AURORA – A home furnishing company plans to transfer dozens of jobs from Maple Heights to the city after City Council approved a 15-year, 100 percent tax abatement for Wellsville Carpet Town of Weston’s Mills, N.Y.

The firm plans to build a 150,000-square-foot home furniture/carpeting warehouse/distribution facility worth $9.97 million at 335 Lena Drive. It initially would bring 47 new full-time jobs from its Maple Heights facility, with a payroll of $1.48 million. Third-party delivery service workers would add $900,000 a year in payroll.

The structure would be built on 10.1 acres on the north side of Lena Drive, just east of the Trelleborg plant and offices. It would afford the company a savings of $2.87 million in real estate taxes over the 15 years.

The principal owners/officers of the firm are listed as Timothy and David Quinn and Thomas Kane. The company has existed since 1967, and operates Ashley Furniture and Carpet Town Carpet One floor and home stores and Ashley Furniture Outlet.

The company has six distribution centers – four in New York state, one in Pennsylvania and the Maple Heights location. Nine employees are slated to be added to the new Aurora site in the next five years.

Altogether, the investment, including purchase of the land, is estimated at $11.07 million, but only the building cost is eligible for the tax abatement. According to city Finance Director Tim Clymer, the firm hopes to have the building erected and operational by the end of 2020.

The planning commission accepted for study a preliminary site plan for the building at its Dec. 18 session. A representative of Geis Construction, the proposed builder, said the building also would include a customer showroom.

Vehicle parking requirements are indicated to be 90 spaces, along with a truck court along the east side of the proposed building. There is space at the back of the site for a 25,000-square-foot expansion, plus an area for land-banked parking.

In other action, Council awarded a contract to Euthenics Inc. at a cost of $49,512 for engineering a Routes 82/306 intersection improvements project.

The city’s engineering department has determined the northbound through/left turn lanes should be separated, and the intersection widened to eliminate traffic delays. Service Director Harry Stark said the project is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2020, prior to the start of the citywide traffic signal upgrades in 2021.

Union agreements approved

Collective bargaining agreements were ratified between the city and police officers and sergeants represented by the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. The three-year agreements run from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022.

Annual salaries will rise during the contract period as follows: police officer III, $67,818 to $73,008, police officer II, $74,380 to $79,872 and police officer I, $80,912 to $86,736. Full-time sergeants will received 14 percent above the highest paid patrol officer each year.

Law Director Dean Depiero said the city hasn’t been able to reach an agreement with dispatchers, and that issue will proceed to a fact finder, whose decision is expected within 60 days.

Swearing in of Council reps re-elected in November will take place Jan. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in Town Hall, with Council’s yearly reorganizational session to follow at 6:15 p.m.

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