Ken Lahmers | Correspondent
AURORA – The police department will have four new 2022 Ford Explorer cruisers on the road at some point in the future.
City Council OK’d purchasing one at its Feb. 28 session, while legislation to buy three more was moved to second reading. All would be obtained from Liberty Ford at the state bid price.
The Explorer that was approved will replace a 2019 cruiser which recently was involved in a crash and was declared a total loss. It will cost $36,990. The other three vehicles will total $106,065.
When the delivery of the final three occurs, three older cars will be traded in for an amount to be determined, thus reducing the total cost.
Police Chief Brian Byard told Council two officers were responding to an emergency in the damaged cruiser when another driver failed to yield at a stop sign. The vehicles collided and the cruiser struck a telephone pole.
The city will receive $36,133 from an insurance settlement for the estimated replacement cost of the damaged vehicle and equipment.
The cruisers will be fully upfitted by Hall Public Safety once they are delivered. Byard said all four cars should be in service by the last quarter of this year.
Council amended a contract with Emery Electric Inc. to reflect a $15,000 increase – with the total cost not to exceed $70,000 – for installation of four Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at Aurora Memorial Library.
An Ohio EPA grant will cover $30,000 for the installation, with the remainder to be paid out of a capital fund line item funded by an annual donation from the city’s electric aggregation program provider.
Members also awarded a contract to Thoma Technologies Inc. ($29,604) to upgrade the city’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system for the water department, and amended a contract with National Driver Training School to reflect an increase for classes from $284 to $348 per student.
Members authorized the mayor to retain the legal services of McDonald Hopkins LLC, with hourly rates ranging from $100 for law clerks to $960 for attorneys.
“The city has been under budget for outside counsel every year since I’ve been here,” said the city’s law director, Dean DePiero.
Signing of a resolution with the Ohio Department of Transportation was approved for East Mennonite Road milling, repairs, shoulder reconditioning, repaving and pavement markings from Route 43 to the city’s eastern corporation limit.
The project estimate is $116,640, with funds coming from the roads and bridges levy.
Council approved the sale of a 3.6-acre parcel along a driveway, plus a barn, on Page Road between East Mennonite Road and Lena Drive to Nicholas Courtad for $46,000. The sale is scheduled to close around May 1.
DePiero explained the acreage was appraised at $36,000 and the barn at $10,000. Courtad owns an adjacent parcel. DePiero added the city plans to sell two other small parcels which are part of 83.3 acres bought by the city last July for $833,280.
A moratorium enacted in 2020 and extended last November with respect to submission and acceptance of plans and granting of permits/conditional zoning certificates for new residential housing was extended from March 1 until July 1.
DiPiero said city officials anticipate having a zoning study completed and new zoning and stormwater regulations in place by July 1. “I would not recommend any more extensions of the moratorium,” he said.
Council adopted the current replacement pages of codified ordinances as prepared by the Walter H. Drane Co., and approved Noah Wilson’s employment as a full-time firefighter/paramedic III effective March 1. He has been a part-timer since July 2020.
Heading to second reading was legislation to purchase Paylocity, an integrated, cloud-based workforce management system, for $4,413, plus a two-year annual cost not to exceed $40,000.
Also moving to second reading is the dedication of Pleasant View Drive in the Homestead Phase 3 subdivision and a lift station/force main in Renaissance Park at Geauga Lake.
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