Electric rates was the main topic at the Galion City Council meeting Tuesday evening.
Council voted unanimously to approve the third reading of a PCA (Power Cost Adjustment) ordinance that will leave the option open if needed in the future.
Another ordinance was approved for the first reading only regarding an increase in electric rates.
“Residential customers should see about an $8 to $10 increase in their electric bills,” said council member Mike Richart.
Council president Carl Watt said the council voted to decrease sewer and water rates in January.
“That was about a $10 decrease for residents so their bills will be about the same as they were before,” Watt said.
Richart said the new rate schedule will allow for a larger decrease in electric rates for businesses and commercial entities.
“We need to keep businesses in Galion and bring business to Galion which means jobs for our residents,” Richart said.
Richart said the council, along with Sawvel and Associates, has worked on the new electric rate schedule for the past year.
Council member Susan Bean said the council worked hard to make sure one group was not paying for another and will be fair to each group which includes residential, commercial and business.
Richart pointed out that even with the increase, Galion residents will be paying less than neighboring communities that use companies like AEP for their electricity supply.
Richart said the issue is being passed at only the first reading and not as an emergency so that residents and business owners can give their input before the legislation comes to a final vote.
Galion resident Anita Crabtree addressed council about a property neighboring her residence.
“The grass is 41.5 inches” long and I want to know what is going to be done about it,” Crabtree said.
City zoning and building inspector Bob Johnston said letters have been sent out to property owners that are in violation of the ordinance that states grass must be cut before it reaches over eight inches tall.
“We have received some of the letters back and are signing the paperwork tomorrow morning with a contractor to start cutting the grass of about 50 properties,” Johnston said.
City safety-service director John Swain said the city then charges the property owners through the county auditor’s office for the mowing of the grass on their properties.
The next council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on June 23 at the Galion Municipal Building.
Gasuras can be reached via Twitter at @kimberlygasuras.
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