Galion eyeing single-family housing development

By Russ Kent - Galion Inquirer

GALION — The City of Galion hopes to be able to get two parcels of city land ready for single-family housing.

One site is the old Renschville school property on New Winchester Road. A developer is interested in the property that could result, initially in maybe five houses, and in the future open up about 10 acres to development.

That is the more “development-ready” parcel,” Mayor Tom O’Leary said. “What we need to do is to find a way to make the project work for businesses, for the Galion Port Authority, for the city and for the new residents in that area.”

The second property is near Pershing and Parsons avenues, and will require more work to make it ready for development. The property belongs to the city, but buildings on the site need to be razed and a lot of concrete on the property must be broken up, crushed and removed before for the site can be developed.

“We are trying to get a handle on the best cost to us for clearing the site,” O’Leary said. “We’re looking at what those bids might be. One of the companies we are dealing is Mosier, the company buying the old HTI site. Perhaps we can make some type of deal with them.

“There are other vendors. Maybe we can make some type of deal to have them demonstrate some of the work they do by clearing the site, or by using the project as a way to keep their employees and equipment operating during the slow winter months.”

The mayor said it will take much more work to get the second site ready for development.

“But I think it is an ideal place for housing. And we know there is a big demand for that,” he said.

Both projects are still in the “talking” stage, with no definitive plans ready yet.

In legislative action Tuesday, council passed one ordinance that did away with some outdated restrictions on cul de sac developments.

Also approved, as an emergency, was an ordinance that will eventually result in an advertisement being prepared for the proposed sale of the transmission lines in the city electric’s system. The ordinance allows the city to hire a consulting firm to do an evaluation of the system, that includes several sub stations and more than seven miles of transmission lines.

“This is something I think we need to do,” said council member Mark Triplett. “That system really, really needs to be rebuilt. Selling it is one way to get that accomplished.”

The final piece of legislation tackled will allow the city to activated some unused, previously acquired block grant funding the city received sometime around 2011.

“It’s about $30,000,” O’Leary said. “It would be used to demolish the rest of the old bakery building on Harding Way East. Ultimately, it would be turned into a parking lot, and the Galion Elks would then put an entrance on the east side of their banquet room.”

O’Leary said the city checked with state officials to make sure the funding could be used for that type of project.

He also announced that the Ohio Legislature has approved another $106,000 in CARES Act funding for Galion.

And he shared that the legislature is taking a look at how future CARES money will be divided up. He hopes one proposed change is not coming, as Galion could lose out on some of the funding it expects.

The mayor said he would like to some of that CARES money used to help area residents with utility payments.

“I think that would be good, to help our city residents and businesses who are still hurting because of COVID-19,” he said. ” That would be a good place to start.”

By Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer