GALION — Galion City Council’s first meeting in months without Mayor Tom O’Leary went out without a hitch Tuesday night.
City Council President Carl Watt, in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, has been named interim manager and will serve until O’Leary returns to the mayor’s chair.
City Council President Pro Tem Gail Baldinger actually ran Tuesday’s meeting. He will stand in for Watt until O’Leary return, which means Watt will then then resume his duties as council president.
O’Leary is recovering from surgery. A return date is unknown.
Only two pieces of legislation were considered Tuesday, both have to do with the city’s park system.
The first was to authorize the city safety-service director to start the bidding process for a prefab masonry restroom facility for Amann Reservoir. The bid price is not to exceed $65,000.
The second piece was to authorize the city to begin the bidding process to make repairs to the Heise Park tennis courts. That price is not to exceed $150,000.
Both pieces of legislation were to be held to a first meeting. But the rules were suspended for both, and both pieces passes as final readings, meaning the bidding process can begin at once.
City auditor Brian Treisch said the money for both projects is already in hand, courtesy of the Freese Foundation.
Watt announced that the splash park facility at East Park will open up for the season Memorial Day weekend.
It also was announced that the city’s cleanup day will be June 17. More information will be forthcoming, but dumpsters will be available that day in city parking lots for refuse. There will not be dumpers available in the city parks, as there were a year ago.
Galion Health Department head Trish Factor told city council that the health department had applied for and received a grant for $18,000 that will help to pay for the cost of Galion’s clean-up day.
Factor also reported that nuisance complaints to the health department are way up this year. Last year, there were 111 through the end of the year. This year, 75 have already been received.
“It’s been a challenge to say the least,” she said.
She also added that the cleanup days are a benefit to getting rid of some of the things that result in nuisance complaints.
If you’re wondering what types of nuisance complaints the city deals with, this is from the health department’s website: The Galion City Health Departments’ nuisance program seeks to eliminate unsanitary conditions in the community that pose potential hazards to public health. Public health nuisance conditions often result from the improper storage and/or disposal of solid waste, or the accumulation of solid waste on premises. In addition to drawing insect and animal pests, unsanitary premises may have old tires and watertight containers that give mosquitoes stagnant water in which to breed. Unsanitary properties may pose a potential threat to public health, cause blight in a neighborhood, and in severe cases can affect the values of nearby properties.