GALION — With two members absent, Tuesday’s regular Galion City Council meeting lasted less than 30 minutes. And while no official legislative action was taken, the short meeting included a procedure that always brins smiles to the faces of council members, Mayor Tom O’Leary and Galion Fire Chief Phil Jackson.
Aaron Barnhart, a Galion High School graduate, was sworn in by O’Leary as the newest member of the City of Galion Fire and Rescue forces.
“I first met Aaron as a part of our efforts at workshops and appearing at career days,” Jackson said. “He’s the first Galion graduate to join the department since we started doing that. It’s good to see those things pay off.”
O’Leary said swearing in EMTs/firefighters and police officers are his favorite part of being mayor. He told members of Barnhart’s family that the ceremony would be “the most important thing we do here tonight.”
In other action, there was discussion about a two big road projects that will get underway in the next couple of years.
One project will include paving the main road through Galion, from about Evans Drive on the west side to the Sixth Avenue area on Galion’s east side. There are some smaller areas that will be included in this project, too.
“This is the largest paving project this year,” O’Leary said. “But it will not be the only one.”
O‘Leary explained that although the road is a state highway, it is the responsibility of the city it goes through to take care of maintenance.
Other 2020 paving projects will be announced in the future.
O’Leary also issued a reminder about Thursday’s night’s open house where information will be available about the upcoming widening project of Ohio 598 (Portland Way North) between the Carter Drive area and Brandt Road. The open house will be in Galion City Council chambers on the second floor of the city building, 301 Harding Way East.
The meeting will be in an open house format. There will be no ‘presentation.” Area residents can attend the meeting anytime from 5-7 p.m., where information will be available on the project. There will be representatives on hand from Galion, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the GPD Group, which is doing the design and architectural work for the project.
The project is expected to be started in 2021.
This meeting is for anyone who may be affected by the project,” O’Leary said. “So spread the word. We don’t want anyone to be surprised when the work gets started. There will be some ‘property takes’.”
O’Leary said decisions still have to be made, including a determination of whether the project will be split into two parts and about whether work will take place at night.”
Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary swears n new Galion firefighter Aaron Barnhart on Tuesday night during the regular city council meeting. Barnhart is a Galion graduated and Chief Phil Jackson said Barnhart was the first Galion native hired as a result of recruitment efforts at Galion City Schools and elsewhere.
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