Volunteers sought to

rake leaves on Nov. 5

The Rotary Club of Aurora and city of Aurora are teaming up, hopefully with many volunteers, to make life easier for those with physical challenges this fall.

According to Councilwoman Amy McDougald, volunteers are being sought to rake the lawns of senior citizens and those with disabilities Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon.

"Volunteers will meet at the Walker Building on Nov. 5. Rotary provides doughnuts and we tell them where they need to go," she said.

When the raking is completed, volunteers are invited back to the Walker Building for pizza. Last year, McDougald said 51 lawns were raked by about 100 volunteers.

Those interested in volunteering should call her at 330-562-4409.

Any seniors and disabled homeowners who can't rake their own lawns can call McDougald or Patty Harrington, who organizes senior programs for the city, at 330-995-9148.

Retail center proposal

gets a preliminary OK

At its Sept. 21 meeting, the city's planning commission approved a preliminary site plan and two wetlands variances for a proposed 30,400-square-foot shopping center on the east side of Route 306, north of Route 82.

ELM Investment Trust Ltd. plans to erect five buildings on the 8.9-acre parcel. Developer Sam Cannata said he has no signed tenants and hopes to start construction in summer or early fall 2017.

Two setback variances of 50 feet were granted. Sidewalks would be installed along Route 306 and a traffic study would determine if a traffic light is necessary at the Route 306 entrance/exit to the complex.

The plan calls for 146 parking spaces, of which 38 land-banked for future use. Revisions to the original plan reduced the need for paving and the size of retention basins and eliminated a rear access road.

It was noted all of the disturbed wetlands would be revegetated with non-invasive plants. There would be no loading docks at any of the buildings.

In other action, a preliminary plan for the proposed Preserve at Beljon Farms was approved. It would be a 78-single-family-home development on 70 acres on East Pioneer Trail, west of Page Road.

Also approved was a revision to a previously approved lot split for Tire Max on West Maple Lane behind McDonald's.

Supervisor sought for

Aurora's service dept.

At its Oct. 12 committee of the whole meeting, City Council discussed establishing a new supervisor position within the service department.

Director of Personnel Karen Aldredge said the position would address time management, safety, personnel, moral and other issues in the service department.

An approximate salary would be $60,000 a year, and the person would be responsible for daily supervision of 18 to 20 employees.

In other matters, Council revised a previously approved contract with Vision Service Plan to restore the Signature plan. It would run from Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017.

The cost will be $18.94 for a single employee and $42.87 for a family. Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said after one month of using the new plan, it was clear that it was inferior to the previously approved plan, thus causing a potential issue within the collective bargaining contracts.

Council reps also discussed purchasing 33 ballistic helmets with face shields for police personnel and a $16,500 contract with Artistic Design Homes for a Town Hall bathroom renovation project.

Money for the ballistic helmets would come from the police station roof replacement fund, which came in under budget and left a surplus of $28,365 in the account.

DeWine is CC speaker

Aurora, Solon and Twins-burg Chambers of Commerce will welcome Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine as their speaker Oct. 19 at 11:30 a.m. at Signature of Solon.

"DeWine has been a key public servant and policymaker in Ohio for many years, and we are very fortunate to have him speak at our 3Chamber event," said Aurora Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.

The luncheon is open to Chamber members, non-members and the general public. Pre-registration is required through the Aurora Chamber of Commerce by Oct. 14 at www.allaboutaurora.com or 330-562-3355.

The cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members and includes lunch, networking opportunities and DeWine's presentation.

Aurora Cooks! meets

Aurora Memorial Library's next Aurora Cooks! meeting will be Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the downstairs gallery. Theme is "Foodie Movies." Call 330-562-6502 to register or for more information.

Social media is topic

Aurora High 1988 graduate Miriam Conner will give a presentation titled "There's No App for That" on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Walker Building on West Pioneer Trail.

It is part of the city's community education program and will cover how to keep kids safe when using social media.

Participants will learn about the most up-to-date research and guidance on social media basics, plus the latest apps and websites, and will get tips about talking to children about sharing, posting and avoiding digital drama.

Conner has a master of arts degree in education and more than 20 years of experience. "There are plenty of good things about social media," she said. "but also many potential dangers and things for kids and teens to avoid."

Halloween programs

planned at the library

Aurora Memorial Library will offer two special children's programs to celebrate Halloween.

The annual family Halloween party will be Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. Plans for this event, which is geared toward 3- to 8-year olds, include games, stories, a craft and refreshments. Children are encouraged to wear costumes. Festivities will be in the downstairs gallery.

Trick-or-treating in the library will take place Oct. 25 at 1:30 p.m. Children can arrive early to decorate a treat bag, and will follow a maze through the book aisles to collect treats from senior citizen volunteers from Independence Village.

The activities will be followed by a Halloween story and a parade out to the gazebo for a group photo, weather permitting. Children are encouraged to dress in costume, and parents and caregivers are asked to bring a bag of treats to share.

Registration for Halloween programs is recommended, and chlidren can be signed up in person or by calling 330-562-6502.

Details on these and other library programs is available at www.portagelibrary.org.

Check your valuation

Portage County Auditor Janet Esposito announces that the assessment of Portage County for the tax year 2016 has been revised.

Valuations completed this year are open for public inspection at the auditor's office in the Portage County Administration Building, 449 S. Meredian St., Ravenna, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Property values also can be viewed at www.portagecountyauditor.org.

Complaints against any valuation or assessment of real property, except those made by the Ohio Department of Taxation, will be heard by the Portage County Board of Revision.

Complaints must be filed between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2017 using Form DTE1 provided on the county website, or by calling 330-297-3568 or 330-297-4596.

GOP distributes signs

The Portage County Republican Party is having a political yard sign handout Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 59 E. Garfield Road across from Craddock School.

Flu shots are available
Local residents are reminded that flu season is nearing, and the Aurora Fire Department will host a Portage County Health District flu shot clinic Oct. 20 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the main station on West Pioneer Trail.
The health department will provide the quadrivalent flu vaccine. It will fight two influenza A viruses (H1N1/H3N2) and two influenza B viruses. Another clinic is Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Streetsboro Senior Center.