GALION — Galion residents have until March 1 to participate a public survey about the proposed Freese Center athletic complex.
Galion City Council commissioned the survey, which is housed at the online site SurveyMonkey.com. Residents can access the survey via the City of Galion website (galion.city) and links on the city’s Facebook page. A hard copy version of the survey is being mailed to residents in their February utility bills.
According to the survey description, Galion City Council is “asking for citizens to provide input and feedback on the Freese Center Project. It is vital that Council Members and City Leadership hear the feedback of our community so that we can make the most informed decisions to support you.”
“We will discuss the results of the survey during the (March 9, 2021) council meeting,” At-large Council Member Kara Ault said. “We’re very happy to have such great response from the community and I as a council member feel great joy knowing how invested the community is on this project and how much citizen response and interaction we are getting on the project. … Citizens are encouraged to submit contact information if they would like to be contacted directly if they have any questions or concerns they would like to speak with a council member about.”
Ault said council members “will be discussing different virtual town hall meeting options, times, and platforms” after the survey is completed. She said discussions are being planned with members of the Freese Foundation board to develop “one page profiles” about the project that can be shared and viewed including frequently asked questions, funding, and use of facility.”
“Council will continue to have conversations with our constituents as needed and when desired to ensure a good community understanding,” Ault stated. “I know the mayor’s office as well as the Freese trustees and Port Authority members are also ready for engaged and consistent communication with citizens, business owners, and community leaders about the project.”
According to The City of Galion website, planning for the regional athletic facility began in 2015. The Crawford Partnership for Education & Economic Development and the Galion Mayor’s Office have been collaborating on the project since then. In 2019, the Galion Port Authority purchased land for the facility near the junction of U.S. 30 and Ohio 598.
City officials have said that “no tax levies are being proposed” to fund the Freese Center.
The State Capital Bill has earmarked $500,000 to help fund construction of the complex. The U.S Department of Agriculture awarded a $50,000 grant to The Crawford Partnership for Education & Economic Development.
The Galion Port Authority recently proposed a $5 million bond sale to help fund the project.
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