County roundup: Ravenna residents complain of bright LEDs downtown, plus news from Aurora and Shalersville

City of Ravenna

City council is looking into the bright LED lighting that some of Ravenna’s businesses use that is causing complaints from residents, especially in the commercial areas.

“The people are offended by the lights, which are very bright. They seem to be convenience stores,” Mayor Frank Seman said. “Some of these businesses are right on the edge of residential areas, and we get complaints from people saying they can’t sleep with the lights shining in their windows. We’re going to study the problem and find out what we can do and figure out what limitations we can make. We’d like to recommend wattages so they’re not offensive to the neighbors.”

City council purchased a new power cot and load system for one of the Ravenna Fire Department’s ambulances for about $50,000.

“The old system was near the end of life,” Seman said. “It allows our firemen to pick up people, including heavy people, without the risk of straining their backs or injuring themselves.”

Council approved an ordinance authorizing Seman to advertise for bids for the Foxwood Estates Sanitary Extension.

“This is unique because the Foxwood Sanitary Extension is in Ravenna Township, but the city sewer stops where the township starts,” Seman said. “The county received a grant to install a sewer system for six homes in Foxwood that are experiencing problems with their waste systems. They’re not working. Our engineering department will oversee the installation of this. It’s a good example of two entities working together to solve a problem.”

City council is discussing how it is going to approach the legitimization of marijuana as a city.

“The state will be sending out guidelines that we have to follow,” Seman said.

The road department is scheduled to start repaving Main Street in mid-April. The State of Ohio will pay for 80% of the project because Main Street is a state route (state Route 59).

Council purchased a new truck for the road department. It cost in the neighborhood of $49,000. The old truck was worn out.

Reed Memorial Library will host a large eclipse-viewing party on the old Ravenna High School lawn (parking lot next to Dairy Queen). Eclipse glasses will be available for attendees while supplies last. For more library programming, go to Events — Reed Memorial Library (

“Lunch with the Easter Bunny” will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at the Ravenna VFW. There will be a lunch buffet, door prizes, raffle baskets and goody bags. The entrance fees are $5 for adults and $3 for children.

Ravenna Parks and Recreation will hold an Easter Eggstravaganza at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 30 at City Park, located at 165 Oakwood St.

ArtSpace at Popped! has kicked off an Out of this World Art Show as of March 8. Stop in now through Friday, April 12 to check out this new display.

Registration is live at for Main Street Ravenna’s second annual golf outing Friday, May 10 and Artists of Art on Main 2024 on Saturday, June 8.

The annual Developmental Disabilities Walk around the courthouse took place March 15 emphasizing the contributions of the mentally handicapped as citizens.

“A lot of these people are in wheelchairs, so they do a symbolic walk around the courthouse,” Seman said. “A couple of the folks spoke.”

Reed Memorial Library’s parking lot construction is underway. Parking alternates are available in front of the building as well as additional lots throughout town. For more information, go to Landscape Enhancements — Reed Memorial Library (

The Portage County Charity Horse Show donated $100 and the Ravenna Elks donated $200 to the Ravenna Police Department to be used for the K-9 unit.

The Ravenna Fire Department received the 2024 Assistance to Firefighters Grant for $10,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ravenna Township

The Ravenna Township Fire Department levy will be on the ballot in the primary election Tuesday, March 19. If the new levy, which is 6.1 mills, passes, the old levy, which is 5 mills, will be canceled.

Portage County is in the planning stages of eventually installing sewers in the Chinn Allotment on Brady Lake Road.

“All the homes in the allotment have septic systems, but most of them have been identified as being not in compliance,” township Chair Jim DiPaola said. “The Environmental Protection Agency mandated that the health department and the county get this done.”

The township’s annual Spring Cleanup will be drop-off this year instead of curbside like it has been in previous years. This year’s Spring Cleanup will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 27 at the Town Hall parking lot at 6115 Spring St. Township residents can check for what can be dropped off and what cannot be dropped off. Residents must present some form of identification, preferably a driver’s license or a utility bill.


“Eclipse Over Aurora” will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, April 8 at Sunny Lake Park at 885 E. Mennonite Rd. There will be food trucks, a disc jockey, games and a limited number of solar viewing glasses.

City council approved a $196,729 purchase of equipment for the fire department, including a cot and loading system for a new ambulance that it is getting, along with 16 defibrillators and four chest compression systems.

City council approved installing solar panels on Fire Station #1 on West Pioneer Trail.

Council approved a $200,000 admission tax credit to Atlas Cinemas, which will soon be opening in Barrington Plaza.

Council reauthorized the city entering into various mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities.

The Dementia Caregiver Toolbox, a virtual four-part series, will present Part 3, “Alternative Therapies in Dementia Care,” from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 27; and Part 4, “Family Dynamics & Care Planning,” from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 10. In Part 3, participants will learn the basics of the healing arts (art, music, dance, pet and aromatherapy) and explore how they benefit individuals who have diseases with dementia symptoms. To RSVP for Part 3, go to In Part 4, participants will learn how to navigate challenging relationships and family dynamics through good communication tips and a strong care plan. To RSVP for Part 4, go to For more information regarding both parts 3 and 4, contact April Suva at (216) 385-1610 or [email protected].

The Friends of the Aurora Memorial Library will host a book sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. The library is located at 115 E. Pioneer Trl. (the book sale will be in the lower-level gallery). Proceeds from the book sale will support library activities, programs and events that enrich the lives of community members.

Bring the children so they can take part in a free raffle for four new children’s books in celebration of the April 8 solar eclipse.

The city’s annual “Eggstravaganza” will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 23 at the Aurora High School gymnasium. There will be an Easter Egg hunt, raffles and more. Scouts will be selling potato chips and pop.

The city’s first Shred Day of the year will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 6 at the Aurora Service Department parking lot at 158 W. Pioneer Trl. Aurora residents can bring up to six boxes (bankers size or smaller) of paper that will be shredded on site.

PureBliss Studios will offer a one-day workshop called “Pathway to Wellness” from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 6. PureBliss Studios is located at 4 New Hudson Rd. The program will feature gratitude yoga with Kathy Hartung and basic healthy habits with Katie Needs. For more information and to sign up, go to


The fourth annual Shalersville Township Easter Egg Hunt will be from 9 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 23 at Shalersville Park on state Route 303. There will be lots of candy. People are asked not to bring their pets.

Roger Gordon
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