Aurora to sell three lots on East Mennonite

Ken Lahmers
This map shows the location of three lots which the city plans to sell on East Mennonite Road. They are part of 91 acres the city bought a year ago.

AURORA – The city is moving ahead with plans to sell three lots totaling 10 acres that it owns on East Mennonite Road. The land is part of 91 acres the city purchased a year ago for preservation purposes.

Council approved offering the lots for sale at its Sept. 14 meeting, and the planning commission OK’d a lot split at its Oct. 7 meeting.

Two of the lots are 3 acres in size and one is 4 acres. The overall acreage was purchased for $775,000 from Emil Hach, Dean Olson and Kenneth Olson. It is on the north side of the road between the Moebius Nature Center and the Mantua Township border.

“It will provide connections to Sunny Lake Park, Moebius Nature Center, Spring Hill Park and Paddock River Preserve,” said Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin when council approved the purchase last August.

The three lots are in an R-2 residential zoning district and have no structures on them. The two westernmost lots are adjacent to each other. Between them and the easternmost lot is a strip of land in a flood plain which the city will retain as part of its remaining 81 acres.

Planning-Zoning-Building Director Denise Januska said the city hopes to sell the lots for a total of about $320,000, with the money going toward maintaining existing parks and perhaps acquiring more parkland.

Meanwhile, four other land-related matters recently were approved by council.

The mayor was authorized to enter into a project partner agreement with the Nature Conservancy for a proposed in-lieu fee mitigation project that would restore wetlands and stream areas on 40.4 acres at Sunny Lake Park.

An agreement with Karen Stacko and Thomas Maracz was approved for lease of a city-owned house at the former Miller farm on Page Road. The lease runs from Sept. 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2021, with the rent set at $650 for the first six months and $700 for the last six months.

An agreement with Jaclyn Demyan to continue her lease of a house at the city-owned former Hartman farm on Townline Road also was OK’d. Rent will be $800 per month, and the lease runs from Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021.

A development agreement with Pulte Homes of Ohio for the Renaissance Park at Geauga Lake Phase I West also was approved.


At its Sept. 28 session, council OK’d a settlement between the city, Ohio Employment Relations Board and Teamsters Local 436 over the collective bargaining agreement between the city and its service department employees, who are represented by the union.

The city and service workers had been unable to reach an agreement since the last contract expired. The union filed multiple unfair labor practices claims with the state board, and recent mediation resulted in the new contract running from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2020.

A 100%, 15-year property tax abatement was OK’d for Cabmat under provisions of the city’s Community Reinvestment Area I, as was a revised Job Creation Incentive Grant Program agreement with Piping Rock Health Products LLC. The latter calls for an income tax incentive grant of 25 percent for each of 2021 and 2022 and 33 percent for 2023-27.

Council OK’d a new Chapter 751 of the city’s codified ordinances dealing with peddlers, solicitors and canvassers; designated Westfield Bank as an authorized recipient of public deposits; increased Fund 40 by $526,030 to purchase three service department plow trucks through a lease agreement; and increased Fund 23 by $118,734 for coronavirus-related expenses.

The mayor was authorized to apply for an Ohio EPA grant to install Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations around town. The grant would cover costs of installation, plus maintaining the stations for five years.

At council’s Sept. 14 meeting, Portage County District Library Director Jonathan Harris provided details about a 1-mill additional levy which will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, and council congratulated Jeff Cole for his 38 years of service with Cable 9 (now Community Focus).

Harris said Issue 31 would cost property owners an additional $35 per year per $100,000 valuation. He noted PCDL’s per capita spending is the third lowest in Ohio among more than 200 public library systems.

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