Land annexation, job creation tax credits closer to fruition after recent city council meeting
GALION — Galion City Council met on Tuesday and covered a wide variety of local legislation issues.
The first item before council members was the final reading of an ordinance that allows for the advancement of funds in order to begin work on the sewer and streets for the land that will become the Valero gas station at Ohio 598, north or the Sleep Inn and Brandt Road. The ordinance was passed unanimously.
The next order of business was the second reading of the ordinance which laid out requests for Freese Grant funding for the city. The largest portion of the request — for a Multi Purpose Recreational trail — was amended from approximately $600,000 to just over $300,000 in order to allow for future funding to come from other areas to finish the project.
Council membersmoved to put the ordinance as a final reading in order to get the request before the Freese Grant board at their upcoming meeting in April. Council passed the ordinance by a 7-0 vote.
New business for the evening included three ordinances that pertain to the land purchased for development by JBS Development at the intersection of Brandt Road and Ohio. 598. This land houses the former PECO business location.
The first of the three ordinances pertained to annexing the land to the city, which was requested by developers.
The second and third ordinances in this group involved job creation tax credits.
Galion mayor Tom O’Leary stated that these tax credits would be available for existing business — not just those new to Galion — who meet the requirements of job creation.
All three ordinances were passed unanimously.
In other business, City Council heard from members of the Galion Health Department in response to a suggestion from thestate auditor’s office that the city discontinue having its own health department in order to cut costs and be able emerge sooner from fiscal emergency status. As a replacement, the city would have to contract these services through the Crawford County Health Department.
Andee Wildenthaler, a member of the Galion Health Department board, addressed council to advise them of budget cuts that they are currently considering.
In response, Mayor Tom O’Leary expressed a divided opinion on the entire issue in that he didn’t feel any cuts that were being proposed by the Galion Health Department were realistic and he also didn’t feel that cutting the city’s own Health Department would be enough of a financial benefit for the city in many ways, either.
“Much of this is nonsense,” O’Leary said. He said that emerging from fiscal emergency has had new requirements placed on it from time to time, often at the last minute.
O’Leary and city council members stated their desire to keep the Galion Health Department in existence. Both parties plan to look at dates to have more meetings on this issue in the near future.