A Lexington-based company will be the new tenant of the South Street Commerce Center, formerly known as the HTI building, announced at a Galion City Council meeting on May 10.
Hydraulic Technologies LLC, which specialized in custom-welded hydraulic cylinders and employed 70 positions, announced its closure at the end of 2015 more than a year ago. The move was made by Ligon Industries LLC, HTI’s parent company.
The building will now be home to Next Generation Films, a Lexington-based company, which signed a lease for the entire building in early May, according to city officials.
Councilman Jim Hedges said he brought Next Generation officials to visit the building and with the Mayor. Hedges said he’s happy to bring business into the area.
Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary said he appreciated Hedges help in bringing the company, who were the only bidders for the building. He added that it’s a good example of Council and the Mayor’s office working together to improve the city.
Next Generation will lease 285,000 square feet of the property to use as a warehouse operation, O’Leary said. This does not include about 15,000 square feet of office space.
Council approved legislation to cover expenditures related to the carrying costs and preparing the building for lease, including $93,000 for utilities, $12,000 for insurance and $33,000 in repair work.
While the city will be responsible for the utilities, insurance and taxes, the revenue generated by the lease each month will cover those expenses. The 8-month lease will generate about $35,000 per month, and Next Generation has already written a check in the amount of $102,000, officials said.
The length of the lease allows enough flexibility to determine whether Next Generation finds the building a good fit, O’Leary said. It also keeps the door open for other local industries that are interested to expand operations in the building, he added.
In other business, Council approved four items of legislation to authorize applications for grant funding: a Transportation Alternatives Program grant, from the Ohio Department of Transportation, to help fund the first phase of a bike path; a NatureWorks, from Ohio Department of Natural Resources, to fund a replacement restroom facility at South Park; a Community Oriented Policing Services grant, from the U.S. Department of Justice, to pay 75 percent of the wage and benefits for one full-time police officer for a three-year period; and approval of Freese Foundation grants recommended by the Freese Grant Advisory Board.
City officials said if the TAP grant is awarded it will help fund the first phase of a multi-use trail that could be used for recreational activities like walking, running and biking. The trail length for phase one is 1.56 miles, which will extend from Galion High School south to Hosford Road using a combination of existing roadways, city-owned property, and land adjacent to the Olentangy River.
This is the same route that was used for the 2015 TAP application, which was not selected for project funding. Richland Engineering Limited performed the preliminary engineering study for the proposed project.
Estimated total project cost is $636,000. The amount of TAP funding being requested is $440,000, with the required 20 percent local match being $196,000. In addition, the city would pay for all of the architectural and engineering costs, environmental studies and right-of-way acquisition.
The transportation grant requires approval from ODOT and the Federal Highway Administration. Projects must meet several criteria guidelines such as having a direct relationship to surface transportation and demonstrating a public benefit.
For the COPS grant, Police Chief Brian Saterfield said the award will allow his department to have 18 operations staff and one full-time school resource officer. Galion police now consists of 17 operations staff and the SRO, who spends 85 percent of the work week at Galion City Schools and the remainder performing administrative duties at the department.
Three projects will receive funding from the Freese Foundation:
- $87,150 to Galion City Schools for an irrigation system for the football field; backstop and dugout safety upgrades and repairs for the baseball and softball fields; batting cage improvements; and spectator fencing improvement/replacement.
- $44,775 to the City of Galion for the replacement of a handicap accessible restroom at East Park.
- $9,375 to the Galion Historical Society for restoration of the second floor of the Carriage House Museum.
Additionally, Council approved an additional $50,000 for the Church Street overpass project. Mayor Tom O’Leary said some additional work is needed for the project including catch basin improvements and adding sealant to the parapet walls.