GALION — City of Galion officials are looking ahead to two potential issues that could cause some angst among members of the community and their finances, and the city’s own bank account.
According to Mayor Tom O’Leary, there has been talk about forming a county-wide EMS service and putting a levy on a future ballot to help pay for the county-wide service.
“That is something that would not make sense for Galion residents,” O’Leary said. “We would oppose it. It just doesn’t work. Why would we be interested in replacing something that does work for us with something that will not work as well?”
Galion EMS service are provided by the City of Galion Fire and Rescue. Polk Township residents also are served by City of Galion Fire and Rescue.
“The effectiveness of an EMS service depends on response times,” O’Leary said. “Inevitably, if there is a county-wide service,the ambulances would be coming here from Bucyrus and patients would end up at Galion Hospital. The distance ambulances are driving increases response time. And it will not reduce costs for our residents.”
O’Leary added that if Jefferson Township trustees are interested in EMS services for Jefferson Township residents, it is possible to come to an agreement with the City of Galion.
“We can offer that to Jefferson Township,” he said.
No official announcements have been made concerning a county-wide service, but talks are on-going.
“But it makes sense for us to let everyone know how we feel,” O’Leary said.
Galion City officials also are looking at having to replace or repair a North Market Street bridge that is deteriorating.
“If we have to replace, we’re looking at something that could approach seven figures,” O’Leary said. “The Ohio Department of Transportation has funding available, but we can probably not get that funding until at least next year.”
The city has already placed two metal plates near the bridge to mitigate or slow down further damage and to provide support for the bridge. Officials are taking a wait-and-see approach to determine what happens next.
“We don’t know yet if it is something that can be repaired, if it needs replaced, or how soon we will have to do something to get the problem fixed. Can we wait for the ODOT money, or do we need to have it fixed before that funding is available? It’s a cost we have not planned for,” O’Leary said.