Underground wiring coming to historical district

by Sue Serdinak

April 18 village council meeting

Council suspended readings and passed legislation to enter into a contract with Tri Mor Road Builders to install conduit and underground infrastructure for underground burial of electric lines wiring around the Grant Street, Broadview Road area, surrounding the future site of the Richfield Brewing Company.

According to Planning Director Brian Frantz, “We’ve been working diligently with First Energy on this.”

He explained that First Energy provided the specification and the village was required to hire the contractor. When that installation is done, First Energy will come back and will “pull the wires and transformers,” Frantz said.

He said it was critical to pass this legislation immediately so the conduit work is ready for when First Energy comes back to finish the work.

He said the underground wiring will include the area surrounding the brewery and will go to the library and Masonic Lodge, so there will be no overhead wires in that area, when the project is done.

He added that, in spite of all of the rumors that had circulated, the brewery would begin construction within the next few weeks.

He added that long term they would like to have underground wiring to extend to the Route 303 intersection, but the cost would be about $1 million per mile.

Historic buildings
Service Director Scott Waldemarson said they have sought expert advice regarding the outside renovation of the Richfield historical Society and the Fellowship Hall. He recommended that a manufactured product could be installed on the Fellowship Hall, which would reduce the repetitive work of sanding and painting every few years. New windows would be installed.

However, Waldemarson said the historic detail of the Historical Society building, originally the Town Hall of West Richfield, would be lost if a manufactured product were used. He recommended sanding and painting the building and council agreed.

Mayor’s report
Council also approved Mayor Michael Wheeler’s request for $17,000 to go to the Bath Richfield Kiwanis to help pay for the August Community Day. They also approved that alcohol could be served on August 11, 12 and 13 at Richfield Woods. 

Wheeler spoke about the success of the Rise Against Hunger campaign, and said that 120,528 meals were packaged on Saturday, April 15. He asked council members and department heads to share their experience of the day.

In an ongoing discussion about building pickelball courts in Richfield, Wheeler said the best locations for the courts is in the area of the Town Hall and he will get a map drawn of the proposed sites in the coming weeks.

Councilperson Bobbie Beshara said she would like a professional study done to determine the best location.

Wheeler responded that he did not want to add to the cost by paying for an outside study.

Councilmember and Planning Commission Chair Chuck Boester said the commission would like to see some drawing on paper as to the proposed location for the courts.

Police chief Michael Swanson reported that the village has received about $37,000 in grants and opioid settlement funds to help pay for the K-9 dog.

Wheeler reported that all of the plots in the community garden are reserved but about eight plots in the former employee garden behind Town Hall are available. ∞