Galion City Council had 12 items of legislation on its May 24 agenda.
First, a public hearing was held regarding Ord. 2016-32, which would permit a zoning change to allow permanent outdoor dining in front of businesses located in the Uptowne District. Currently businesses can set up tables and chairs in front of their establishments, but must bring everything inside at the close of business.
Several citizens commented on the proposed change, with most speakers in favor. They cited creating more activity on the sidewalks and attracting customers to those businesses as reasons to approve the change.
During legislation, Ord. 2016-32 was tabled and sent back to the Laws and Ordinances Committee for further discussion.
Ord. 2016-31, which was an amendment to Section 529 of the Codified Ordinances, was also sent back to the Laws and Ordinances Committee. This item would have created two exceptions to allow the sale and consumption of alcohol on public property:
1. The owner of a dining establishment with outdoor sidewalk seating, who serves alcohol, may apply for a permit from the City.2. Community event organizers for activities held on city-owned property may apply for a permit from the City, but would also need to apply for a Class F permit through the State Division of Liquor Control. The applying organization must be recognized as a nonprofit corporation or limited liability company. Several other regulations were included: All sales limited to 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., a minimum of one special duty police officer or sheriff deputy must be hired during the event and the applicant must obtain a liability policy of at least $1 million.
During the discussion on the ordinance, several citizens were in opposition to allowing alcohol sale and consumption in city parks, the same concern raised during past discussions. No attendees took issue with the exception for businesses.
Ord. 2016-40 modified the staffing ordinance for employees in the Electric Line Department. Currently the staff includes up to four linemen and up to two apprentices. The proposal was to change those position titles, creating up to six “line maintenance” personnel.
The change would not add additional employees, but change the position title so that the department is not required to hire apprentices because, legally, there must be a two-to-one ratio of linemen to apprentices. The item passed as a second reading.
The following items were passed as emergencies.
Res. 2016-9 approved appointments for the Uptowne Design Review Board. Heath Watkins and Judy Gibson will fill two resignations, and Chris Stone was named as an alternate.
Ord. 2016-43 amended Ord. 2014-65 regarding the Fire Pension Fund, in order to make it consistent with the language of the union contract. The effective dates for the phase out of the city’s contribution to the fund were changed to the first payroll of the year rather than January 1 of each year. Effective this year, Fire Department employees who are members of the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund are responsible for all contributions.
Ord. 2016-44 approved a recommendation made by the Treasury Investment Board to authorize the city auditor and city treasurer to place all authorized investments of city funds with Meeder Investment Management. The Dublin-based firm offers investment solutions for local governments.
City Treasurer Rod Sparks explained Meeder will help the city diversify $15 million in investments, in order to get a better return on interest—projected to be $125,000 per year.
Ord. 2016-45 authorized the bidding for culvert replacements on Seventh Avenue and Eighth Avenue. The project entails the installation of 33 lineal feet of concrete box culverts on each street where they cross the Shumaker Ditch.
Project cost is not to exceed $179,916. In addition to new culverts, the project includes new guardrails, curbs and gutters and replacement of the adjoining water and sewer lines The item was passed as an emergency so the project can be completed and streets in that area can be resurfaced as scheduled.
Ord. 2016-46 authorized the bidding for replacing two screw pumps located at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The existing screw pumps are 30 years old, which exceeds their rated life. Also, the plant’s rated average capacity of 2.7 million gallons of wastewater per day is greater than the current capacity of the screw pumps. The replacement cost is not to exceed $582,500, which includes the new pumps and related controls, as well as engineering and installation.
Ord. 2016-47 approved a depository agreement with United Bank up to a maximum of $26 million, effective June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2021. Res. 2016-10 approved a then and now certificate for $5,180, a payment to Perry and Associates for performance of auditing services. Ord. 2016-48 modified 2016 appropriations to transfer $8,000 into Contract Services. This is a payment for this year’s fireworks display, to be held July 3.
The final piece of legislation was the Community Reinvestment Area amendment, which is covered in detail in a separate article.