Income tax revenue
remains up $60,000
City Finance Director Bob Paul painted a positive picture for City Council members at the Oct. 28 meeting, with income tax revenue up about $60,000 from what was estimated at the beginning of the year.
“The general fund revenue collections remain above estimates through the first nine months of the year,” he said. “We are hopeful this will continue for the balance of the year.”
However, Paul said the city will need the excess to cover employee medical expenses which are expected to be $250,000 higher than budgeted because several dependents are over the $50,000 threshold (two are over in an average year).
“Instead of using our reserve of $500,000 that we established last year, I will utilize the excess revenues currently in the general fund to cover any shortfall in employee medical costs,” he said. “This should still leave a modest excess for Council to distribute for special projects and capital.”
Three funds were in the red at the end of August, and Paul said they are waiting on money from grants and Bainbridge Township to resolve negative balances, plus future collections from water capital billings.
Water and sewer billings are running consistent with last year. Tie-in fees are contributing significantly from last year, and the quarterly capital fees will produce amounts that will be sufficient to handle the current year’s water capital projects, with a little help from the water fund.
Sewer funds appear to be on a favorite track with regard to operations.

City gears up to sell
tickets for breakfast
The city is moving ahead with plans to host its annual Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 7 and 14 at Doogan’s of Aurora. Seatings will be at 9 and 11 a.m. each day.
Tickets will go on sale Nov. 11 at the Walker Building on West Pioneer Trail. Tickets will be sold in person only, and there will be no phone or fax orders taken.
Cost for the event is $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Everyone must purchase a ticket. A hot breakfast buffet, entertainment, visits with Santa and a take home gift will be offered.
The city parks-recreation staff thanks Doogan’s, the Rotary Club of Aurora and Aurora High School’s Key Club for making the event possible. For more information, call 330-562-4333.

Chief eyes replacing
police dept. software
Police Chief Seth Riewaldt is seeking to acquire new computer-aided dispatch and records management software to replace a system which has been in use for the past three years. He outlined his position at City Council’s committee of the whole meeting Oct. 28.
In 2010, the city replaced a system it had used since 1999 after the newer software was recommended by the Kent State University Police Department.
Riewaldt said KSUPD established a shared-service model, housing the software and servers, but taking on other departments as partners — then Kent city and Brimfield Township — with all sharing the cost of licensing and support.
“Partnering with KSUPD seemed to accomplish our goals of replacing inadequate software with a top-tier product at a much-reduced cost and moving toward interoperability between police and fire departments and dispatch centers in Portage County, the chief said.
However, the new system “has failed to live up to our needs and expectations ... and its use continues to be a frustration to our officers, dispatchers and records staff,” he continued.
Riewaldt said he has been looking at options for several months and has found a vendor that offers quality CAD/RMS software at a reasonable cost. It is used by local departments such as Streetsboro, Ravenna, Hudson and Brecksville.

Council is looking at
new car, copy device
Replacement of a 2004 Ford Taurus used by Police Chief Seth Riewaldt was discussed Oct. 28 at City Council’s committee of the whole meeting.
Riewaldt explained the car has logged 78,000 miles, its back fender is starting to rust and it has experienced mechanical problems. He proposes that it be replaced by a 2014 Ford Fusion, which would be obtained from Kepich Ford in Garrettsville for $19,113.
Riewaldt said the city has a balance in the budget of $21,819 for vehicle purchases, and that would also include installation of a radio, lights and siren.
Also discussed by Council was leasing of a new copying machine from Lake Business Products for the planning-zoning-building department at a cost of $180 per month for 60 months, and hiring a part-time zoning inspector for $27.80 per hour.
Service Director John Trew told Council reps that the city will renew contracts for a third year with Lake Erie Construction for purchase and delivery of guardrail and Perrin Asphalt for concrete road repairs.

Vets Day services set
American Legion Clare K. Eggleston Post 803 will conduct an Armistice Day service Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial on East Garfield Road to remember the signing of the Armistice Treaty on Nov. 11, 1918 that ended World War I.
There will be a prayer, brief speech and patriotic recitation. At 6:30 p.m., Post 803 will conduct a Veterans Day service at the Veterans Memorial to honor all veterans. Several local veterans from different war times and branches will speak.
Everyone is invited to attend either or both services.

City’s landmark panel
favors sign alterations
At its Oct. 17 meeting, the city’s landmark commission approved a certificate of appropriateness for a ground monument sign at Demming Financial Services on New Hudson Road.
The issue was tabled at the September meeting until some suggested changes were made to the sign proposal. The panel’s architectural adviser Ron Lowe and the panel were satisfied with the changes, which include the phone number font on the sign being reduced by one inch.
Chairman Jeff Clark reported the panel will create design guidelines for signs that will be compatible with the city’s new sign code. He said Law Director Alan Shorr will provide guidance in creating the guidelines.
Clark also said work is continuing on a preservation handbook, and a new draft will be available soon.
Mutual aid agreement explored for the region  
At City Council’s committee of the whole session Oct. 28, Service Director John Trew proposed entering into a reciprocal emergency management assistance or aid agreement with several surrounding communities.
According to Trew, a number of nearby communities such as Kent, Streetsboro, Twinsburg, Macedonia, Hudson, Stow, Tallmadge and Mantua have conducted meetings discussing collaboration on emergency services.
“For many years we’ve had mutual aid agreements between police and fire departments, but not in other arenas of municipal government,” said Trew, who added the recent meeting have been between mayors, city managers and service directors.
“We are requesting that in natural disasters or emergency events that we extend and/or receive help from the surrounding political subdivision for mutual aid and assistance within our service departments.”

Library’s hours listed
Hours at Aurora LIbrary are as follows: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.