GALION – The newly created Galion Port Authority held its inaugural meeting Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The Galion Port Authority was created by Galion City Council on May 28, 2019, through Ordinance 2019-30. Board member appointments were then approved by council members on Sept. 24. Members are: Chris Cochran, Gary Frankhouse, Debra Garverick, Chanel Hipp, Eric Kent, Chad Miller, and Rod Staiger.
A port authority is authorized under Ohio law to construct facilities, issue bonds, make loans, and sell or buy real and personal property. A port authority also can offer economic development financing products in which governmental organizations cannot.
At Tuesday’s meeting, after a review of the bylaws draft in which the organization will operate under, Hipp was voted chairperson and Frankhouse was appointed as vice-chairperson. Miller will serve as secretary on an interim basis.
The board discussed obtaining legal counsel to assist in structuring the entity and ensuring it meets all legal requirements. Members will contact the Ohio Council of Port Authorities for recommendations and general guidance.
Mayor Tom O’Leary emphasized he would like the group to hold a strategic planning session to prioritize the projects it will focus on, which could include both commercial development and new housing.
“I agree. We need to sit down to map out priorities and determine what kind of revenue each project will generate,” Hipp said. “Hopefully, this will be a really great thing for the community.”
The Port Authority also will establish a committee to put together a budget request to send to the city. The goal is to generate revenue from projects as quickly as possible in order to become self-sustaining.