City Council approves Freese Grant projects


The Galion City Council on April 9 approved three new Freese Grant projects for the upcoming year, focusing on city improvements and restorations.

The Freese Foundation gives the City of Galion an annual endowment to be spent on parks and recreation projects. The council must decide which projects should receive the annual funding. This year, the city will receive $480,688.

Council approved three projects: renovations to the Galion Big Four Depot, replacement of infield material on the baseball field at PECO Park, and adding a shelter at Amick Reservoir.

The proposed depot renovations are budgeted for $350,000 and will include updated bathrooms and updates to existing rentable spaces.

Mayor Tom O’Leary called the project at PECO Park a “good deal for everyone” and suggested that refreshing the baseball field would keep up community interest. This project has a budget of $8,100.

The new shelter project has a budget of $50,000 and will serve as a safe area for fishermen and others at Amick Reservoir.

All three projects were passed by council.

In other business, council members heard the third and final reading of ordinance 2024-9, which would give the Crawford County Solid Waste Management District approval to construct a new administration building.

During the last reading of the ordinance, several council members expressed concern that the expense would not directly benefit the citizens of Galion. Council member Mike Richart said again that he felt the money could be better used elsewhere.

The council unanimously voted no on the ordinance, however the Crawford County Solid Waste Management District already has enough “yes” votes from other communities to move forward with the project.

Ordinances 2024-21, 22, 23, and 24 were brought to council to address a budgetary error. City Auditor Brian Saterfield brought a Health Department budget issue to the council’s attention. He explained that when the council passed ordinance 2023-80 last year, it was issued as a line item budget rather than a broad budget.

Saterfield explained that this does not allow the Health Department to make budget changes within the overall set budget, as it would typically do. So adjustments that the Health Department would typically make throughout the year are now a council-related issue.

The proposed ordinances are for budget issues that have already come up this year. O’Leary warned council that this would require more meetings moving forward and added that council would be unlikely to make a mistake like this again.

Council passed all four ordinances related to the Health Department budget.

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

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