In The Community

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City's finances in good

shape, director reports

At City Council's April 28 meeting, Finance Director Bob Paul gave a promising report about the city's finances.

He said the general fund's collection of income taxes continues to be strong, with 27 percent of the budgeted revenues for the year collected through March. "This is an excellent start, remembering that income taxes represent the most significant part of general fund revenues," he said.

Through April, Paul said the city is $400,000 above budgeted income tax collections, and the city received an estate tax payment in March of just under $400,000, whereas nothing was budgeted for 2014.

"These results are sufficient to address any harsh winter expenses that the city incurred over the last four months," he said. "Group cash balances are all in excellent shape at the end of March."

Paul said water and sewer billings are in line with prior years, and connection fees for water and sewer are higher than last year. "The healthy cash balances and future prospects will enable much-needed capital projects for water and sewer operations," Paul said.

Tax abatement eyed

for hotel renovations

City Council is considering a 12-year, 75 percent tax abatement for Aurora Hotel Partners LLC, which recently acquired the Aurora Inn. The matter was first discussed at Council's committee of the whole meeting April 28.

Aurora Hotel Partners is seeking to renovate the hotel, and plans to add six new employees and invest about $2 million. Finance Director Bob Paul said if the tax abatement is granted, it would result in a tax savings of $219,528 for the firm.

Also at the April 28 session, Council discussed approving the city's property and casualty insurance for June 1, 2014 to May 30, 2015 (the second year of a three-year program) at a cost of $25,251. The insurance is with U.S. Specialty Insurance Co. through the Edward H. Sutton Insurance Agency.

Discussion also took place on a partnership agreement with Streetsboro, Ravenna and Portage County for the next Community Housing Improvement Program application due in June. Officials said the state is favoring local and regional cooperation.

Plant swap coming up

The city's parks and rec department will host its annual perennial swap -- a give a plant, take a plant event. It will be May 3 at 11 a.m. at Kiwan

is Moore Playground.

Persons can take any healthy perennial they have in their gardens that needs to be thinned, and exchange it for a different type of perennial. Persons can take home as many plants as they bring.

Each plant should be in an individual container, and labeled with its name and preferred growing conditions. For more information, contact Colleen Martin at 330-995-9149 or martinc@auroraoh.com.

New skin care studio

given ground sign OK

At its April 17 meeting, the city's landmark commission approved a ground sign for a new business at 18 S. Chillicothe Road called the Skin Care Studio, which will be operated by Gloria Kozlosky.

The sign was approved with the following changes from the initial plans: post material will be cedar instead of treated lumber, decorative caps will be placed on top of the cedar posts and a black band will be inset from the edge of the sign.

Other stipulations are to add an additional piece of trim along the top of the sign, paint lettering onto the plywood sign and paint cedar posts white instead of vinyl clad.

See another story under "Business Briefs" on Page 26.

In other matters, architectural adviser Ron Lowe reported that the Geauga Lake historical marker is scheduled for delivery the third or fourth week in May.

July 4 info is unveiled

The city is still seeking nominations for July 4 parade grand marshal through May 9. Forms are available in the parks-recreation department at the Walker Building. For more information, call Colleen Martin at 330-995-9149.

Registration also is being accepted for the July 4 parade and festival. The parade starts at 11 a.m., and the festival is at Kiwanis-Moore Playground. For details or registration/liability waiver forms, visit www.auroraoh.com or call Martin.

Greenberg photo wins

Hallie Greenberg of Aurora received an award in the "people / portraits" category for amateurs in the FOCUS 2014 photography competition sponsored by the Solon Center for the Arts and area communities.

Meanwhile, Community Choice Award amateur photographer Emily Stupica's work will be displayed at Auroar Memorial Library through May 23. She is from Chagrin Falls. For more information about FOCUS 2014 or Solon Center for the Arts, visit www.solonarts.org.

Red Cross honors set

The American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio will conduct its 15th annual Real Heroes event on May 15 at 4:30 p.m. at the Bertram Inn in Aurora. It will honor seven area heroes, as well as PartsSource CEO A. Ray Dalton, who will receive the Robinson Memorial Hospital Paragon Award. Tickets are $40 per person and reservations can be made by contacting Shelley Sprang at shelley.sprang@redcross.org or 330-535-2224. Proceeds will benefit the Red Cross.

Activities set at library
Aurora Memorial Library will offer a Mother’s Day craft for children to make and take during the week of May 5 to 10. Craft supplies will be available in the children’s area throughout the week.
 The library also will celebrate Children’s Book Week May 12-17 with a prize drawing. Anyone checking out children’s books can enter to win one of two classic books.
Hours at the 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. on Saturdays. It is closed Thursdays and Sundays.

Parks/rec photos eyed
Aurora Parks and Recreation Department seeks photos of parks and recreation programs, events and participants for an ongoing contest.   
Submit photos of people enjoying Aurora’s parks, seasonal shots, landscapes or sport activities online or call 330-562-4333 for more information.
Photos appearing on the cover of either the spring, summer, fall or winter brochure will earn a $25 gift card. Owners of selected photographs that appear on an inside page will receive a $10 discount on a future parks-rec program registration.

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