Council debatesnew facility forCrawford County


Galion City Council members on March 26 deliberated the usefulness of a new waste management facility in Crawford County.

During the meeting, members heard the second reading of ordinance 2024-9, which would give the Crawford County Solid Waste Management District approval to construct a new administration building.

This new facility would not cost the city directly, but the waste management district still needs approval from the City of Galion since it services the area. Council President Eric Webber excused himself from discussions due to a conflict of interest.

Council member Mike Richart mentioned that the cost of the building would be around $1.2 million, but he suspected costs could rise as construction goes on. Several council members were concerned about Galion residents’ lack of access to the new facility, including Kara Ault, who presented research on how directly the facility would affect residents.

Ault said according to the district’s strategic plan, which contained data from 2019, there are 19 recycling stations in the county run by the Crawford County Solid Waste Management District. Of these, only one full-time site is located in Galion.

Council members decided to pass the ordinance on to a third reading so that they can collect more information before calling for a final vote.

In other council business, Ordinance 2024-15 covered several appropriations issues, including a request from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in Galion for four employees to attend the STI Engage in Washington, D.C., this year.

Leanna Purdue, business service officer and vital statistics registrar for the Galion Health Department, said that the conference is recommended by the state of Ohio and provides employees with continued learning opportunities to better serve the community. The HRSA is asking for $20,000 allotted for all four employees to attend the conference.

Purdue added that the $20,000 is an overestimation of the employees’ actual travel needs. Any money not used during travel will be redirected back to the HRSA’s STI program in Galion.

Before COVID, HRSA employees regularly attended this conference. This will be the HRSA’s second year attending since COVID. The money the HRSA requested for the travel expenses will come from funds in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

The HRSA received some pushback from council, with Richart asking about the necessity of the trip. Purdue explained that continuing education is part of their program and added that a new employee who could especially benefit from the conference is being included on the trip.

“We’re not going down there to party,” she says.

Mayor Tom O’Leary compared the HRSA’s request to the police department’s travel budget, which he says is around $5,000. He expressed concerns that the HRSA was asking for too much.

“This using the grant to fund travel, which no other department would… think of asking for that much money. It strikes me as something that I’m going to speak up about. I can see that you’re determined to go, but I’m raising my concern about wherever the money comes from. It’s not city money but it’s taxpayer money,” O’Leary says.

The council unanimously passed the ordinance.

Hannah Bryan is a correspondent for the Galion Inquirer. She can be reached at [email protected].

No posts to display