increase the pay of all non-bargaining village employees by 3%. The ordinance also creates the position of assistant planning and zoning director with a salary range of $68,837 to $89,703 and adjusts the planning and zoning director’s starting salary range from $68,528 to $79,703.

It also adjusts the pay of the economic development coordinator to $21,625 and the assistant finance director’s salary range from $64,973 to $89,682. 

Council adopted a resolution approving a uniform allowance of $1,500 for the police and fire chiefs and assistant chiefs. It also approved an $800 allowance for the service department staff and $500 for the service director and planning and zoning director and $450 for the custodian.

Council approved a resolution authorizing bidding for new traffic signals at the intersection of Brecksville and Streetsboro roads and at Wheatley Road and Lake Forest Boulevard.