The Feb. 14 City Council meeting opened with the swearing in ceremony for a new police officer. Andrew Rehm was welcomed to the Galion Police Department by Mayor Tom O’Leary, who administered the oath of office.
“We’re very lucky to have you,” O’Leary commented.
Rehm is a 2012 graduate of Colonel Crawford High School and received his criminal justice degree from North Central State College. He previously worked at the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office as a dispatcher and is also a certified emergency medical technician.
“He’s a local kid which is good for us,” Police Chief Brian Saterfield said. “We’re looking forward to getting him out on the road…I hope he stays here for a long time.”
In legislation, council ratified a Community Reinvestment Area agreement with Englefield Oil. The company owns the BP gas station located at 745 Harding Way West and intends to invest $2.9 million into constructing a new building and expanding.
Council member Gail Baldinger explained the Housing Council granted a 50% abatement on increased property value for a term of eight years. The legislation passed 6-0 as an emergency (Council member Shirley Clark was absent).
Ord. 2017-6 authorized lease bidding for the South Street Commerce Center. The term of the lease is two years and includes an option to purchase the property at the end of the term. The lease will secure a tenant at the building after Next Generation Films moves out in late March. This item passed as a second reading 6-0.
Ord. 2017-7 authorized bidding for cash rent of 70.7 acres of farm land near the Galion Municipal Airport. The term is for three years. This item passed as a second reading 6-0. Ord. 2017-9 adopted a financial policy manual. It details the city’s accounting practices and provides internal controls. This item passed as a second reading 6-0.
Ord. 2017-10 authorized an agreement with the Galion YMCA to operate the Heise Pool during the summer season. The YMCA will hire, train, pay and supervise lifeguards and other staff necessary for pool operations and its concession facility.
YMCA Executive Director Terry Gribble said the contract terms are the same as the last couple of years and the hourly rate the city pays the YMCA will not increase, which is $96 per hour at a maximum of 8 hours per day Monday through Friday, and a maximum of five-and-a-half hours per day on weekends. This also includes cleaning pool facilities, mowing, and staffing for American Red Cross swim lessons. All revenue received by the YMCA for pool passes and daily admissions is applied directly to the fees charged by the YMCA for the operation and management.
Gribble also said they will try to extend the season by one week, but this is often difficult when so many employees go back to college. This item passed as a first reading 6-0.
Ord. 2017-11 amended rules for the distribution of Freese Funds. The amendment removes the requirement for the City of Galion to provide a 25 percent match for projects. All other applicants (Galion City Schools and local non-profits) would still be required to provide a 25 percent match.
O’Leary explained the city has several projects it would like to request grant funding for, but the recreation fund does not have much in capital over the next few years to supply the match.
Ord. 2017-12 accepted a grant from the Ohio Development Services Agency on behalf of the Galion Fire and EMS Department. Fire Chief Phil Jackson explained the city and Polk Township applied for the grant together because each public entity could only apply for up to $100,000, and the department also serves Polk Township. The combined $200,000 grant will pay for a replacement ambulance. There is a $50,000 local match. This item passed as an emergency 6-0.
Resolutions 2017-4 and 2017-5 appointed Sukhdeep Mann and Andee Wildenthaler to fill vacancies on the Galion Board of Health, respectively. Mann is a local pharmacist and Wildenthaler is employed at the Galion YMCA. Both items passed as emergencies.