City funds stay strong
as of November's end
At City Council's committee of the whole meeting Dec. 16, Finance Director Bob Paul reported the general fund revenue collections through November were at 106 percent of budgeted revenues for 2013, thus guaranteeing that the city will finish the year with a surplus in general fund operations.
All departments were near or under budget with the exception of planning-zoning-building, and only two funds were in the red at the end of November. They were awaiting money due from grants to resolve negative balances, plus future collections from water capital billings.
"All of our cash positions on the monthly analysis show a strong 2013 year to date, bringing the likelihood that we will finish the year in the same manner," Paul said.
Through November, income tax revenue was about $900,000 higher than estimated, while medical expenses decreased over the last three months. A transfer of $1.5 million into capital funds from 2013's operating excess will increase cash available for Council's determination of projects to be addressed over the next several years.
"Tie-in fees are contributing significantly to the enterprise funds and the quarterly capital fees will produce amounts that will be sufficient to handle the current year's water capital projects with a little help from the water fund," said Paul.
"The sewer funds continue to be on a favorable track with regard to its operations."
Library sets closings
The Portage County District Library, of which the Aurora branch is a part, will be closed on the following date in observance of the year-end holidays: Dec. 24-25 and 31 and Jan. 1.
Visit www.portagelibrary.org for information about library programs and services. The district also is accessible on Facebook.
Regular operating hours at the Aurora LIbrary are as follows: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. MOndays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
Parent and child book club coming to library
Aurora Memorial Library will offer a monthly parent and child book club starting Jan. 18 at 2 p.m.
It is open to a caring adult and child ages 8 to 12. Participants will discuss the juvenile chapter book "The Secret School" by author Avi, about a girl who is determined to overcome the societal expectations of girls in the mid-1920s.
Copies are available at the checkout desk at the library. "The Secret School" can be borrowed for four weeks to allow ample time to prepare for the program.
Interested patrons can sign up for the book club when checking out the books or by calling 330-562-6502.
Subsequent program dates are Feb. 15, when "Shiloh" by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor will be discussed, March 8 and April 19. For details, visit www.portagelibrary.org.
Variance for pool OK'd
At its Dec. 11 meeting, the city's board of zoning appeals unanimously voted to grant a variance to Hanes Road residents Ryan and Lisa Borowy to install an in-ground pool.
Panel chairman Terese Fennell said she believed the variance is not substantial since the pool is in the ground and the property has a large lot size. Member Tom Carr added it would not be feasible to remove one of the other structures on the property to install the pool.
'Drive Sober' kicks off
Portage County Safe Communities has teamed up with local business partners to promote traffic safety during the holiday season.
The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" holiday campaign, which will include aggressive enforcement of traffic laws and increased traffic safety education efforts, started Dec. 13 and ends Jan. 1.
"It's plain, it's simple," said Lynette Blasiman, director of Portage County Safe Communities, "if you're going to drink, don't drive. Your choice to drive sober can be the difference between life and death for yourself and others."