Northfield Village continues to address Route 8 flooding

Ken Lahmers
Correspondent
Kent Weeklies

NORTHFIELD – In a continuing attempt to solve a stormwater problem along Route 8 in front of Summit Plaza, Village Council has authorized spending up to $13,000 to install a 12-inch trench drain and possibly one or two catch basins.

The action was taken Sept. 9 after recommendations from Service/Building Superintendent Jason Walters and Village Engineer Richard Wasosky. The problem has been discussed by village officials for several years.

In August, Council awarded a contract to Stewart Landscaping to build a 140-foot long, 12-foot wide, 3-foot high mound between Handel’s parking lot and the sidewalk along Route 8 as a short-term fix to the flooding problem.

“I think this course of action [trench drain) is worth the money,” said Walters. “Sometimes during heavy rains, our street crews and police have to block off one lane of Route 8. And businesses in the Russo building on the west side of the street suffer negative effects.”

Wasosky said he continues to work on a long-term solution, which he said could cost in the range of $500,000. He said the village will submit an application for the next round of state Issue I funds by the November deadline.

“A few years ago we landed a grant to address the flooding problem, but because we didn’t have money for the 50 percent match, we returned the grant to the state,” he explained.

“I think we’ll have a high score [to get the grant]. I’m on the scoring committee, and we’ve gotten more than our fair share of grants over the years. But applying is not a guarantee that we’ll get it. If we do get it, we could do the work next summer.”

Walters said much of the flooding problem is caused by “a ton of water coming from the plaza parking area.” Wasosky added a pipe running under Route 8 is undersized, compounding the problem.

“It is disheartening to see the businesses in the Russo’s Pizza building having to squigee water after every heavy rain,” Councilman Nick Magistrelli said. Wasosky added there have been five “unusually heavy” storms in the village this summer.

In other business, Council OK’d a quote of $109,000 to upgrade the safety forces’ radio system from 400 to 800 MHz, but Police Chief John Zolgus said further negotiations could lower the final cost by a couple thousand dollars. The village has budgeted $90,000 for the purchase.

Council agreed to notify Medical Mutual that the village intends to renew its current health, vision, dental and prescription drugs insurance coverage. An 8 percent increase in premiums is expected. Law Director Brad Bryan said the village will look at other options in the future, including possibly an HSA plan.

An agreement accepting the donation of 0.66-acre at 10414 Electric Blvd. was approved. The lot is owned by the estate of Jean M. Kino. The land must remain in a natural state, with only problem trees in the right-of-way allowed to be removed.

Council designated Bryan as the village official to attend a public records training seminar this year.

A resolution was adopted to accept the amounts and rates as determined by the Summit County Budget Commission and authorize necessary tax levies for 2021. There are two fire/EMS levies, plus general fund and police pension millage, on the books, which bring in $486,815.

Walters urged Council to devise a plan in the next few months “to get the police department into another building,” saying the force has put up with substandard conditions for too long.

Mayor Jesse Nehez said a new Dollar General store at 10548 Northfield Road is open.

Contact the newspaper at 330-541-9433, or newsleader@recordpub.com.