City Council approves Freese Fund projects

By Andrew Carter - [email protected]

GALION — Galion City Council approved recommendations for the use of Egbert M. Freese Foundation funding.

Six projects for 2021 totaling $454,458 won unanimous approval from council. Following is the list of projects:

• Bike path extension — $208,000

• Heise Park pool improvements — $23,458

• East Park baseball field backstop and field improvements — $90,000

• Dog parks — $50,000

• Frank Park Shelter — $59,000

• Splash Park parking area — $24,000

Mayor Tom O’Leary said South Park and Cobey Park are the proposed locations for the dog parks. He said dog owners who live in the neighborhood around South Park have expressed a desire to have space for their pets in the park.

“If you look at the map (of South Park), we have at least an acre in the part of South Park that’s really unused,” O’Leary said. “The idea would be to put one there. More people have thought of using Cobey Park that way. We hope that the $50,000 would get us a couple of acres of 4-foot (high) fence.”

Council also approved utilizing $72,500 in unused funds from fiscal year 2020 to pay for replacement concession equipment ($4,500) at Heise Park; a Summer Park Play Days program operated by the Galion Community Center YMCA ($8,000); and fencing at Unckrich Stadium and portable bleachers ($60,000). O’Leary said the total amount of unused funds from 2020 totaled approximately $165,000.

O’Leary said kitchen equipment was stolen from the concession stand last year and has been replaced. The $4,500 in Freese funding would serve as reimbursement for the purchase.

O’Leary said the YMCA’s Summer Parks Play Days program would be in operation one day a week and rotate to the different public parks in Galion.

The mayor said fencing on the south end of the football stadium needs to be replaced. He also noted that the portable bleachers are necessary on occasion if large crowds of spectators attend athletic events at Unckrich Stadium, the tennis courts, baseball or softball fields at Heise Park, or cross country events at Amann Reservoir.

“The idea here is to have portable bleachers that the city would own and move around, probably largely at school events in the park,” O’Leary said.

The project list has been forwarded to the Freese Foundation Board of Trustees for final approval.

Galion City Council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11.

By Andrew Carter

[email protected]