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Richfield trustees seeking bids again for new building

1/23/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

The Richfield Township Board of Trustees will seek bids for a second time for a new administration building.

The trustees held a special meeting Jan. 15 to discuss the project with the architects from The GPD Group.

Both the trustees and architects were surprised last fall when the bids came back much higher than the proposed budget.

As a result, the trustees agreed at the regular meeting Jan. 16 to seek bids again for the building, which is planned for the current service department site on Boston Mills Road.

The trustees stated they are hoping to attract residential and commercial builders and aiming to keep the cost less than $250,000.

In other news, the trustees held a work session with Richfield Village officials Jan. 14 to discuss the potential annexation of 125 acres in the Briarwood area from Richfield Township to Richfield Village.

Trustee Janet Jankura said financial and legal representatives of the township and village would continue to study the issue.

Trustee Jeff Shupe said several questions remain to be answered.

“If the land goes to the village, how does the money get divided? Does it get divided? It’s going to be a step-by-step process for a while,” he said.

Fiscal Officer Laurie Pinney noted the developer of the land has not formally applied for the annexation yet.

In other business:

  • The trustees approved a $3.3 million budget for 2014 after receiving a quarterly financial report from Pinney.
    She pointed out that 2014 is the final year of the township’s contracts with Richfield Village for police and fire services.
    “Those negotiations can take time, so we should get that going as soon as we can,” she said. “Also, the numbers for the Briarwood annexation would be based in part on the police and fire contracts.”
    Pinney said the township is in the middle year of a three-year contract with Rumpke Waste & Recycling with an option to extend the contract for two years.
    This year, the township will pay $547,490 for police services, $398,236 for fire protection and $132,435 for waste hauling.
    Pinney also said the State Auditor’s Office would conduct its biennial audit of the township’s finances, covering 2012 and 2013.
  • Trustees agreed to add a $25 fee for baseball and softball teams using Rising Valley Park. This was done to stay in line with Richfield Village park fees, according to Administrative Assistant Debbie Bluso Rogers.
  • Trustee Bob Luther said the township roads are in good shape. He said he hoped the township’s salt dome would not be overloaded in case the township moves forward quickly with plans for the new administration building.
  • The trustees also agreed to purchase 14 tablet computers to be used for official business by members of the Zoning Board and Board of Zoning Appeals. The estimated cost is $5,040.
    The township already has a tablet for the office and one for each of the trustees.
  • Rogers reported that she and Trustee Jeff Shupe met with leaders from Boston Heights, Boston Township, Peninsula and Richfield Village earlier in the day.
    “It was interesting to hear the challenges they face,” she said. “It made me feel like our problems aren’t so bad.”
    She also said the residents can access police and fire department statistics on the township website or by visiting the township offices.

The next Richfield trustees’ meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. at the township offices, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.

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