Council approves 12-hour patrol shifts

by Sue Serdinak

March 19 village council meeting

The meeting started with a moment of silence in recognition of the March 11 death of police officer Jeffrey Michel, who had been ill for an extended time.

12-hour shifts

Council entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Fraternal Order of Police and Ohio Labor Council, Lodge 66, to institute 12-hour shifts for patrol officers.

Police Chief Michael Swanson said that currently officers work seven consecutive days then have four days off. They are often asked to work overtime. When asked about the fatigue factor during longer shifts, he said officers currently have to work overtime.

 Councilperson Sue Ann Philippbar asked if officers might be required to work longer than 12 hours if someone calls off.  Swanson said another officer would be available rather quickly to fill the shift. 

Mayor Michael Wheeler added, “This will give officers more weekends off and will all around be better for them.”

Council President Ralph Waszak thanked Finance Director Sandy Turk for running a financial analysis showing the change will reduce costs by reducing overtime pay.

Fire medic

Wheeler swore in a new part-time fire medic, Scott Grenig, who is employed full-time with the Brunswick Fire Department.

Photo: Scott Grenig was sworn in a part-time fire medic. Photo by J. Stoppenhagen.

Sign regulations

Council adopted legislation discussed at the previous meeting to restrict the size of all temporary signs in the village to 12 square feet. 

The Planning Commission had recommended allowing signs up to 32 square feet, but councilmembers and Wheeler said larger signs are unattractive, which became obvious during the run up to the November election.

The legislation also restricted the display of temporary signs to 60 days and required them to be registered with the Planning and Zoning Department.

Eastwood Barn a no-go

Service Director Scott Waldemarson reported three bids were received to build a new barn at Eastwood Preserve to replace the barn razed almost two years ago. He said the bids of $191,000, $253,000 and $382,000 were much higher than expected.

“This isn’t going anywhere,” said Waszak. ”That is an unbelievable amount of money for a small barn.”

The only bid received to re-side and replace windows on Fellowship Hall was for $364,000. That project will proceed with Meridian Construction as the lowest bidder.

Bids to construct pickleball courts behind Village Hall have been advertised.  The project is set for this summer.

Grant Street closing

Council set the April 16 village council meeting as the time to discuss if Grant Street should be closed to vehicular traffic.

The road has been closed during construction of the Richfield Brewery and some think it should never re-open.

Sewer fee

Waszak said the administration has not implemented a 20-cent charge per linear foot to properties along the sewer line because the mayor had been out of town attending a mayor’s conference. ∞