Additional ARPA fund usage authorized for generator relocation

by Dan Holland

April 6 township trustees meeting

Richfield Township trustees approved an additional expenditure of $14,550, using American Rescue Plan Act funds received in 2021-2022, to complete the installation of a backup generator for the township administrative and service department building located at 3038 Boston Mills Rd.

Trustees at their Nov. 3 meeting approved an expenditure not to exceed $43,648 from the $262,296 received in federal ARPA funds to pay for the purchase and installation of the generator by Broadview Heating & Air Conditioning. NOPEC grant funds of $5,897 were also applied toward the cost of the project.

The original quote would have located the generator in the front of the building, “which is not aesthetically pleasing,” reported Township Administrator Mindy Lott told trustees. “In order to relocate that behind the building, it would include moving electrical conduits and gas lines.”

An additional option to relocate the generator along the side of the building, that would cost $5,945 plus carpentry work costs, would have required permanently sealing one of the service department garage doors. Trustees agreed that was not a good option.

“The generator is very large, and so it should have been for the back,” said Trustee Chairperson Janet Jankura. “Unfortunately, those extra electrical and gas lines are very expensive to run. We tried to negotiate with [Broadview Heating] to see if they would come down or meet us halfway on the cost, but they weren’t able to do that.”

Trustee Vice-Chair Don Laubacher recommended applying additional ARPA funds to cover the extra cost of relocating the generator to the back of the building. “It’s my feeling that since we purchased it with the ARPA funds, I think it would make sense to take the additional amount from the ARPA funds since we still have around $75,000 to use,” said Laubacher prior to trustees voting to approve the measure.

Laubacher, who is trustee liaison to the Richfield Joint Recreation District, announced that the trustees had decided during an executive session prior to the regular meeting to appoint Steve McPeake to the RJRD board to fill a seat vacated by former board member Jeff DeLuca for an unexpired term ending December 31, 2024.

“We had four outstanding candidates with each one of them bringing something unique to the position, and so we had a very difficult decision to make,” said Laubacher. “[McPeake] has extensive board experience in leadership of a very large nonprofit organization as executive director, and his service to the Richfield Recreation Department made him stand out.”

Laubacher also noted the upkeep of Rising Valley Park, which was gifted to the Cleveland Metroparks by township trustees in November 2021. The transfer arrangement included $30,000 of in-kind services from the Metroparks for improvements and maintenance of Richfield Heritage Preserve.

“I just want to compliment the Metroparks, as the park looks fantastic,” said Laubacher. “Not only that, but the north baseball field – which they decided to keep – not only are they keeping it, but they’re putting in brand new dugouts. We have a number of residents who use that field, and it has a sense of permanence to it now.”

New Business
Trustees approved a resolution authorizing participation in the 2023 ODOT Winter Salt Contracts. Lott told trustees that the township would need to bid for only around 250 tons of road salt for the upcoming season due a carryover of 483 tons from last season. The township purchased approximately 480 tons last year.

Trustees also approved a motion to accept the Wichert Insurance 2023 annual premium renewal rate of $26,676 to cover auto, inland marine, crime, property, general liability and public officials with $13,071 from the general fund and $13,658 from the roads fund. The premium includes cyber liability coverage of $100,000; up from a coverage of $50,000 last year.

In other business, trustees:

  • Awarded a $250 NOPEC Community Sponsorship Grant to the Bath-Richfield Kiwanis Club for Richfield Community Day.
  • Approved a payment of $875 to Sedgwick consulting firm to represent the township as a third-party administrator for the state worker’s compensation program through the Ohio Township Association.
  • Approved payment for an on-call bonus of $600 to Rick Kovak for maintaining the on-call snow plowing service from Dec. 1, 2022, through April 1, 2023. Also approved a pro-rated $900 on-call bonus for Service Department Foreman Jerry Schall.
  • Approved a new township logo design by Revize to be used on the updated township website, signs and township vehicles.

Jankura encouraged residents to support the upcoming 1.1-mill waste hauling renewal levy on the May 2 ballot. Laubacher reminded residents of the Inaugural Goat Derby to be held at Richfield Heritage Preserve on May 6 from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. ∞