AURORA — City Council is considering participation legislation with the Ohio Department of Transportation, which would pave the way for an estimated $4.9 million citywide traffic signalization upgrade in 2021.

Council discussed the legislation at its committee of the whole meeting April 8. It will appear on Council’s April 22 agenda. Last year, the city awarded a $543,000 contract to TMS Engineers Inc. for the project’s design.

In 2018, the city was awarded Surface Transportation Block Grant funds totaling about $3.5 million through the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.

In addition to all of the engineering costs, the city must come up with 20 percent — an estimated $850,000 — of the total construction cost, making the city’s share of the project about $1.4 million.

Aurora also must pay 100 percent for all features determined by the state and federal highway administrations to be unnecessary for the project, plus 100 percent of the cost of curb ramps at certain intersections that must be made compliant with the Americans with Disability Act.

The project will create a central-based system that will allow traffic signals to communicate with each other, thus ensuring more efficient traffic movement throughout the city.

Poles, controllers and signal heads will be replaced, and pedestrian upgrades will be implemented.

"We are excited about the prospect of modernizing our signalization system to streamline traffic flow, and appreciate the support from AMATS," the mayor said after the grant was confirmed.

COUNCIL ACTIONS

Also at its April 8 regular session, Council OK’d purchasing two trucks from Liberty Ford and contracting with American Fireworks for the July 4 fireworks show.

A Ford F-150 truck will cost $31,773, must $2,500 for trade-in of a 2008 truck. A Ford F-350 will cost $35,271, minus $2,500 for trade-in of another city truck. Both vehicles are for the service department.

The fireworks contract is for $20,000. This year’s show to commemorate the city’s 220th birthday will be slightly bigger than past shows for which the city has paid $17,500 annually.

Meanwhile, Council OK’d a mutual settlement with Meritech which meant appropriating $15,000 from the general fund to avoid litigation, and accepted an easement from Progressive Aurora Real Estate to install a sidewalk on the west side of Route 43, north of Aurora-Hudson Road.

Law Director Dean DePiero explained Meritech was the city’s former IT consultant, and the city brought one of its former employees on board as an in-house IT supervisor, thus resulting in a sort of buyout situation.

Council approved hiring four field crew personnel, four parks maintenance workers, one field crew / parks worker and a seniors bus driver.

Also at the committee of the whole meeting, the purchase of replacement parts for playground equipment at Liz Srahan Park ($13,757) and the purchase and installation of carpet in the Walker and Brown-Keidel Service Center buildings were discussed.

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400, ext. 4189 or klahmers@recordpub.com.