At the opening of Galion City Council’s Aug. 26 meeting, Council President Carl Watt announced that attendance of all elected city officials would be recorded for the meeting minutes. This will be regular practice from now on.
Officials in attendance were: Mayor Tom O’Leary, Law Director Thomas Palmer and City Auditor Brian Treisch. City Treasurer Paula Durbin was not in attendance.
City Council members in attendance were: Sarah Capretta, Shirley Clark, Tom Fellner, Jon Kleinknecht, Mike Richart and Steve Rowan. Council member Susan Bean was absent; council excused her.
Watt thanked them all for attending. He said he also appreciates the city employees who regularly attend meetings and recognized them: Utility Office Manager Dan Bute, Building Inspector Bob Johnston, Electric Line Superintendent Tony Slone, Safety-Service Director John Swain and Interim Health Department Commissioner Stephanie Zmuda.
In public comments, Carol Kable, Marty Cecil and John and Brenda Barker were on hand. They are all members of the Friends of the Big Four Depot, an advocacy and support group under the Galion Historical Society.
Kable explained the group was formed to raise awareness about the Depot and try to get the building preserved. Most recently, they hosted the “Deals at the Depot” event on Aug. 7, 8 and 9, in the front yard of the property.
According to Kable, it was a huge success with a total of 18 vendors. On the final day, a DJ provided music and the Galion Alumni Band performed as well.
“Our main goal was to showcase the Depot. It’s one of the city’s greatest assets in our opinion,” Kable stated. She thanked the city and all others who made the event possible. The Friends would like to host it again next year.
Later in the mayor’s comments, O’Leary gave an update on the Request for Proposal for the Depot. He said the RFP is complete and will be sent out soon to private and non-profit entities who may be interested in developing the property.
Currently the city owns the building but cannot use tax credit funding to restore it.
In other business, Utility Office Manager Dan Bute was asked to report on Customer Appreciation Days, which his office hosted on Aug. 21 and 22. He said almost 900 bags of free light bulbs were handed out to customers - a 30 percent increase from last year.
Also, the city will implement a budgeted payment option for utility customers starting with September utility bills. Bute said 110-115 people are signed up and his office continues to get requests.
This Friday is the last day for sign-ups. If you are interested, stop by the Utility Office or call 419-468-6611.
That evening’s legislation included several fund transfers, an FAA grant and a second reading on the pool pass amendment. More details will be provided in a separate story.
Laws and Ordinances - Thursday, Aug. 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Police, Fire and Health - Monday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.
Utilities - Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.
Finance - Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.