Aurora’s electric aggregation program rates to drop

Ken Lahmers
Special to the Aurora Advocate
Aurora, Ohio

AURORA – Residents who are enrolled in the city’s electric aggregation program will see their rates drop slightly as of May 1, 2021 after City Council extended the opt-out program through April 30, 2025.

Earlier this month, Finance Director Tim Clymer said the new rate under the Energy Harbor LLC contract will be 4.94 cents per kilowatt hour, down from about 5.2 cents.

Residents will not have to do anything if they wish to continue in the program, but they must opt out if they wish to discontinue participation. Clymer said residents will receive letters early in 2021 outlining procedures for opting out.

The legislation passed by Council states the new rate is for electricity “sourced entirely from renewable energy production methods.” Energy Harbor also will provide an annual donation to the city of about $23,000.

OTHER BUSINESS

Council OK’d purchasing a 2021 Ford F-250 truck for the fire department from Liberty Ford for $30,846, which is below the state bid price. Equipment for the truck will be purchased later.

The truck will replace one that was severely damaged in an Oct. 9 traffic crash on North Aurora Road which claimed the life of a 20-year-old Aurora man. Insurance will cover about $23,000 of the cost.

Council approved adding $20,000 to the initial $65,000 contract with HR Gray for inspection services. The money covers additional services for the Routes 306-82 intersection improvement project and the Renaissance Park at Geauga Lake development.

Council accepted the rates and amounts of real estate tax for 2021 as determined by the Portage County Budget Commission. Property owners will pay 2.4 inside mills and 5.13 outside mills, which generate a total of $3.91 million.

The mayor was authorized to apply for an Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant to assist with recreation projects around the Kiwanis-Moore Playground, while increases in various sanitary sewer, water, cemetery and development charges for 2021 were approved.

Brent Boyko was promoted to a part-time firefighter/paramedic B driver after completing his paramedic training and passing his national registry test.

Council approved the following mayor’s reappointments to various panels: James Tomko and Laurena Entsminger (through Dec. 31, 2024), tree commission; Michael Hydell (through Dec. 31, 2023), earned income tax board of review; Elizabeth Taylor (through Dec. 31, 2026), civil service commission; John Drsek (through Dec. 31, 2024), board of building code appeals; and David Kroll (through Dec. 31, 2022), audit committee.

Moved to second reading was legislation authorizing the mayor to implement a vacation buyback policy for 2020. It will allow employees to cash out up to 40 hours of unused vacation time at 50 percent of their current rate of pay. The move would cost the city not more than $57,000.

Councilwoman Reva Barner said she believes the policy is a good one. “A lot of businesses are doing that this year in response to COVID-19 economic conditions,” she said.

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