Tax rate 101 mills;

deadline is Feb. 21

Portage County Treasurer Brad Cromes has released the 2016 rates of taxation for taxes collected in 2017.

The rates show Aurora with total millage of 101.26, which include 79.11 mills for the schools, 13.62 for the county, 7.63 for the city and 0.90 for a special district. The effective millage is 61.09 for residential and agricultural land and 63.47 for all other classes.

Many other government subdivisions in Portage have higher rates than Aurora, including, Streetsboro, Kent, Mogadore, Sugar Bush Knolls, Brady Lake Village and the portion of Brimfield Township in the Rootstown school district.

The closing date for paying first half 2016 real estate taxes is Feb. 21. Those who are delinquent face a 10 percent penalty, and delinquent taxes may be subject to a tax lien sale or foreclosure sale.

Payment plans for delinquent taxes are available. Residents should call 330-297-2243 for more information.

The treasurer's office is in the Portage County Administration Building at 449 W. Meridian St., Ravenna. The office phone number is 330-297-3586 or residents can visit www.co.portage.oh.us/treasurer.

Planners to meet

The city's planning commission is scheduled to meet tonight (Jan. 18) at 6:30 in Town Hall.

On the agenda are a final plat of Phase 1 for the Preserve at Beljon Farms, an extension of preliinary plan approval for homes on Route 43 near Mennonite Road, revised final plat of Phase 3 and revised development plan for Homestead and code revisions focusing on electronic display signs.

Cleanup, possible

sale of home eyed

A home on Cobblestone Road may be headed for a cleanup and sheriff's sale after the city's building code board of appeals upheld the planning-zoning-building director's declaration that it is a public nuisance.

The board heard Nancy Hocking's appeal of the decision on Jan. 9. Hocking told the board she has lived in the home for 16 years, and she is the "significant other" of its owner Robert Jacob, who died in 2011.

Officials from the city's building, fire, police and service departments told the board they have visited and/or inspected the home several times and have found such conditions as debris scattered throughout the home, exits inaccessible, unlicensed vehicles parked there, rotting food and a dead dog.

Assistant Fire Chief John Schmader said an interior rescue of occupants in the event of an emergency would be nearly impossible, and the house is a distinct hazard to life. He said occupancy should be denied until corrections are made.

Police officer Jeffery Bugara said he has issued about four tickets to the occupant and police Lt. Andrew Lumpkins said he has had non-registered vehicles towed from the property.

Service Director John Trew said his employees have been called out by the building director to clean up the property, and they removed combustible and non-combustible refuse, food waste and a dead dog.

Hocking told the board she would need reasonable time to make corrections, and could start immediately to clear exits and create pathways through the house.

An attorney for Third Federal Savings & Loan, which holds the property's mortgage, said the bank hired professional cleaners and repairmen to address the conditions, but they were chased off the property.

He said the bank is willing to work with the city to abate the nuisances, and is in the process of foreclosure. Once all the known heirs of the owner are served, he said the bank can move for summary judgment in court and could order a sheriff's sale.

The attorney said if a sheriff's sale is allowed, the bank can file a writ of possession with Portage County Common Pleas Court to have the property vacated.

Seats up for grabs

A handful of City Council and Board of Education seats are up for grabs in Aurora's 2017 general election in November.

The School Board terms held by Gerald Kohanski, Pam Mehallis and Beverly Kuch will expire at the year, meaning they will appear on the fall ballot. Deadline for filing is Aug. 3.

The City Council terms held by Jim Vaca, Ward 1; Reva Barner, Ward 3; and Kathi Grandillo, Ward 5; and Councilwoman-at-Large Amy McDougald also will expire at year's end.

Deadline for filing is Aug. 17.

Make bath items

Area residents can learn how to make bath bombs and body scrubs Jan. 28 at 11:30 a.m. at Aurora Memorial Library.

During their next visit to the library, patrons can browse a collection of books and DVDs on this topic. There are 20 seats available for this program, so register now. Call 330-562-6502 to register or for more information.

Aurora Memorial Library is open Mondays to Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Thursday and Sunday.

For more information about other library programs and services of the Portage County District Library, visit www.portagelibrary.org.