Jeremy Brown/The Portager

County roundup: New Streetsboro City Hall is gaining steam, plus news from Aurora, Ravenna and Shalersville


Streetsboro City Council should have a price for the construction of the new City Hall within about two weeks.

“We’re doing a construction manager at risk,” Mayor Glenn Broska said. “Instead of us bidding out the whole project, we hire a company to do that for us. From the architect’s drawings, they go to the individual trades like the structural engineers, the plumbers, the electricians and the interior guys and get bids from them. When they assemble all of those bids, they put them all together, come to us and give us what they call a gross maximum price, and that’s the price we’ll pay.”

The city employees have been working out of a rental facility at 555 Frost Rd. for about five years now and will stay there until the new City Hall is complete. The old City Hall was torn down more than five years ago.

“It would’ve been about three times the cost to refurbish the old building as it was to build a new building,” Broska said. “The land where the old City Hall was is where the new Splash Pad and everything will go.”

The new City Hall will be located at the front of the property on State Route 43. Ground will be broken in August. Cavanaugh Construction will do the project, and the city will get a bond grant to help pay for it.

“We’ll go to the open market,” Broska said, “and different companies/investors will bid what they’ll accept as an interest rate, and we’ll sign with whoever has the best interest rate. We sign the bonds, and they give us some money.

“Construction time will last 13 to 14 months,” Broska said, “so we look to occupy the new City Hall by September or October of 2025.”

Rita’s Italian Ice opened May 30 at 9292 state Route 14.

Popeyes and Crumbl Cookies will open in the next week or so beside Giant Eagle in Streetsboro Crossing Plaza on State Route 14.


The District 9 Ohio Teacher of the Year, which is selected by the State Board of Education, teaches in Aurora. Her name is Jennifer Kinkoph, and she is a district media specialist at Leighton Elementary School. Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin recognized Kinkoph with a proclamation at a recent council meeting.

Aurora’s annual July 4 celebration will include a Fun Run, for which registration is at 7 a.m. that morning at Bicentennial Park, along with a parade, festival and fireworks. The parade steps off at 11 a.m. from the Heinen’s parking lot at 115 N. Chillicothe Rd. If you would like to be in the parade, go to or call the Aurora Parks and Recreation Department at (330) 562-4333. The festival will be from noon to 3 p.m. at Kiwanis-Moore Park at 35 W. Pioneer Trl., then the fireworks show will start at dusk on West Pioneer Trail.

There was a fairly large water main break recently on State Route 43 right in the center of town. It was caused by the preparation to connect the new water line on Maple Lane to the main on State Route 43. The Aurora Water Department repaired it, and a contractor is repairing some pavement damage as well.

Meanwhile, the replacement of the century-old water line on Maple Lane has been completed.

“That’s the last of five century-old water lines in the city that I’ve replaced in my administration,” Womer Benjamin said.

Womer Benjamin’s administration will propose an ordinance banning any cannabis operations in the city at the June 10 council meeting.

City council approved Womer Benjamin’s hiring of new park ranger Ken Elliott. Longtime park ranger Sam Colmery retired.

As usual, the city of Aurora had a wonderful Memorial Day. There was a program at Veterans Memorial Park and a wreath-laying by the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary. That was followed by a procession to the Aurora Cemetery, where there was a program presented by the VFW. Womer Benjamin spoke at both venues. Also speaking at the Veterans Memorial was former Council Member Harold Hatridge, while also speaking at the cemetery was VFW Commander Ken Riek.

You can step back in time and explore Aurora’s rich history from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 13 by taking a unique Historical Home Tour presented by the Aurora Historical Society. Discover the stories behind Aurora’s most treasured homes, from charming cottages to grand estates. This self-guided tour offers a glimpse into the past and celebrates the rich heritage of the town. After the tour, enjoy complimentary refreshments provided by Anne Maria at the historical society, which is located at 115 E. Pioneer Trl.

For more information and to purchase tickets, which are $25, go to or contact Rachel Reight, Aurora Historical Society secretary, at (330) 612-7245. Tickets can be picked up the day of the event at the historical society. All proceeds support the historical society’s mission to preserve and promote Aurora’s history.

