Betterment members reinstate charter, share upcoming events
By Sarah Einselen
The Galion Area Betterment Commission voted to reinstate its charter at its Feb. 6 meeting in the Galion Community Hospital cafeteria conference room. It had expired because the address of the statutory agent was out of date, so renewal paperwork never got to the Commission.
The Commission appointed Joe Kleinknecht to be the statutory agent, since he’s the president of the Chamber of Commerce. New paperwork will be filed with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office to reinstate the charter and update the name and address of the statutory agent.
Nominations are being accepted for the Commission’s Special Service Awards, including citizen of the year, organization of the year and humanitarian of the year. Eligible candidates have to live or work in the Galion area, or for organizations, be based in the area.
Nomination forms will be available at the Chamber of Commerce, the Galion Public Library, the Community Center-YMCA and the main office of Galion High School. Completed nominations will be accepted at those locations through 4 p.m. March 16. Award winners will be recognized at the Commission’s Awards Breakfast to be held on April 10 at the Galion Free Methodist Church’s activity center.
Commission members also updated each other about the activities their organizations are planning for the month.
The Crawford County Economic Development Partnership is changing its name to the Crawford County Partnership for Education and Economic Development, reflecting another change. It recently switched from being a 501©6 organization, supported by its members, to a 501©3 nonprofit organization that can accept charitable contributions, according to Partnership director Dave Williamson.
The Galion Community Theatre’s upcoming production, “Red, White and Tuna,” will open Feb. 17. Curtain time for that show and the shows on Feb. 18, 24 and 25 is 8 p.m. A 2 p.m. matinee to conclude the show’s run will be presented on Feb. 26.
GCT representative Elaine Hottenroth also reported that GCT is organizing a children’s book drive to support Galion native Meg Plummer, who is now teaching in a poverty-stricken town in Kentucky. Theatregoers can donate books to go to the children attending Riverside Christian School in Lost Creek, Ky., many of whom have no books in their homes.
Galion city manager Gene Toy told the Commission he had fielded some complaints on the placement of political signs in yards. Signs cannot be in the “devil’s strip” or “tree lawn,” between the sidewalk and the road, and cannot be placed in a public driveway. They have to stay on private property.
Toy also said the city and MedFlight were making progress on a property use agreement for leasing the house and one of the hangars at the municipal airport.
The Chamber of Commerce’s ninth annual economic development update and forecast breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. March 13 at the Galion Free Methodist Church Christian Life Center, 683 Portland Way N. Reservations may be made by calling the Chamber at (419) 468‑7737.
The Center-Y is in its sixth week of a seven-week session and is adding spinning and cycling classes in response to heavy interest. Membership sign-ups came at a good pace over the last three months, which Center-Y director Terry Gribble took as a sign of an improving economy. The Center-Y also launched its new website to conform to national YMCA branding.
Crawford County was the only county to volunteer to pilot a new program to screen state food assistance (food stamps) applicants for drug abuse, according to county commissioner Doug Weisenauer.
The commissioners met with Ohio Gov. John Kasich in September to discuss the county’s drug abuse problem. After that, a state audit of 10 counties, including Crawford County, found that no follow-up was taking place to address abuse of food assistance. The county is involved in developing regulations to rein in the abuse.
The Black Fork wind energy project was approved by the state, Weisenauer said, and preliminary work will likely start this summer. The project won’t get fully under way until next year.
The Galion Community Hospital Auxiliary held a jewelry sale Feb. 7. It will also hold a book fair in March, a uniform sale in May, a mum sale in September and a cookie walk in November, all as fundraisers. The Auxiliary’s annual meeting and birthday bash will be held in April, when outstanding junior and senior volunteers will also be recognized. The Schwann’s frozen food sale is being put on hold for now.
Flu hasn’t been an issue this year, according to city health commissioner Stephen Novack. The Board of Health will meet at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 14 in the city annex. An open town hall meeting and moderated public discussion will be held April 19 at Galion High School. That meeting will be sponsored by the Opiates Task Force and will facilitate community discussion about drug abuse.
Don Trigg of the Galion Ministerial Association said that area Lenten services would begin soon. The first will be a 7 p.m. service on Feb. 26 at First Presbyterian Church, 240 S. Market St., at which Joel Sanchez will speak.
The Galion Public Library’s “Food for Fines” drive is offering patrons a dollar off fines for bringing in non-perishable food items. The food is being donated to the Community Action Center’s food bank.
Upcoming library programs include a hands-on documents workshop on Feb. 13, a children’s chocolate party on Feb. 18, a historical reenactor portraying George Washington on Feb. 20, the second annual Wii Bowling tournament on Feb. 25 and a Dr. Seuss birthday party on March 3.
The Galion Kiwanis Club held a successful chili fundraiser, according to Vicki Eckenrod, club representative on the Commission.
The school’s booster club has almost obtained is bingo license, reported school superintendent Kathy Jenney. School administration is interviewing candidates for criteria architect services for design-building of the proposed bus garage. Students are getting school e-mail addresses to make online assignment submission easier.
Jenney was grateful to have been able to provide office space on campus to a Community Counseling counselor so students with emotional problems and no transportation could still receive help.
The schools are working on options for joining a sports league after the North Central Conference breaks up. Possibilities for Galion are the Northern Ohio League, the Ohio Cardinal Conference, the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference or form its own league with other schools left behind from the current league’s breakup.
The Galion Rotary Club is piloting an associate membership program so community volunteers can receive the benefits of Rotary membership without having to attend meetings. Associate members may have to pay some dues but would not have voting privileges. With an associate membership, those who want to participate in one or another of the Rotary community service projects can do so without having to attend required Rotary meetings.
The Golden Age Center will hold its Swiss steak dinner fundraiser on Feb. 17. RSVP is required and may be made by calling the Center at (419) 468‑5152.
The Alumni Association will hold its annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Varsity Grille. Association representative Joe Kleinknecht said the organization needed more alumni to join.
Ohio Heartland Community Action Coalition director Jill Lee said the food pantry still served 200–300 people each month and had entered the “crisis season” for heat assistance, though people haven’t needed as much assistance as usual because the weather has been mild. The backpack program, providing 110 children with food over each weekend, received a Best Practice award from the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies.
The Galion Area Betterment Commission will hold its next regular meeting at noon on Monday, March 5, in the Galion Community Hospital small dining room.