Aurora to buy rescue squad, other vehicles and equipment

Ken Lahmers
Special to the Aurora Advocate
Aurora, Ohio

AURORA – City Council either has approved the purchase of or is considering buying several new vehicles and equipment for various city departments, including a Ford/Horton rescue squad for the fire department, at a total cost of $694,565.

The purchases were on the agenda and discussed at council’s Feb. 8 meeting.

The 2021 rescue squad purchase went to second reading. It would be through the state cooperative purchasing program at a cost of $230,983, and would replace a 2010 vehicle. A related purchase heading to second reading is a cot loading system for the squad from Stryker Medical for $26,649.

“The cot loading system would be shipped directly to the ambulance manufacturer for installation,” said Fire Chief David Barnes. “The purchase would complete the installation of these systems into all of our rescue squad vehicles, so all of them are compatible.”

Another purchase OK’d for the fire department is a 2021 Chevrolet Traverse from Ganley Chevrolet. The cost is $28,825, minus a trade-in allowance of $2,500, for a 2010 Chevy Impala. The net total is $26,325.

The fire department purchases are funded out of revenue from the fire/paramedics levy.

Purchases OK’d for the service department include an excavator from Bobcat ($91,954 minus $26,000 for trade-in of two backhoes), skid-steer loader with attachments from Bobcat ($73,884), asphalt hot box with accessories from Concord Road Equipment ($32,247), Ford F-150 truck from Liberty Ford ($31,473 after trade-in), Ford F-600 cab and chassis from Montrose Ford ($49,980) and Ford F-350 cab and chassis from Montrose Ford ($32,909 after trade-in).

For the parks-recreation department, a Chevy Silverado with dump bed from Ganley Chevrolet ($59,568 after trade-in) was approved, while a Smithco Spray Star 1750 sprayer from Baker Vehicle Systems ($34,593) and ABI Force laser-ready groomer from Abi Attachments ($30,000) went to second reading.


Council accepted an anonymous donation of $1,000 and authorized it to be used to pay residents’ delinquent water and sewer bills caused by job loss/money issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. Councilman Scott Wolf said he is willing to match some of the donation if needed.

Current delinquents will be approached to determine the reason for non-payment, and the mayor and service director will determine which delinquent bills are paid. If funds remain after the current billing cycle, they will be used for subsequent billing cycles.

Council OK’d a contract with Economic Development Director Holly Harris Bane at a 2021 salary of $48,960 (2 percent increase) for 25 to 29 hours of work a week, and amended Law Director Dean DePiero’s contract to reflect a 1 percent increase in base compensation to $147,014.

A 100 percent, 15-year tax abatement for BG Equity Holdings LLC (LayerZero Power Systems) for facilities expansion was approved. It is expected to result in 30 to 40 new full-time jobs.

Also in employment-related matters, Council OK’d 2021 salaries and wages for non-union city employees and the employment of Roberta Suydam as executive assistant to the police chief, Janice Lewandowski as interim payroll administrator and Dale Kocerek as wastewater assistant facilities manager.

Suydam is a new hire and replaces the retiring Sue Wright, while Lewandowski and Kocerek are current city employees assuming new duties.

Several agreements were approved and contracts awarded, including a pact with DRS Enterprises Inc. for $212,973 for replacement of an aging forced sewer main at Route 43 and Lena Drive. Ten bids were received.

Service Director Harry Stark said the project is expected to begin in March and be completed in a couple of months.

An upcharge of $2,230 was authorized to a previously awarded contract for the citywide traffic signalization project, so that decorative poles can be installed at certain intersections.

The signalization project is estimated to cost about $3.16 million, with $633,440 (20 percent) as the city’s share and 80 percent through the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.

Also awarded were contracts with H.R. Gray ($35,000) and Wertz Geotechnical Engineering Inc. ($65,000) for development inspection services, with the costs to be paid by developers; Environmental Design Group to perform an assessment of existing residential zoning and produce possible recommendations for zoning code changes (not to exceed $40,000); and Agri-Sludge to haul and land-apply or haul and remove to a landfill wastewater cake biosolids (not to exceed $85,000).

Council adopted a resolution declaring Feb. 7-14 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.

Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin announced her “State of the City” address will take place March 3 at noon via live-streaming with limited in-person attendance. A link will be posted on the city’s website for residents to watch the address.

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