County roundup: City of Ravenna plans new safety building, plus news from Ravenna Township, Streetsboro and Aurora

City of Ravenna

The City of Ravenna is looking into constructing new safety buildings for fire and police and possibly City Hall. The buildings would be built on a five-acre area that used to be where the old Ravenna High School stood.

“Our present facilities, especially for police and fire, are quite aged,” Mayor Frank Seman said. “With the additional equipment that the firemen have to have and policemen also, it’s a space problem and is becoming a safety problem. The new buildings would be bigger than the present ones. A rendering has been done by the city engineer and an architect, but we’re now going into the phase where we’re looking to see what the whole thing would cost. We’re also checking into the cost of building a new facility with a gymnasium for the recreation department, possibly built next to the other new buildings, for public use.”

City council approved an ordinance to authorize Seman to enter into a contract with Civic Plus, an emergency notification service.

“If a certain area is going to have its water turned off for a day or two because of work, they’ll get a phone call notifying them,” Seman said. “It’s used for information going out to the citizens so they know when certain roads are going to be closed, stuff like that.”

The City of Ravenna is working on its Comprehensive Plan with Regional Planning. The Comprehensive Plan helps define a city’s zoning and land use and identifies how the town is laid out and those sorts of things.

“It sets some guidelines for elected officials, who come and go. With this plan, at least they know what they’re working toward,” Seman said. “Regional Planning did one for Brimfield and another one for Portage County, and they turned out very nice and very useful, so we’re expecting to have the same results.”

The plan needs to be renewed every five to seven years.

City council provided $20,000 to help keep Main Street Ravenna viable in the city. Main Street Ravenna is a group that is dedicated to strengthening the downtown area. The Ravenna Area Chamber of Commerce requested the same amount of money.

Ravenna’s Deck the Downtown Window Contest ends TODAY. Vote online or in person (scan QR code or pick up ballots at participating businesses).

Battlegrounds Game Center will host Holiday Game Night from 5 to 8 p.m. TONIGHT at Ravenna Nutrition at 133 E. Main St. There will be free food, drinks and a raffle.

The annual Midnight Madness downtown Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving, went very well.

“We had the lighting of the Christmas Tree,” Seman said, “and there was food, carriage rides, Santa Claus and a parade. We had a good turnout.”

Ravenna Township

The Ravenna Township Fire Department will purchase ice-rescue equipment and training materials because there are quite a few ponds — including retention ponds — in the area.

“Plus, our fire chief has already been trained in ice rescue,” township Trustee Vince Coia said, “and he’s going to be teaching the class for our firefighters and possibly firefighters from other departments who want to take the course.”

The cost of the equipment and training materials is $2,900.

The fire department also received a $15,000 grant for gear dryers, which basically are big commercial dryers that dry the turnout gear.

“If you don’t dry the gear, it will smell musty,” Coia said. “Those dryers will also be able to handle the ice-diving gear we’re going to be getting.”

The fire department applied for MARCS grants and EMS reimbursement grants, too. MARCS grants are basically for radio communication equipment.

Ravenna Township OK’d the road department to purchase a camera for one of the snowplow trucks. A $179 grant from Managing Ohio Risk Exposures will pay for the camera.

“The camera, which is basically a body cam except for a truck, will be placed at the top of the snowplow truck and will give the driver front and rear views plus recording capability,” Coia said. “If this one camera works as well as we think it will, then we’re going to purchase more cameras for the rest of our snowplow trucks.”

Ravenna Township turned in paperwork for the March elections for a levy for the fire department. It will be a 6.1-mill levy. There is currently a 5-mill levy that would continue if the 6.1 mill fails to pass.

The township’s legal department is in discussions with the Portage County engineer regarding the possibility of creating an economic development plan so the township can utilize a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) for the Forest Ridge housing development.

The township OK’d a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Ravenna to help pay expenses in 2024 for Dennis West, who is an economic developer.

“Every year,” Coia said, “we have a contract that we have to renew to continue on.”

Ravenna Township agreed to have Portage County Regional Planning move forward with the township’s land-use plan.


