Timber-frame pavilion coming to the Green; company hired to repair Glencairn sewer

by Sue Serdinak

Feb. 6 village council meeting.

After years of discussion, a pavilion on the Green is closer to becoming a reality now that Mayor Michael Wheeler and Richfield Village Council have agreed on a design.

Landscape architect Rob Morgan showed photos of the timber frame structure, which will be suitable for band performances in summer and for general use any time.

The structure will mirror the timber framework recently incorporated into the interior of the Richfield Brewery by Hickory Circle Construction Company. Council had the first reading of a resolution to pay the same company up to $100,000 to build the pavilion.

The cantilever structure with a cupola will accommodate up to 12 picnic tables. Councilperson Sue Ann Philippbar said she hoped  tables would not be stored in the pavilion to allow for a more open appearance.

“Something like this has been kicked around for over 30 years.  It will be nice to get it in the ground and operational,” said Council President Ralph Waszak. “There are other moving parts for the rest of the Green with landscaping and pathways.”

Planning Director Brian Frantz added that all of the work on the Green should be completed this year.

Mayor’s report

Wheeler read four communications he received complimenting police officers. Officers Bart Randolph, Jacob Totten and Travis Hoffman helped drivers who experienced mechanical problems with their cars. Randolph changed a couple’s tire when AAA did not show up.

A resident complimented the dispatcher who stayed on the phone until officers arrived when she called to report a suspicious car in her driveway at night.

After the meeting, Wheeler said the Macedonia Police Department credited one of Richfield’s newest officers, Cynthia Kilgore, with helping gather information leading to the detention of fugitives suspected of being part of a multi-state theft ring. Kilgore, who speaks Spanish, obtained information from the Venezuelan nationals who were arrested for shoplifting in Macedonia.

Police Chief Michael Swanson reported that Flock cameras have been very helpful in locating people who have outstanding warrants.


Council members will each receive a new laptop computer for dedicated village business. IT director Tim Baker recommended that the village replace the eight-year-old iPads council members currently use.  Law Director Ben Chojnacki earlier recommended that council members not mingle their village material with personal information in the computers and not store village documents on their home computers. The laptops cost $800 each for the seven councilpersons. Department heads already have the same computers.


The public works committee recommended that the village replace a lengthy, damaged guardrail on Humphrey Road with rails that are made of corroded steel which has a longer life expectancy than wood or galvanized steel and is less costly. The corroded steel has a reddish-brown color.

Councilperson Bobbie Beshara said when she was mayor, it was decided guardrails on Humphrey Road should be wood because of the beauty of the roadway.

Councilperson Pat Norris, who lives on Humphrey Road, said corroded steel rails make the most sense because they are less expensive, more durable and less damaging to the environment.  

The mayor will make the decision on which material to choose for the guardrails.

Brecksville Road bridge

After concern that the bridge on Brecksville Road, south of I-77, would be closed for six months this year for repair, the Summit County Engineer advised the village that work will likely be delayed for at least a year.

The engineer’s office reiterated that when work begins, both lanes of the road will be closed for about six months. The bridge being replaced was built in 1934, and it is not feasible to keep either lane open during construction.

Walk-up legislation

Two pieces of legislation were introduced. “I have a problem with getting legislation at 8:15 at night and am asked to vote on it at 8:20,” said Councilperson Jeff Stoppenhagen.

Waszak said one of the ordinances proposed would accept $375,000 that Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District agreed to reimburse to the village for money spent on stormwater equipment during the reconstruction of streets around the Richfield Brewing Company.  

The clerk, Jeff Gorman, said he received the legislation that afternoon and had not forwarded it to council members before the meeting.

The second legislation was a proposed contract with EnviroScience, Inc. to restore the Glencairn Forest sewer basin at a cost of $350,000.

Waszak explained that several years and lots of money have been spent on finding a solution for the problem caused by erosion of a stream bed where there is a main sewer line for the Glencairn development.

“[The sewer line] could fail,’’ Waszak said. “If it fails, it would leak, and it could affect the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We could be fined.’’

He added that the village will look for ways to recoup the cost.

“I’ve spoken against spending this money,’’ said Councilperson Rick Hudak. “Just because [the money] is in the budget doesn’t mean we should spend it. However, I’m for this [legislation].

“We are going to do everything in our power to recoup this money back to the village. … We have some avenues we can approach to get this money back, either through grants or other venues. As a last-ditch effort, we would charge a fee and put it on the sewer bills of the [Glencairn] residents,’’ Hudak said.

Council unanimously suspended two readings and passed the legislation.

In a related issue, Service Director Scott Waldemarson warned that the main village pump station is getting old and should be replaced. The estimated cost is $2.75 million. He said there have been problems with the system for about four years, and he warned that if it totally fails, effluent will have to be trucked at considerable expense.

Frantz reported that the Ohio Department of Transportation Jobs and Commerce Division has awarded the village a nine-percent grant, not to exceed $100,000, toward the construction of the extension of Highlander Parkway, connecting it to Congress Parkway.

Barking dogs

Resident Bob Zamiska of Hawkins Road told council about a neighbor who keeps about a dozen dogs on his property. According to Zamiska, the dogs bark and howl at all hours. He added that one dog froze to death.

Wheeler said that Zamiska has complained about the dogs for about four years, but the village has no ordinances regulating the number of dogs a resident can have on their property. He asked Chojnacki to research the issue and make a recommendation. ∞