Seven items of legislation came before Galion City Council on Aug. 26.
Ordinances 2014-64 and 2014-65 reflected the changes made earlier this year in the new union contracts. The first authorized the discontinuation of the pension pick-up contribution for employees of the Police Department. The city will no longer pick up any percentage of contribution.
The second authorized a gradual phase-out of the pension pick-up contribution for employees at the Fire Department over the next three years.
Final readings for both ordinances passed.
Ord. 2014-63 amended the language to the pool fees to change “Family Pass” to “Household Pass,” defined as “two adults and up to and including four children who reside at the same residence.” Prices for the passes did not change and there is still a $5 charge for each additional child each season. Council passed the second reading.
Ord. 2014-69 approved a Federal Aviation Administration grant in the amount of $69,271, with a local match of $7,697. The grant is to be used for the rehabilitation of the Galion Airport’s runway, taxiway and apron.
Because the agreement is due by Sept. 15, Council member Tom Fellner motioned to suspend the rules to pass the item as an emergency. The motion failed 5-1, with Council member Mike Richart dissenting.
After the vote, Richart explained he spoke to Richland Engineering about the grant process. The city is presented with grant options every year and can defer this project up to five years. He recently walked the airport grounds and said there are some cracks on the runway but they are not serious. He suggested waiting until next year and expanding the scope of the project to include repaving the parking area and fixing the faded runway markings.
After some discussion, the first reading passed unanimously.
Ord. 2014-70 amended 2014 appropriations for several increases and decreases. The major transfer was $2 million within the Electric Operating Fund. Auditor Brian Treisch explained it resulted from a combination of issues: The city estimated low for the yearly cost of power, overall power usage increased this year and last winter was especially cold.
He is now working with Utility Office Manager Dan Bute and Electric Line Department Superintendent Tony Slone to determine exactly why usage increased. Also, he noted there will be no increase in customer bills as a result of the reappropriation.
Council passed the first reading. It will be reviewed by the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission for final approval.
Ord. 2014-71 authorized 17 transfers within various line items in amounts ranging from $20 to $20,000. Council passed this item as an emergency.
Res. 2014-15 approved a “then and now” certificate for $5,669. Fellner explained this covers an invoice from E.P. Ferris, for engineering services on the 598 widening project. The resolution was passed as an emergency.
In other business, council received a notice that Whistle Stop Café, 241 Harding Way East, has received a D-1 liquor license (beer only) from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.
Bob Johnston, who owns the restaurant, said he would eventually like to offer both beer and wine, but this was the only permit available.
In mayor’s comments, Tom O’Leary announced Hesby Drive is open to traffic and is being used as a detour route during the bridge closure. He noted that several speeding tickets have been issued; some drivers were going as fast as 45 m.p.h.
The speed limit of the new road is 25 m.p.h., even though signs are not posted yet. Drivers are reminded that the new school year has begun and they should watch for walkers.
O’Leary also said that installing street lights along Hesby Drive has not been done yet. The Electric Line Department is now looking at the project and hopes to be finished this fall.