AURORA -- People driving down Page Road or visiting the city's community gardens may have noticed recently that the main barn at the former Margaret Harmon homestead is gone.

At last week's quarterly recreation advisory committee meeting, Parks-Recreation Director Jim Kraus reported that Ridgewood Contracting removed the wood from the structure and plans to use it for a future project.

Kraus noted the removal did not cost the city anything since Ridgewood performed the service so it could salvage the wood. The foundation stones remain at the site, but Kraus said they will be removed by Ridgewood in the next month.

After Ridgewood finishes up, the city will grade the area where the old barn stood.

Kraus said talks are still under way between the city and Aurora Historical Society to see whether the society might want to use the smaller carriage barn on the property, which he said is is pretty good condition.

Meanwhile, Kraus reported that bids were opened last week for Phase I of the Hartman Farm recreation complex project, and King Excavating submitted the favored bid of $289,123. Council must approve it before work can begin.

The city has graded some land on the south side of the property and plans to eventually create three or four multi-use fields, a cross country trail, parking lot, tree arboretum and other amenities.

Officials estimate the total project will cost about $1.4 million, with work done in phases. The city has received $98,500 in grant money for the tree arboretum.

About 250 trees are being planted there, and Kraus said the project must be finished by the end of the year to secure the grant funding. Signs identifying the various types of trees will be placed.

In other matters:

Kraus reported improvements are under way at ballfields 3 and 4, plus the path between fields 12 and 13 at Sunny Lake will be paved. He said the Aurora Baseball League is paying for new roofs at the Field 14 dugouts.

D.S. Architects of Kent is doing a study on the possibility of upgrading the Spring Hill Farm barn for public use. "It's structurally sound, and we're looking at possibility using it for group meetings or gatherings of some kind," Kraus said. No decision has been made on what to do with the house at Spring Hill, but officials are investigating cost of repairs that may be necessary.

Test borings for a connecting trail from the former Aurora Golf Club property to Sunny Lake have been delayed because of the rainy spring, according to Kraus. They are part of a FEMA flood plain analysis.

The concrete floor at Sunny Lake's boathouse pavilion is being replaced, and a concrete walkway around to the restrooms in back is being added. Sunny Lake Event Services will be the independent contractor for concessions stands at Sunny Lake.

The city is looking into erecting a sign in the Town Center area directing people to the senior center at the Walker Building. Kraus said he is checking with Service Director John Trew to see whether such a sign is permissible on a state route.

Kraus said the new disc golf course at Sunny Lake has seen a few players since it opened.

Two Boy Scouts are working on Eagle Scout projects on city land -- boat storage racks at Sunny Lake and some benches along a trail around the lake at the Spring Hill Farm. The racks are for storage of city-owned paddle boats and rental space for residents who want to keep their boats there.

Kraus reported the city hosted the annual Ohio Tree City USA awards recently with 215 to 220 people attending at the Bertram Inn. He said the city shared information about the local Audubon sanctuaries, the Moebius Nature Center and the tree arboretum plans, and showed videos. Avon Lake will host the event next year.

Set the next recreation advisory committee meeting for Aug. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall.


Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189