AURORA — The city’s tree commission handed out its annual landscaping awards at City Council’s May 29 session.

The awards went to Aurora Eye Care, Beck’s Farm and Market, the Atrium at Anna Maria and Town Hall.

“We thank the tree commission for recognizing, promoting and implementing beauty in our community,” said Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.

The mayor announced Building and Grounds Supervisor Dennis Altman soon will leave that post for a job in southern Ohio. “He will be hard to replace,” she added.

She also reported the recent deaths of former Aurora water department head and firefighter Charlie Becker and 1970s era Councilman Lonnie Shannon. Several Councilman voiced accolades for the three men.

The mayor reported the service director is reviewing RFPs (requests for proposals) from firms wishing to clean private septic systems, and residents with those systems will be informed when a contractor is chosen.

She also said the city is receiving many requests for reimbursements under the recently-approved changes to the septic system cleaning program.

Meanwhile, City Council OK’d a three-year collective bargaining agreement with city clerical employees represented by Teamsters Local 436. Contracts covering firefighters / paramedics and police personnel previously were approved, leaving only a pact covering service department workers to be finalized.

The clerical workers pact runs from June 30, 2017 to June 29, 2020, and includes a 2.5 percent pay increase each year. Womer Benjamin said co-pays for prescriptions will remain the same, and the clerical workers have three options to choose from for their medical benefits.

Council also approved a contract with Hall Public Safety for $21,174 to install new and used equipment in three new police vehicles, and renewed the property and casualty insurance policy with HCC / U.S. Specialty Insurance Co. through the Edward Sutton Agency at a premium of $129,406.

Also OK’d was a contract with I2C Technologies for $36,641 to install security cameras and equipment at Sunny Lake Park, Town Hall, the Walker Building and the Brown-Keidel Service Center.

A license agreement with Pulte Homes of Ohio LLC was approved. It allows Pulte to install and maintain the entryway landscaping in the city’s right-of-way at the Preserve at Beljon Farms subdivision.

Law Director Dean DePiero explained the agreement will remain in effect until replatting of the East Pioneer Trail right-of-way is completed, at which time the homeowners association will take over landscaping work.

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 ext. 4189 or