Streetsboro’s annual Shop-with-a-Cop was held Dec. 8. Some 60 underprivileged children from Streetsboro and Twinsburg were taken shopping at Walmart in Streetsboro by about 40 police officers from those two cities plus police from Windham and Parma.

“We pushed the shopping carts, and the kids got to go shopping,” Mayor Glenn Broska said. “Most of the items bought were toys for them and gifts for their parents.”

The purchased items were paid for via donations.

The Streetsboro Fire Department took Santa Claus around town on a fire truck Dec. 8, and Santa delivered gifts to children. The Streetsboro Parks & Recreation Department sponsors the annual event.

The City of Streetsboro applied for a grant from the Ohio Department of Development to complete some water lines in the Arrowhead Trail subdivision.

The city is putting an amenities package for the City Center project out to bid. The package consists of a splash pad and restrooms.

The Happy Moose Bar & Grill at 9436 state Route 14 closed about a month ago.


Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin introduced the city’s 2024 proposed budget, which council will review over the next month. Among other things, the budget has two major projects in it – one, the Geauga Lake purchase and eventual redevelopment and, two, the installation of the first leg of the Aurora Trail, which is a hike-and-bike trail running from Chamberlain Road in Mantua to Route 82 in Aurora.

City council passed a change order to change the contract with its paving company, Ronyak, so that the paving of Lloyd Avenue can be finished early next year.

“We had money left over in our paving budget, and Ronyak agreed to take on the job at 2023 prices, which is good,” Womer Benjamin said. “We’d paved half of the road under our paving budget and decided we’d go ahead and finish it since we had money left over.”

City council approved the contractor for a backflow prevention program in the Hawthorn neighborhood.

“It’s to address some of the basement flooding issues that have occurred in Hawthorn,” Womer Benjamin said, “while we’re doing other preventive measures in the area.”

Council OK’d the installation of a new digital message sign at Aurora Fire Station 2 at 1049 N. Aurora Rd.

“We have a sign that’s been there for years that’s just a regular sign that collapsed,” Womer Benjamin said. “The digital sign will give information on city events and things like that.”

The City of Aurora hosted its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Festival on Nov. 25 at the gazebo in Bicentennial Park. There was food, Santa Claus, festive music by the Pop-Tarts and a performance by musicians from the Aurora School of Music. There were many activities for children, including a scavenger hunt.

“It was wonderful and very well attended,” Womer Benjamin said.

Council passed a resolution recognizing Harold Hatridge, who is retiring after 12 years on council. Council honored him at its Dec. 11 meeting.

“Harold has contributed a lot to the community with years of community service,” Womer Benjamin said.

Vital Flooring at 1023 A N. Aurora Rd. recently had its grand opening.

Elevation Dance Studio at 319 E. Garfield Rd. will be closed today through Tuesday, Jan. 2. Classes will resume Wednesday, Jan. 3.

The Aurora Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau held its holiday luncheon Dec. 8 at The Bertram Inn Hotel & Conference Center in which it recognized the Person of the Year, Tony Dockus, and the Business of the Year, LayerZero Power Systems, Inc.

The Friends of the Aurora Memorial Library will host a book sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22 and Saturday, Dec. 23. The library is located at 115 E. Pioneer Trl. (the book sale is in the lower-level gallery). If you buy one book, you get a free book of equal or lesser value. Cash or checks only will be accepted. Purchases support library programs that enrich the lives of community members of all ages. Also, proceeds are used to purchase new books for the library. For more information, call (330) 562-6502.

Ring in the New Year by attending a New Year’s Masquerade from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 31 at Aurora Meadows at 50 Trails End. Grab your mask and get ready to dance the night away and welcome the New Year in style. For more information, email [email protected].

The Northern Ohio Chambers of Commerce Benefits Breakfast with the Aurora, Solon and Twinsburg chambers of commerce will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 19 at the Solon Community Center at 35000 Portz Pkwy. Aurora residents who would like to attend should RSVP the Aurora Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at

Roger Gordon
+ posts