Galion City Council approves land donation

Legislation to increase electric rates, set PCA also passed during special meeting

GALION — It took three meetings, but legislation that went before Galion City Council on Dec. 12 was finally passed Monday evening, during a second special meeting called to consider those ordinances.

On Monday evening, legislation was passed (third reading) of two ordinances.

They deal with a Power Cost Adjustment and an increase in electric rates for the city.

Changes to the electric rates include: existing service rates for residential customers going from $10 to $12 and the fee for commercial customers jumping from $15 to $20.

More information on the PCA and electric rate increases are available on the City of Galion website.

Six members of council were present Monday — Jim Hedges was absent— which meant a third piece of legislation before council could be passed as “emergency legislation.”

It was.

A motion to suspend regular council rules and to “declare an emergency” was passed — six of seven council members are required to do this — which means the third piece of legislation could be passed without going through the usual process of approving first, second and third readings.

That legislation approved a donation of about 11 acres of land off Ohio 598 and Brandt Road, near the Sleep Inn.

Mayor Tom O’Leary estimated the donation is worth in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. He also stressed that the city is in no hurry to extend utilities to the area until they are needed for development. Utilities and roads will be built and added as needed.

Gary Frankhouse, executive director of the Crawford Partnership, which has played a big role in the facilitation of the development in that area, said previously that he is excited about the possibilities for future development near the Sleep Inn.

“The seven acres is in the area that we’ve talked about when discussing a possible rec center out there,” he said.

The next project planned out there is a Valero 24Store. Construction is expected to begin early in 2018.

“The Sleep Inn was really the first development in (the Ohi0 598 area) since that Ohio 30 was completed,” Frankhouse continued. “The 24Store and other development is the second step and the rec center could be something beyond that.”

The passage of the three ordinances means a special meeting set for Tuesday night was cancelled.

However, members of Galion City Council, the administration and others were expected to meet Tuesday night so new council members Tammy Siclair-Erlsten and Mike Richart to be sworn in by Crawford County Common Pleas Judge Shane Leuthold.

Siclair-Erlsten defeated Jennifer Kuns in the 4th Ward race in the November election and Richart defeated Joe Haley in the city’s 3rd Ward.

They replace Susan Bean and Jim Hedges, who gave up their city council seats to run for other offices in November. Both lost.

City Council President Carl Watt, on Monday, thanked Bean for her four years of service to the city. Hedges was absent from Monday’s special meeting.

Legislation to increase electric rates, set PCA also passed during special meeting

By Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer