City and Polk Twnshp. may work together for development

January 24, 2014

Matt Echelberry

During this week’s mayor briefing, Tom O’Leary confirmed that last week he was asked to attend a Polk Township Trustee meeting. He had an initial discussion with the trustees about the city cooperating with the township in order to trigger growth in the community.

The mayor viewed it as a means of bringing business development to both entities. He noted that Polk Township is part of Galion in a variety of ways, yet in the past the city has not had a good working relationship with it.

“We both need growth and development,” he stated. “We’re just trying to figure out how to get it accomplished.”

Through development initiatives at each end of the Portland Way corridor, as well as at the outer boundaries of the city limits, they can share property tax revenues generated from it, while also increasing the job base and investment base.

“Some of that undeveloped land has a lot of short-term economic development potential,” O’Leary emphasized, adding that it is important to avoid arguing over jurisdiction and focus on sending the right message to prospective developers.

As for what the city can do, O’Leary explained that extending city utilities to commercial properties without requiring annexation would be a start.

As of press deadline, the Polk Township Trustees did not return phone calls requesting comment.

O’Leary intends to speak to Jefferson Township about these possibilities as well, in particular to address developing the interchange at State Routes 30 and 61, between Galion and Crestline.

He explained there are “dead head” stubs located on State Route 61 (before the interchange) and Galion Municipal Airport. The water lines end and accumulate chemicals. He suggested connecting the ends of the stub lines to create a loop, and therefore circulation for water flow. He noted there is development potential on the parcels the new line would run beneath.