Galion City Council resumed discussion on the pool pass issue during its July 22 meeting.
There was previously a lengthy discussion at the July 8 meeting, because the language of the ordinance that sets the pool fees was preventing many types of non-traditional families from buying a family pass. In trying to make the wording more inclusive, many suggestions and questions were raised, resulting in Ordinance 2014-63 getting sent back to the Parks and Streets Committee.
The committee revised the legislation after another lengthy discussion and the revised legislation came before Council on July 22. The revision changed “Family Pass” to “Group Pass.” It defined a group as “up to two adults and unlimited children 18 and under, related to at least one of the adults on the pass.”
Council member Jon Kleinknecht said he has received some questions regarding foster parents. He motioned to amend the language to add “or in the documented care of” to the definition. The motion passed.
There was also concern about allowing an unlimited number of children to be included on a group pass.
Council member Susan Bean stated that she talked to Terry Gribble, executive director of the Galion YMCA. “I asked if there would be additional expenses for items like chemicals to treat the pool, if it is being used by more people.” Gribble informed her it would increase the cost to operate the pool, but did not have figures on how much.
Council member Tom Fellner pointed out that allowing an unlimited children is unfair because a family with 10 children would be charged the same amount as a family with three. He said they need to keep a cap on the amount of children and assess a prorated charge for each additional child. (Currently, up to three children are allowed on a pass, with a $5 charge for each additional child.)
Bean was also concerned that pool employees are not currently checking any documentation to show proof of the adult’s relationship with the children.
“It’s really creating an administrative nightmare for the people running the pool,” Council President Carl Watt commented.
Police Chief Brian Saterfield then asked: “You got a lot of questions here. What’s the urgency?” He explained that by the time the ordinance is passed, the YMCA will likely will not issue passes this season based on the revision (the pool closes in mid August). Saterfield suggested that Council slow down the process, get the YMCA more involved and have new language ready for next year.
Council then passed a motion to send the item back to the Parks and Streets Committee again.
In other business, Mayor Tom O’Leary thanked John Swain for his service and hard work over the past year as safety-service director. “John deserves credit for the improvements in department operations,” he said. Swain received a round of applause from attendees.
In his comments, Watt said that council members recently toured the Avita Pediatric Therapy Center as well as the new Dialysis Clinic. He said both facilities are state-of-the-art and are assets to the city, both for the services they offer and the jobs they have created.
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. Both passed as first readings.
Ord. 2014-66 - Adopted the current pages of the City of Galion’s codified ordinances, which were thoroughly updated earlier this year. It passed as an emergency.
Ord. 2014-67 - Approved the transfer of unappropriated funds within various accounts in the total amount of $241,351. The breakdown is as follows: $32,000 for employee wages in the Recreation/Maintenance Fund and $2,700 for benefits, $1,000 for contractual services in the Recreation Fund, $1,300 for street sweeping costs, $90,000 within the Street Fund, and $72,000 for wages, $4,900 for benefits, $2,100 for contract services and $11,000 for operating supplies all within the Street Construction Maintenance and Repair Fund.
The only item that was not a transfer was a payment of $24,351 to Ohio Heartland Community Action Center. The ordinance passed as an emergency.
Ord. 2014-68 - Authorized for the advertising of bids for various street paving projects in the amount of $320,000. During Council had already appropriated these funds during its June 24 meeting. Various residential streets will be paved this year: Edgewood Drive, Gill Avenue, Jefferson Street, Pershing Avenue, Tidd Drive, Westgate Road and Wilson Street. It passed as an emergency.
Ord. 2014-59 - Accepted the annexation of two acres of land. This is for the parcel where Keep It Classy car wash is located. It passed on the third reading.
Ord. 2014-61 - Approved a payment option for the stranded costs of the AMPGS project. Galion’s share is $787,105, to be paid over the next 15 years. It passed on the third reading.
Ord. 2014-57 - Changed the zoning classification of RAR Districts to Residential Estate Districts within the northeast annexation area. It passed on a second reading.