Property owner asks council to help keep Saia in Richfield

by Sue Serdinak

December 14 village council special meeting

The results of action taken at a special Richfield Village council meeting, the last of 2022, should have an economic impact on the village and eventually improve traffic congestion on Brecksville Road.

Mark Pawuk, CEO of Seabreeze North and Cowboy Property Management, told council that the tenant of his truck terminal at 2958 Brecksville Rd., Saia LTL Freight, wants to purchase the terminal. Otherwise, Saia will relocate to another community. Pawuk said a deal would have to be struck by the end of 2022.

Saia Trucking is purchasing the terminal and 25 acres (outlined in blue) on Brecksville Road. Richfield Village will build an extension of the Highlander Parkway Road and Mark Pawuk has agreed to connect that road to Brecksville Road. Pawuk will also build two new buildings on Summit County Parcel 500132. Outline provided at council meeting by B. Frantz.

Pawuk agreed to sell the terminal and 25 acres to Saia if the village approved lot subdivision and consolidations.

The village zoning board and council agreed to the property line changes, as proposed by Planning Director Brian Frantz. They include Pawuk constructing the southern end of Congress Parkway to connect to Brecksville Road. The village would be responsible for building a short section of the road, connecting Highlander Drive to Congress Parkway.

This would make it possible for tenants of office buildings on Highlander Drive to turn left onto Brecksville Road farther south than where a traffic light is currently, across from the shopping plaza. This intersection is frequently blocked by traffic turning from Wheatley Road heading south on Brecksville Road, then encountering a red light at Highlander Drive.

The plan includes Pawuk constructing two office/maintenance buildings, valued at about $10 million, on the south side of the new Congress Parkway extension.

Councilperson Rick Hudak reminded council that residential property is adjacent to the land where the proposed buildings would be constructed. 

Pawuk said he would abide by the 75-foot rear setback requirement from Maple Drive properties.

Pawuk added that Saia is a very good company. “I didn’t want the village to lose the tax revenue. They are planning on adding people and extending the terminal to the west,” he said.

Councilperson Ralph Waszak said that Emil Pawuk & Associates is a second- generation Richfield company and has been a good neighbor.

Emergency response fees

Crosswalk poles have been installed on Route 303 and Route 176 for the safety of pedestrians. Solar powered flashing beacons will be installed on the poles next spring. by S. Serdinak.

In other business, council passed an ordinance to increase the fees for emergency medical services provided by the fire department. The basic life-support transport charge was increased from $550 to $850. The advanced life-support charge was increased from $600 to $1,000. Advanced emergency transport was added at a cost of $1,200.  The mileage charge was increased from $10 to $16 per loaded mile. A non-transport charge of $300 was added.

Legal settlement

Council passed a resolution to approve a settlement between the village and the Fraternal Order of Police and a former patrol officer William Sprit. Sprit was a member of the Army Reserves while a part-time officer and challenged the compensation the village paid him while he was on military leave.

The village paid Sprit $1,231 to settle the dispute.  

Pay increase

Council adopted a 3% pay increase for non-union village employees. The ordinance also adjusted the maximum hourly rate for part-time positions in planning, recreation, senior center and service departments to $24.69 per hour to provide uniformity and to work within market pay scales. The maximum hourly rate before the adjustment ranged from $17.34 to $24.69 per hour.

The ordinance increased the salary range for the economic development coordinator from $11,625 to $21,625. Salaries for council members and the mayor will not be adjusted until 2024, according to an existing ordinance.


Councilperson Jeff Stoppenhagen reported that the cemetery board has concluded its work on revising the rules for Richfield Village’s two cemeteries. The rules define who can be buried in the West Richfield or Fairview cemeteries. The document also lists the cost for burial or cremation space, a mausoleum crypt or mausoleum niche and the rules for headstones and monuments.

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