Galion City Council focuses on finances for 2016, beyond

By Brandon Klein - [email protected]

Galion City Council started the discussion of its financial outlook for next year at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.

Council passed the first reading to adopt the revised financial recovery plan, which includes spending increases for some services and departments next year.

The Health Department, which was the prime example, would see a 10 percent increase in its budget at $563,435 in 2016 compared with a projected $512,717 in 2015.

The Council will ultimately decide whether to provide the department $290,000 in 2016. The department had asked for about $400,000 that year, Auditor Brian Treisch said.

Other increases brought up about the proposed 2016 budget included the Mayor’s budget, which could receive $56,978 more in 2016 for economic development dollars and the cost for a part-time custodian, who was hired earlier this year.

The Council also passed the first reading to appropriate $35,519,420 for 2016.

Additionally, the Council approved legislation to appropriate $8,400 to the Law Director, which will be used to help pay about $23,000 in expenses for outside legal counsel hired in the dispute between the city and Citizens for Galion over a ballot initiative to audit the city’s electric rates. The Crawford County Board of Elections voted against placing the measure on the ballot for this month’s election and the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the suit.

In other business, Council:

APPROVED the final reading that will amend the cutting of grass and weeds required by the city. Residents are still required to keep the height of their grasses, weeds and other types of vegetation below eight inches. The requirement now does not apply to any parcels of land exceeding seven acres – instead of five – that are used or have been used for agriculture purposes within the last three years.

APPROVED an easement agreement between two property owners on Grove Avenue over a 10 foot strip of property owned by the city. The property was reserved for alley purposes but the city never dedicated the property for such a purpose. The property owners desire to have access to the strip for parking purposes and access to their garages.

By Brandon Klein

[email protected]