City Council opened its Sept. 25 meeting with a 20-minute executive session to discuss pending court action. The first item of legislation on the docket when the public meeting resumed was Res. 2018-9, which was consent for Galion to be an amicus party, or impartial adviser, for a case currently under review by the Ohio Supreme Court. The title is McConnell v. Dudley, which concerns liability and exposure for police departments.
Law Director Thomas Palmer further explained the case involves sovereign immunity for police officer action. Several Ohio municipalities are joining as amicus party. Council passed the item as a final reading.
Council also authorized a Job Creation Tax Credit agreement with Covert Manufacturing. A 50% credit will be placed on the increased income tax generated by the 35 additional jobs the company plans to fill.
“Covert is the first business to request this after council established the guidelines. I’m glad that they can take advantage of this incentive,” Council Member Tom Fellner said.
Council Member Bill Comerford added the tax credit shows the city’s willingness to work with local businesses.
Ord. 2018-63 authorized an Ohio Public Works application for Phase III of the Southeast Storm Sewer project. The city will request $165,000 in grant funds to put toward the project cost of $475,350 in total.
The project area is:
- East Street (from Dawsett Avenue north to, and including, Keckler Avenue)
- Wood Street (from South Street to South Riblet Street)
- 350 feet of South Pierce Street
Mayor Tom O’Leary explained there are recurring issues with standing water in this area. The project will continue to improve drainage in the Dawsett Aveneue/Wood Street area.
A second discussion was held regarding an amendment to section 945.01 of the codified ordinances to clarify that gas boat motors are not allowed on any city reservoir, which aligns with the regulations of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Fire Chief Phil Jackson asked how the county dive team would be affected, as they use a boat with a gas motor. The Galion Water Treatment Plant also uses a gas motor when taking water samples or applying chemicals in order to prevent algal blooms.
Council amended the language of the amendment to specify that the prohibition applies only to private boats. Ord. 2018-58 passed as a second reading.
Ord. 2018-56 - Zoned/rezoned three parcels. Outlot 915, where the water tower property on Dawsett Avenue is located, was zoned as R-1C (Historic Residential Single-Family District). Outlot 916, which contains a portion of the Waste Water Treatment Plant property, was zoned as R-1B (Single-Family Residential District). The third parcel, Outlot 917, is where the Keep It Classy car wash is located. The parcel will be rezoned from Rural Estate to General Commercial.
In each case, the zoning will match the surrounding area of those parcels. Council passed the item as a final reading.
Ord. 2018-60 amended appropriations as follows:
- $2,500 transferred for other technical services within the Building Department
- $12,000 transferred for aviation fuel within the Airport Fund.
- $69,500 was transferred for salaries and benefits within the Water Fund.
Council passed this item as a final reading.
Ord. 2018-62 authorized bidding for new equipment in the Fire Department, 95% of which will be paid through a FEMA grant. Self Contained Breathing Apparatus equipment will be replaced, including the packs, masks and tanks used by firefighters. Council passed the item as a final reading.
Res. 2018-10 accepted a maintenance easement for Hesby Drive and the west portion of Park Drive. Palmer explained several streets have been built by the city over the years but were never formally accepted them because the streets were built to the city’s specifications. However, those streets are not on the county GIS map. The city is working to get all streets added to the map.