Village to borrow $2.7 million for pump station

by Sue Serdinak

April 2 village council meeting

Richfield Village Council took the first step to borrow $2.7 million to replace the village’s main wastewater pump station on Brecksville Road. The loan would come from the Ohio EPA with an interest rate of 1.92% for 20 years or 2.2% for 30 years.

After the meeting, Mayor Michael Wheeler said the village has money invested earning a relatively high interest rate so it is wiser to apply for a low interest loan rather than draw from the invested accounts.

Council suspended readings and adopted a resolution to purchase some equipment needed for the new pump station, at a cost of $247,000. Service Director Scott Waldemarson said it could take about a year to get the equipment.

The administration took no action to charge property owners 20 cents per linear foot of sewer line on their property to go toward paying for sewer line maintenance. The 1996 village council passed legislation to assess such a charge, but the administration that year and in following years never implemented it.


Council adopted a six-month moratorium on accepting applications or issuing zoning certificates for auto and truck service stations, truck terminals and convenience stores associated with service stations. Councilperson Marty Kryszynski sponsored the legislation because of frequent complaints about these facilities.

Law Director Ben Chojnacki said that for a long time gas stations and similar facilities have taken up a lot of time of village safety forces.

He added that it is important for the moratorium to take immediate effect to ensure that no applications are submitted while council studies the issues. Council President Ralph Waszak said a moratorium would set the wheels in motion for the planning and zoning commission to study the issue.

Pickleball instead of restoration

Bids on the pickleball/tennis court project came in higher than predicted by village engineers.  Wheeler asked council’s approval to allocate an additional $100,000 to the court project and move the renovation of Fellowship Hall to 2025. Initially, the courts will not be lighted because of the additional $350,000 cost.

Councilperson Bobbie Beshara said she felt installing lights was very important.

“Perhaps we should have one less tennis court to pay for the lights,” she said.

Wheeler responded that underground wiring would be installed along with the courts so lights can be added later.

Waszak said the master plan addressed the need for children’s activities.

“We will have pickleball this year. We will be able to play by July 1,” said Wheeler.

Hotel proceeding

Planning Director Brian Frantz reported that the engineer’s estimate for building a road to service a Hilton Hotel – to be built on the south side of Wheatley Road – is about $500,000 more than had been budgeted. Frantz said the hotel is on schedule to be built this year.

“Our plan is to design the road [near the hotel] and have it ready by November,” Frantz said.


Council continued to debate the material to be used to construct Richfield guardrails. Members agreed that galvanized steel is not attractive. Kryszynski said many guardrails are made of Cor-10 material, which is rust colored. He had said that Cor-10 lasts longer, looks better and is less expensive than galvanized steel. Wooden rails would cost about three times as much.

Beshara continued to campaign for wooden guardrails along residential roads but said Cor-10 could be used on non-residential roads. Councilperson Rick Hudak showed photos of Cor-10 guardrails in the national park. Wheeler said he isn’t excited about the rusted look, but would go along if council chose Cor-10.

Water line extension

Chojnacki reported that Bath Township has requested that the Cleveland water line in Richfield be extended south into Bath along Cleveland-Massillon Road. A restaurant has requested the water.  Current agreements limit the water line to Richfield Village and along the south side of Everett Road to Revere Schools in Bath.

Marijuana sales

The village earlier instituted a moratorium on the sale of marijuana that expires in May. Chojnacki warned that if council takes no action before the moratorium expires, “It will be permitted.”

Chojnacki advised that the regulation would apply only to the sale of marijuana in the village and would not regulate use of the substance.

Wheeler said he has had three requests to sell marijuana in Richfield. Councilperson Sue Ann Philippbar suggested council solicit opinions from the public.

Council agreed that Waszak should form a special council committee to study this. “Let’s keep the ball moving,” said Chojnacki.

Village fees

Parks and Recreation Director John Piepsny said the park board recommended the village charge a rental fee for the sports fields. The suggested charges should be $100 per season for Revere teams and $50 per team per game for non-Revere teams. An additional $30 would be charged for lighted fields.

Wheeler recommended the fees saying, “They studied this for a year.”

Waszak suggested that council review all fees the village charges.

Carbon emissions

A representative from Power A Clean Future Ohio talked to village officials about the nonpartisan coalition that helps communities reduce carbon emissions. There is no cost to join the coalition. Council took no action on the issue.

Public comment

Resident Carol Campbell chastised council for approving contracts for the pavilion on the Green before giving it more thought and implied that the bidding may have been flawed. “It bothered me that there was a difference of $60,000 in the bids. … The community doesn’t care if the pavilion isn’t done by the first concert,” she said.

Frantz assured her that each of the three bidders was provided the same specifications for the job. ∞