The 2024 Aurora Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau golf outing will be Friday, June 14 at Tanglewood Golf Club, located at 8745 Tanglewood Trl. in Chagrin Falls. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and shotgun play starts at 9 a.m. The fee is $155 per player, which includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, breakfast, lunch, dinner, an A.M. adult beverage bar, beverages and a gift bag. Hole and tee sponsorships are available.

The Friends of Aurora Memorial Library will hold a book sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15. The book sale will be in the lower-level gallery of the library, which is located at 115 E. Pioneer Trl. There will be a variety of books that will make great gifts for Father’s Day. Purchases help fund library activities, programs and events that enrich the lives of community members. Book subjects include barbecuing, cooking, baseball, basketball, football and golf. Checks or cash only will be accepted. For more information, call 330-562-6502.

Food Truck Wednesdays will resume June 12 at Kiwanis-Moore Park at 35 W. Pioneer Trl. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and they will take place the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month through August. A variety of foods will be available.

The Summer Concert Series will begin Thursday, June 13 at Veterans Memorial Park. Concerts will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. The concerts are free.

The Splash Pad is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, weather permitting. It’s located right by Kiwanis-Moore Park on West Pioneer Trail in the center of town. There is no fee for the use of the Splash Pad.

A youth fishing derby for ages 16 and under will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 22 at Sunny Lake Park. The park is located between 885 E. Mennonite Rd. and 625 Page Rd. To sign up, go to

A boathouse is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends at Sunny Lake Park. You can rent boats, and there are concessions.

City of Ravenna

The paving of Main Street is expected to be completed by Wednesday, July 31. The top layer is down, and all the bumps have been smoothed out.

“This has been a huge project for us,” Mayor Frank Seman said. “It’s made a huge difference already in our downtown area. The citizens are finally happy about Main Street.”

Authorization was made for Seman to enter into an agreement with the Ravenna City School District for the 2024-25 school year for the schools’ resource officer, which will be a Ravenna police officer for whom the city pays half and the schools pay half.

Said Seman: “This is an important element given the way things are in this day and age that we have the resource officer, and we’re glad to help the schools with this.”

Seman authorized an application for the 2024 Community Housing Impact and Preservation. This authorizes the mayor to enter into an agreement with Portage County, the City of Streetsboro and Neighborhood Development Services for the implementation of the grant.

“This is a grant we have to apply for every two years,” Seman said. “It provides funds for homeowners who qualify by income to remodel or get items they can’t afford. For example, if a person’s water heater goes out, they can call and apply to this group. We go together with Portage County and Streetsboro because, when you’re cooperating with other groups, they give you extra points.”

This summer, children ages 1-18 are eligible to receive a free, healthy lunch in the cafeteria at University Hospitals Portage Medical Center at 6847 N. Chestnut St. The program, which is sponsored by UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, lasts through Friday, Aug. 16. Each meal includes a special entrée, vegetable, fruit, milk and whole grain side. Registration is not required, and the program is open to all children, but meals must be eaten in the hospital cafeteria to be eligible.

The Community Action Council and the Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority (PMHA) have partnered to bring free lunches to the city of Ravenna. Meals are available to all children, regardless of location, for on-site dining only from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays through Friday, Aug. 16. The PMHA locations are Community Estates, Harvest Woods, Renaissance Place, Reed Memorial Library and a Ravenna City Schools location.

Raven Packs will be accepting “extra” produce from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 11; Thursday, July 18; and Thursday, July 25 at its location of 5581 Prospect St. With contributions from the Portage County Master Gardeners, the Kent Garden Club and other local growers, the plan is to bring a series of free farmers market events to low-income Ravenna families. Thanks to its community partners at the Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority, three Ravenna communities have been identified to participate in this brand-new supplemental and educational food program. Families will receive assorted produce at no cost while benefiting from a farmers market atmosphere. Coupled with University Hospitals Portage reusable shopping bags and nutritional information in the form of recipes, storage, growing tips and more, this program will provide growth for Ravenna families in both food resources and education.

