Mound planned to ease Northfield Village's Route 8 flooding problems

Eric Marotta
Kent Weeklies

NORTHFIELD – In addition to installation of a trench drain and catch basins as a short-term fix to flooding problems along Route 8 in front of Summit Plaza, Village Council recently OK’d building a mound in front of Handel’s Ice Cream.

On Aug. 12, Council approved awarding a $6,625 contract to Stewart Landscaping of Sagamore Hills to build a 140-foot long, 12-foot wide, 3-foot high mound between Handel’s parking lot and the sidewalk along Route 8.

Council also OK’d a lease agreement with New Plaza Management, the owner of Summit Plaza, in connection with that stormwater detention berm project.

Councilman Alan Hipps opposed the mound project, saying the village “should not spend a penny” and the owner of Summit Plaza should be responsible for rectifying the situation.

Meanwhile, Village Engineer Rich 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.

“If we land a grant or loan, the soonest we could start on the project probably would be 2022,” he said.

Wasosky explained water floods Route 8 and a building on the west side of the road where Russo’s Pizza and three other businesses are located during heavy rains because there are no detention facilities on the plaza side of the road.

He noted the Russo’s building is adversely affected because it sets lower than the surface of Route 8, and water rapidly flows onto the property because a drainage pipe running under Route 8 is undersized, allowing only half the water that goes in to come out.


Also Aug. 12, Council OK’d amendments to the village’s “unclean premises” and “exterior property areas” ordinances. The amendments would streamline and simplify enforcement and clarify what constitutes a violation.

Law Director Brad Bryan said the revised ordinances would make it easier for police to cite violators for minor infractions.

The ordinances prohibit residents from placing unsightly items or those that create a public nuisance on their or their neighbors’ properties, allowing stagnant water to accumulate, creating unpleasant odors and allowing grass or weeds to exceed 6 inches in height.

Anyone who violates the “unclean premises” ordinance could be subject to a fourth-degree misdemeanor citation, instead of the current minor misdemeanor.

Council confirmed the mayor’s appointment of Jesse Ferko to the recreation committee through Feb. 22, 2022, and confirmed the appointment of Christian Bobak as a part-time firefighter/paramedic.

Several dozen delinquent sewer maintenance bills were referred to the Summit County fiscal office for placement on residents’ tax duplicates, as were several delinquent grass, weeds and property cleanup bills.

The village’s 2020 appropriations were adjusted to reflect the receipt of a $71,086 federal assistance to firefighters grant and a $74,640 capital grant to allow the fire department to buy two LifePak 15 cardiac monitors. The latter grant will require about a $3,500 local match.

Council authorized Finance Director Jennifer Potvin to pay off the $49,110 due on the 2018 purchase of a fire department ambulance which is mostly used at Northfield Park. She explained the payoff will result in a savings of about $3,300.

Council heard a presentation from Jenn Clark of the Akron Zoo, which has 0.8-mill renewal and 0.4-mill additional levies on the Nov. 3 ballot. She noted annual attendance at the zoo rose from 114,139 in 2011 to 402,103 in 2019.

Fire Chief Jason Buss said station renovations are on hold until next year because of COVID-19.

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