City finances remain

in excellent condition

At City Council's July 27 meeting, Finance Director Bob Paul reported with half of the year complete, the city's general fund is at 54 percent of budgeted revenues collected and 47 percent of expenditures made.

He said income tax collections are running $430,000 higher than last year for the first six months of 2015, and the trend continued in July.

"Group cash balances continue in excellent shape at the end of May and departmental expenditures are below budget through June," Paul said.

He noted water receipts are running about the same as last year, but expenditures are substantially lower than budget through June. Sewer collections and expenditures are below budget, and connection fees for water and sewer are higher than budgeted.

"Overall, the cash position in both enterprise funds remains excellent," Paul said. "Recent rains have raised concerns over stormwater, which is one fund without a source of revenue to address these and future concerns.

"The infrastructure replacement and capital needs will be addressed shortly with the committee of the whole."

Sidewalk pact mulled

At City Council's committee of the whole session July 27, Service Director John Trew recommended that Terreri & Sons Inc. be awarded a contract for 2015 sidewalk improvements at a cost not to exceed $80,018. He noted five firms submitted bids, and the engineer's estimate for the project was $84,549.

Bicyclists to aid locals

in community service

A charity bicycle ride featuring a large group of cyclists ranging in age from 15 to 73 is going from Pacific to Atlantic this summer and will pass through Aurora.

The ride will raise money for the fight against poverty housing in the eighth annual Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure, an event that has raised more than $1.1 million for The Fuller Center for Housing, a nonprofit celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The riders will arrive in Aurora on July 31 and will work Aug. 1 with the Fuller Center of Northwest Portage, an affiliate of the international nonprofit.

The 4,000-mile journey from Oceanside, Calif., to Portland, Maine, is broken up into 10 segments of about one week each. Each segment will have about 40 riders at a time, with 24 riders making the entire cross-country trip.

In addition to raising money for the Fuller Center, cyclists will stop to work on home repair projects with six different Fuller Center partners.

This year's volunteer Bicycle Adventure leader is Lydia Huelskamp, a 2014 graduate of Biola University who joined last year's ride in search of a mere summer adventure, but that adventure became a life-changing experience.

Starbucks, restaurant, RoviSys projects OK'd

At its July 15 meeting, the city's planning commission approved a conditional zoning certificate for a drive-thru at the proposed Starbucks location at Routes 43 and 82.

It also approved site plans for a Hickory River Smokehouse on East Garfield Road and a parking lot expansion at the RoviSys Co. on Danner Drive.

Starbucks plans to move from its current site in Barrington Town Square to the site of the former BP gas station/convenience store.

The approval is contingent upon the police and fire chiefs providing statements regarding safety issues relating to the drive-thru lane.

The smokehouse is proposed to be 3,394 square feet, slightly smaller than the originally-proposed 4,234 square feet. It was noted the developers hope to have the facility open by next February.

RoviSys plans to add 67 new parking spaces to the north of its building. The firm has hired 45 new employees this year, according to project manager Mike Curtis of Curtis-Layer Design Build.

Aurora rated 22nd on

Ohio's safest town list

Aurora again has been named one of Ohio's top 50 safest cities by SafeWise, an agency which provides home security and safety advice.

According to SafeWise, Ohio has seen a steady decrease in violent crime since 2000, and property crime rates have decreased since 2001.

This year's list features 16 cities that are being recognized for the second time, three cities that had no reports of violent crime in 2013 and three that reported no incidents of property crime.

Aurora is ranked 22nd on this year's list. SafeWise reports the city had 0.58 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 10.22 property crimes per 1,000.

"Home to a noted Ohio winery, world-class spas, gourmet restaurants and high-end shopping, Aurora is a thriving, modern community committed to the safety and welfare of every citizen," the report says.

"But it's not all razzle-dazzle in Aurora. This thriving city does an outstanding job at keeping both residents and visitors safe.

"In 2013, this city of more than 15,000 limited violent crime to just nine reported incidents, including no murders. It's reassuring to know that while citizens are busy enjoying the many amenities of this vibrant community, they don't have to be concerned with the criminal element."

Bryan in northwest Ohio near Toledo was rated No. 1 on SafeWise's list.

Truck Day at the Farms
The annual Family Truck Day is coming up Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Aurora Farms Premium Outlets.
The city will park several vehicles — tractors, excavators, dump trucks and police cruisers — at the venue, and adults and children will have an opportunity to examine them up close.

Service projects slated
Aurora residents also should be aware that Community Service Day is coming up Aug. 1, when volunteers will donate their time to do home repairs and community improvement projects around town. The event kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at the Church in Aurora.