Aurora multi-use zoning issue, schools renewal levy, Portage Park District tax pass

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by KEN LAHMERS  |  EDITOR
Voters in the May 6 primary election overwhelmingly favored creating a multi-use zoning district for some 550 acres in the northern part of Aurora, while a 1.5-mill permanent improvements renewal levy for the schools also passed.
Meanwhile, a 0.5-mill additional levy to raise funds for the Portage Park District also was OK’d.
The tally on Issue 11, the multi-use zoning issue, was 2,319 for and 528 against, while Issue 3, the schools renewal levy, passed 1,876 to 1,020, according to final but unofficial results from the Portage County Board of Elections. The parks levy passed 12,172 to 10,289.
The acreage where the multi-use district will be created is mostly between Routes 43 and 306, and includes 322 acres of former Geauga Lake Park land.
Officials believe the district will spur developmentSome of the land previously was zoned industrial.
“When I asked to be elected mayor, I promised I’d pursue economic development opportunities that would benefit our community,” said Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.
 “The approval of Issue 11 represents a significant step in that direction and I will work hard to take advantage of new opportunities that arise in light of this rezoning.”
The schools renewal levy will keep about $707,000 per year flowing into the district to pay for various projects and purchases, plus continuing to pay off Leighton School debt.
It will continue to cost the owner of a property valued at $100,000 $37 per year.
“We’re really appreciative of the city’s residents for their support,” said Superintendent Russ Bennett. “We will continue to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”
The park district levy will bring in $1.63 million annually for the next 10 years. It’s the first significant funding for the agency which now operates on less than $100,000 a year. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 property about $17.50 a year.
In contested Portage County Democratic primary races, Robert Berger defeated Thomas Freedom for the nomination for common pleas court-probate division judge and Vicki Kline beat Angelo Battaglia for the nod for commissioner.
For the Republicans, incumbent commissioner Sabrina Christian-Bennett topped Kristen Kline Morris for the nomination, while David Brode beat Jonathan Jennings for the common pleas court-probate division judgeship nod.
As of presstime, incumbent David Joyce was leading Matt Lynch for the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress District 14, and Sarah LaTourette was leading Linda O’Brien for District 76 state rep.
Email: klahmers@recordpub.com
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189

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