Work continues to get grocery store in Galion: City council OKs airport improvements; ponders deteriorating alleys

City council OKs airport improvements; ponders future work on deteriorating alleys

By Russ Kent -

GALION — While no announcement is forthcoming, efforts continue to get a grocery story in Galion.

A Chillicothe business owner who previously expressed interest in bringing a store to the former Geyer’s site, and the city of Galion, continue efforts to make that happen.

Geyer’s shut its doors in June 2018. Since then, the store on the north end of Galion West Shopping Center has remained vacant, although the parking lot in front of the store has been repaired and lined. And despite efforts by Drug Mart, which increased the amount of fresh produce, fresh meat and other grocerty store staples, many in Galion continue to lament the loss of a local grocery.

In March, Joseph A. Janes, of Chillicothe, filed articles of incorporation for the former Geyer’s site, 230 Portland Way North, with the Ohio Secretary of State. Janes is owner of Galion Fresh Market, Inc. He also owns Janes Fresh Market in Chillicothe and Mock Road Fresh Market in Chillicothe.

This summer, Galion City Council received notice of an attempt by Galion Fresh Market, Inc., to acquire the liquor agency contract for the liquor store that used by be operated within Geyer’s. Galion Fresh Market, Inc., is also seeking to acquire a carryout liquor license.

Galion requested a hearing with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control before those requests were approved, saying the city wanted to be certain that if Galion Fresh Market Inc., never opens, the liquor licenses already associated with the Geyer’s site, remain at the Geyer’s site.

After meeting in executive session Tuesday, Galion City Council, without comment, dropped its request for a hearing. After the meeting, Mayor Tom O’Leary said they have confidence that both the liquor agency contract, and the carryout liquor license, will remain attached to the former Geyer’s site.

O’Leary would not comment on whether Galion Fresh Market, Inc., is still planning on opening a Galion store, but said he felt better about Galion getting a grocery store in the future than he did a few weeks ago.

In other action Tuesday, Roger Petrella, of 421 S. Union, first thanked the city for following through on razing vacant buildings in his neighborhood. He said the improvements since the demolitions are evident and continuing. He also asked the city if there was something that could be done on an alley that connects South Market Street and South Union Street.

“It is past the stage of pothole patching,” ha said. “People are having to drive in lawns and in my driveway to avoid the holes.”

Fred Rinehart, of 405 S. Union Street, spoke on the same topic, and asked city council if there was plan in place to work on neglected alleys in the future.

Council member Bill Comerford admitted there are alleys in the city that need attention and said hopefully next year they can address some of those issues.

O’Leary added that thanks to the Ohio’s new license plate sales tax, Galion should receive about $200,000 more from the state next year that could be used to address some of the alleys. But he also admitted there are other road issues in Galion that also need addressed, such as curbing.

“Right now there is no plan in place,” he said. “We would need to somehow come up with a list of the worst alleys, or which alleys need the most work. We do need to look at what we can do with that extra money.”

Also, city council approved payment for runway, tarmac, lighting and other improvements at Galion Airport. The project will cost about $674,000, but Galion’s share is just 5 percent, or about $34,000. The rest of the funding comes from the FAA and federal government.
City council OKs airport improvements; ponders future work on deteriorating alleys

By Russ Kent