AURORA – City officials hope a memorandum of understanding between the city, Bainbridge Township and a prospective land buyer will pave the way for further talks about forming a Joint Economic Development District to cover former Geauga Lake Park land in Bainbridge.

City Council approved the MOU on March 9. It sets forth the general criteria the three parties would expect to see in a JEDD created for the portion of Cedar Fair’s property in the township.

In addition to the city and township, Industrial Commercial Properties LLC is the third party. That firm is under contract to acquire the former theme park land.

"If a JEDD is formed, Aurora would provide water and sewer lines to the property at a rate 20 percent over what it charges to customers within the city’s boundaries," explained Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.

"The parties would divide the income taxes generated in the JEDD four ways – 25 percent each to the city, Bainbridge, a JEDD maintenance fund to be managed by the JEDD board and a city utility fund to support the infrastructure needed to provide water and sewer service."

The mayor said Industrial Commercial Properties needs utilities, and Aurora will only provide them if a JEDD is created. Talks about forming a JEDD have been under way between Aurora and Bainbridge Township officials for a couple of years.

"I think this is a positive step toward our further JEDD discussions with the township," said Womer Benjamin.

The MOU will be in effect for two years or until a JEDD is formed.


The city is looking to erect a carport to protect police vehicles from adverse weather, and Council awarded a contract March 9 for architectural design of the structure.

DS Architecture Design Group will design the structure to be located near the police station at a cost of $24,000. The funds will come from the capital improvements budget.

Also March 9, Council OK’d spending money for other services and purchases.

The city will pay i2c Technologies $69,944 to complete the final phase of city security upgrades, with funds coming from the capital improvement budget. Police Chief Brian Bayard said two phases of upgrades already have been completed by the firm.

The final phase will include security systems at Town Hall, the police station, Fire Station 1, the Walker Building and the Brown-Keidel Service Center.

Two Magna Grip exhaust removal systems for the city’s fire stations will be purchased from Clean Air Concepts for $114,190. Fire Chief David Barnes said 95 percent of the cost will come from a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant, and the remainder from the fire/paramedic levy fund.

A Lifepak 15 heart monitor/defibrillator will be purchased with fire/paramedic levy funds from Physio-Control Inc. for $28,771, and a 2020 Ford F250 truck will be purchased for the parks-recreation department from Liberty Ford for $38,908.

Parks and Recreation Director Laura Holman said the truck will replace a 2015 Ford F350 that was destroyed when it caught fire Feb. 7. The city’s insurance will pay $26,000 of the total.

A one-year contract for turf and landscaping maintenance was awarded to Asturi Landscape Group at $44,904. The city has an option to renew the contract for a second and/or third year.

Meanwhile, council approved a general engineering scope of services with ODOT to continue inspecting bridges. Service Director Harry Stark said two of the bridges are on Aurora Lake Road and one is on Walden Drive.

Council approved compensation of $17 per hour for Ethan Neff, who will replace a former engineering co-op worker, and also OK’d various hourly amounts for seasonal field and parks crew positions and sports monitors.

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