AURORA – City Council awarded three contracts at its Feb. 23 meeting, including for the purchase of a new vehicle for the parks and recreation department.

The city will purchase a 2020 Ford Escape from Liberty Ford through the state bid list. The cost is $24,890, with a trade-in value of $1,500 bringing the final total to $23,390. A 2008 Ford Escape will be traded in, and the money will come from the capital improvement fund.

Council awarded a one-year contract to Perrin Asphalt for concrete road repairs, with an option to renew for years 2 and 3. The money will come from the street construction, maintenance and repair fund.

A one-year contract was awarded to Signal Service Co. for traffic signal maintenance and 24-hour emergency service, with money also coming from the street construction, maintenance and repair fund and an option for years 2 and 3.

In other business, Council authorized the mayor to enter into an updated agreement with Jeffery Skapin to provide plan review services to the planning-zoning-building department, with money coming from the general fund. He will be paid $79 per hour, a 2.5 percent increase over last year.

Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said Skapin is only used for building plan reviews on commercial and industrial projects, and all work done by him is paid for by the applicants through building permit fees.

Brandon Cole, Alexander Wain and Benjamin Palsha were OK’d as part-time firefighters/paramedics. Palsha will receive $18.76 per hour and the other two will receive $20.98.

Council amended its own rules dealing with meeting agendas, setting noon Thursday as the deadline for submission of agenda items for regular Monday meetings, and noon Wednesday for Monday committee of the whole meetings. Extenuating circumstances could mean late addition of items.

Councilman John Kudley, who proposed the amendments, said they will simply put in writing the practices Council has been following for years.

New rules pertaining to citizen comments and when the annual organizational meeting is held also were adopted. Citizen comments will be limited to 3 minutes, with additional time allowed at the discretion of the president. The organizational session will take place sometime "in January" as opposed to "before Jan. 7."

Finally, Council accepted for dedication the water and sanitary sewer lines and the roadways for Beljon Lane and Cara Court, which are part of the Beljon Phase 1 subdivision.

An ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with Neighborhood Development Services Inc. for the administration of the Revolving Loan Fund’s home repair program went onto second reading. It would appropriate $185,000 to help eligible residents make home improvements.

MAZZARO, ECKARD

Womer Benjamin’s announcement of the recent death of citizen activist George Mazzaro brought some kind words about him from Council reps.

"He was a thorn in a couple of mayors’ bonnets, to say it nicely, but he did it from his heart for the citizens of Aurora," said Ward 1’s Jim Vaca. "He attended countless meetings. He was devoted to the city, and you won’t find many people who would do what he did."

"George will be missed," added Ward 6’s Harold Hatridge. "He was a character, but you had to love the guy. He cared so much about the city."

"No one really appreciated him as much as Mr. [John] Kudley, myself and the mayors, because he always had the habit of picking on us the most," said Council President George Horvat. "He will be missed."

Councilwoman-at-Large Amy McDougald Eckard read a statement pertaining to her recent resignation from Council, saying "it’s with a regretful heart that I am announcing my resignation" and "I’m looking forward to the future." She and her husband will move to Chagrin Falls.

Horvat announced Council will interview candidates for her replacement March 19 at 6 p.m. Applications to fill the vacancy are being accepted, along with resumes from qualified candidates, until March 12 at 4:30 p.m.

Contact the newspaper at 330-541-9433, or auroraadvocate@recordpub.com