Liberty's tax deal
At City Council's May 22 committee of the whole meeting, a 75 percent, 15-year abatement for Liberty Ford was proposed and discussed for the firm's planned $8.5 million campus at Route 43 and Squires Road. The company plans to move from its present location in Solon.
Company officials explained the dealership will generate about $120 million in payroll and more than $1.2 billion in retail sales over a 20-year period beginning in 2018, with a minimum of $18 million in sales tax revenue for Portage Countyand a minimum of $2.4 million in income tax revenue for Aurora.
Officials anticipate that the firm will generate at least 50 percent more business than it is currently doing in Solon. It would move 57 full-time and 10 part-time employees to Aurora initially, and anticipates that the full-time number will increase to 86 within three years of the start of operations.
The campus would house three structures designed to facilitate new and used vehicle sales and service, and would include a Ford franchise and potentially a future Lincoln franchise.
The city of Aurora will honor and remember veterans at its annual Memorial Day celebration May 29. The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in front of Barrington Town Square with a service by the American Legion.
A parade then will be led by Aurora VFW Post 2619's color guard to Aurora Cemetery. Cub, Boy and Girl Scouts will participate in the parade along with the AHS marching band.
All veterans are welcome to participate. The VFW will conduct its annual ritual at the cemetery, with Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin and veterans reading names of deceased veterans buried in the cemetery.
The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information or to join the parade, call the parks and recreation department at 330-995-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City funds healthy
At City Council's May 22 meeting, Finance Director Timothy Clymer reported that although income tax collections are $217,370 below the same period last year, city fund balances remain in a healthy7 position with $28.4 million unencumbered in all funds and $9 million unencumbered in the general fund.
Parade head eyed
Aurorans have until May 31 to nominate someone to be this year's July 4 parade grand marshal.
Anyone acquainted with an Aurora resident who deserves special recognition because of his or her outstanding service, support and commitment to the community, county, state and/or country should take the time to nominate him or her.
Nomination forms are available at the parks-rec department at the Walker Building and on the city's website at www.auroraoh.com. Nominations will be reviewed, and Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin, Parks-Rec Director Jim Kraus and Community Events Coordinator Tina Gerber will choose the honoree.
Athletic fields bid
mulled by Council
At its May 22 committee of the whole session, City Council discussed awarding a contract to King Excavating ($289,123) for Phase 1 of the Hartman athletic field project. The work would include a front gravel parking lot and grading and seeding for three athletic field. According to Parks-Rec Director Jim Kraus, the bid is under budget compared to the engineer's estimate.
In other matters, Council discussed a 2017 contract for road striping with Dura-Mark at a cost of $68,948, one with Hall Public Safety ($10,285) for setting up equipment in two new police cruisers and an agreement to continue dispatching services with Community EMS and the village of Garrettsville Fire Department. The latter agreement would commence July 31.
Council also talked about buying a 2017 Ford F-150 for the police department from Liberty Ford at a cost of $29,999 after trade-ins of a 1997 Jeep Wrangler and a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria. The new vehicle would be equipped with a snow plow package.
Finally, the panel was informed that the city plans to deposit $2,708 into the police contraband sales fund, which results from funds seized and forfeited by the courts from numerous criminal cases.
Pavilion and sign variances granted
At its April meeting, the city's board of zoning appeals granted three variances.
One variance was to allow a 6-inch separation between a house and accessory structure at Dave Webster's property at 305 S. Pine Court. Webster plans to build a 360-square-foot pavilion on an existing concrete patio behind the house.
The city's zoning code requires a 15-foot minimum separation between a residence and an accessory structure.
The Jarvis Insurance Agency at 49 E. Garfield Road was granted front yard setback and sign square footage variances.
The business was given a 5-foot variance from the code section which requires a sign to be a minimum of 10 feet from a public right-of-way and an 11-foot variance from the requirement that signs must not be more than 10 square feet.
Some of the members thought the sign would be too large and that it was not aesthetically appropriate for the T-1 transitional zoning district.
It was noted the architectural board of review would decide on the aesthetics, and City Council ultimately makes the final decision on sign variances.