Council considers ramp regs, tattoo parlor placement
By Matt Echelberry
Galion City Council held its final meeting for the month on Nov. 27. Council member Walter Keib motioned to enter into executive session, immediately following the meeting, to discuss the compensation of a public employee. The motion passed 4–3 and Council then approved the agenda as amended.
Galion YMCA Executive Director Terry Gribble was present to provide Council with a yearly review of revenue from the Heise Park Pool during the summer. According to Gribble, 2012 was the best year the pool has ever had.
It was open for a total of 458 hours and received $42,594 in revenue. As per the reimbursement agreement between the City and the YMCA, Gribble reported that the City only needs to reimburse the YMCA for $594. (Last year, the City paid $3,371).
Public hearings regarding tattoo and body piercing services and residential handicap ramps were held. No one from the public commented on either issue.
Two pieces of legislation related to the public hearings were later discussed. The first reading for Ord. 2012–92 received some heated discussion. The ordinance was to amend the Planning and Zoning Code to add tattoo and body piercing services as a conditional use in the General Commercial District (section 1149.03).
Such businesses would be subject to Chapter 1183 of the City Ordinances, which prohibits the location from being within 1500 feet of any residence, school, church, library or public park.
Keib was against the legislation, saying that residents would not have a say if a business wanted to locate in their neighborhood.
Law Director Reese Mills explained that by federal law, a city government cannot exclude any type of business from operating because it is considered discrimination. The proposed legislation would control where the tattoos/body piercing services could operate.
If a tattoo or body piercing service sets up in the city, the Galion Health Department would be responsible for performing inspections and enforcing health and safety codes.
The first reading passed 6–1.
That evening was also the first reading for Ord. 2012–93, which also amended the Code, to adopt a definition for residential handicap ramps. It would also enact a new section, 1175.08, to the Code which permits ramps in all residential zoning districts according to certain requirements.
Building Inspector Matt Ross added that the ordinance also would reduce the setback distance (so that more people would be eligible to install ramps) and exempt ramps from lot coverage limitations.
The first reading passed unanimously.
Ordinances 2012–90 and 2012–91 to authorize agreements with Richland County for a residential back-up inspector and commercial back-up inspector, respectively, were tabled.
Ross explained that some changes to the wording in both agreements needed to be made at the request of Richland County Commissioners.
In other business, a letter was received from Ken Jarvis thanking City Manager Gene Toy and city employees for their help with cross country meets at Ammans Reservoir.
In his comments, City Manager Gene Toy reminded the public that Come Home to Galion is Dec. 1 beginning at 1 p.m. He also announced that there will be an annual work session on Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. between Council members at the financial supervisor office, and the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission will meet on Dec. 19 at 9 a.m.
The city opened bids for the North Market Street sewer project. After 11 bids received, the
low bid was for $530,180, about $100,000 less than the City Engineer’s estimate.
During citizens comments Andy Daniels was the only person to address Council. He called the current situation between the City and the County Board of Elections a “Catch-22.”
Daniels stated that, based on his conversations with the Board officials, they require a letter from the City Law Director instructing them on how to proceed with the petition/election process for Galion’s upcoming elected offices.
“I request of Council tonight for someone to motion to get that process rolling,” Daniels concluded.
Mills responded that he sent an email to the Board of Elections on Monday with a copy of the cover sheet of the petition for Issue 5, saying that all of the necessary information should have been on that document. As of the Council meeting, Mills had not gotten any response from the Board.
Council then entered into executive session with no further action to be taken. Its next meeting is Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building.