Tax breaks, social services and cop controversy on tap for Aurora city council meeting Monday

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AURORA | Aurora City Council members on Monday will consider tax breaks, social services and police controversies.

On the Monday agenda is for a major cleaning tech company to move its headquarter to the city, if a bevy of mental health and homelessness programs should receive city funds and whether to approve a task force to study police interactions. 

Karcher, a provider of cleaning technologies that employs 12,000 people across the globe, is considering creating an American headquarters in Aurora, if city council members approve a sales and use tax rebate that would result in $336,435 in tax savings over a 10-year period for the company, according to city documents. 

Upon the deal, the company is slated to move 500 employees to the city plus create 15 new positions at the headquarters, which would cost about $23 million to build. 

Aurora economic officials estimate the 15 new jobs would have an average salary of $69,903, excluding benefits.

Besides tax incentives, area social services are on the Monday agenda, too. 

Council members could approve funding for a handful of organizations that have received funding from the city in the past. That previous funding came partially through the photo red-light program. That was curtailed after voters in 2018 backed a measure prohibiting red-light camera violations.

If a new measure is approved, Mile High Behavioral Healthcare and the Comitis emergency shelter could receive $262,065; Aurora Mental Health Center’s social detox program could receive more than $106,000; Aurora Mental Health Center’s Crisis and Homeless Services could receive more than $79,000; Gateway Domestic Violence Services could get more than $109,000; and Sungate Kids, which provides resources such as forensic interviewing and child abuse prevention programs, could receive more than $51,000.

Also on the Monday agenda, Aurora City Council members could approve a task force that “could identify, discuss, and propose solutions to police-community issues.” 

The group is slated to comprise nine to 13 members who will meet regularly for one year with the goal of bettering communication between residents and cops. Members will likely hold public meetings in every council ward and provide regular updates to the city council regarding their progress.

While the task force will not serve as an entity to review contentious incidents involving the city’s police department, members will likely work toward forming a mechanism to provide independent review, according to Councilwoman Nicole Johnston.

“I’d like to pursue some type of independent entity, but I’m hesitant to say exactly ‘board’ or ‘monitor’ or what that looks like,” Johnston previously told the Sentinel. “Because looking at other cities, I want Aurora to have something different.”