A Multi-Chamber Business After Hours “Under the Pavilion” event will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 20 at University Hospitals Portage Medical Center at 6847 N. Chestnut St. Enjoy appetizers created by UH Nutrition Services and a glass of wine while you network with fellow chamber members. Participating chambers are Ravenna, Aurora, Kent and Streetsboro. To register, go to

An anonymous $3,000 donation was recently made to the Ravenna Police Department’s K-9 unit.

City council received a lot of positive feedback on all the flower beds downtown that were redone in time for the annual Memorial Day Parade.

Reed Memorial Library and the Portage County Historical Society have paired up to install the Ravenna City Timeline, the newest exhibit in the library’s gallery space. The Timeline opened June 5 and features information and photographs from Ravenna’s founding in 1799 through its 225th anniversary this year. The exhibit will be on display through the end of July. Stop by any time the library is open to walk through Ravenna’s history.

Wayne Enders of the Portage County Historical Society will host “Ravenna: 1891-1976” from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 15. It will be a deep dive into the history of the city of Ravenna, from the Great Train Wreck to America’s Bicentennial.

The VFW of Ravenna & Chesty Puller Marines will host a Flag Retirement Ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, June 14.

Bear’s Motorcycle Museum is now open for the summer season. Operating hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and Mondays only. The museum is located at 408 W. Main St. next to McDonald’s. For more information, go to

Crazy Boars Cycles will present the second annual Boar Fest 2024 and a Reasons to Ride Bike Show that will take place downtown Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13, featuring live music, vendors and more. If you were at the event last year, you won’t believe all the new stuff coming this year. The event is going to be even bigger and better.

On July 12, there will be an Iron & Ink competition for best tattoos (register in advance and get a free Iron & Ink T-shirt and exhibitor lanyard). A social hour will start at 6 p.m. Registration will be at 7 p.m. Trophies will be awarded in multiple categories, and additional prizes will be awarded, including possibly “certificates for free ink!” There will also be recognition and prizes for both canvas and artists. On July 13, Boar Fest will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., kicking off at Crazy Boars Custom Cycles at 260 S. Prospect St.
To register, go to Boar Fest Bike Show – Reasons To Ride.

ArtSpace by Popped! Ravenna will host an opening reception of its “Open Art Show: From Fields to Streets” at 5 p.m. Friday, June 14. It will feature artwork from the late Elmer Rogozinski as well as Don Jeffrey, Teresa Bosko, Jen Florentine, Lizzi Aronhalt, Sheryl Richner and Josh Tumpak. The art exhibit will be open to the public during Popped! operating hours through Friday, July 12.

The annual celebration of Juneteenth will be held on the courthouse steps and lawn from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Food will be available, and a band and disc jockey will be on hand.

Hometown Bank’s Concert Series is returning to Ravenna with the DB Band from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 11 on the courthouse lawn. The concert is free. Bring a lawn chair or blanket!

In the mood to sing? Karaoke Nights are being hosted from 6 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday at the Horseshoe Diner at 250 W. Main St. inside the Buckeye Mall, as well as at the West Main St. Winery, Brewery & Cider House at 234 W. Main St. (rotating between the two).


A lot still must be done before work can begin on the new walking trail at Shalersville Park. An area by Field 7 must be graded to improve watershed. There are several other improvements planned for the park, but they are contingent upon funding approval. According to State Representative Gail Pavliga, a grant is still there as of now, and the hope is to have the funding completed by the end of June.

Much work still needs to be done at Riverside Cemetery. Several of the gravesites have memorials that are impeding lawn maintenance and also making it difficult to get the excavator to the gravesites.

“People are generally understanding and were unaware of the rules,” township Trustee Jack Bias said.

The annual Memorial Day Parade was held Saturday, May 25. Despite the chance of rain, there was a large turnout. A contest was held for the Best Decorated Bike or Wagon in three categories – Boys, Girls and Overall.

The State of Ohio awarded a 50% funding grant for the paving of Coit Road. An ad for bids will be placed June 14 and June 21.

Roger Gordon
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