Before the Jan. 14 meeting of the Galion City Council was called into session, Carl Watt, 4th Ward councilman, was sworn in as council president.
After the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag was recited, Pastor Rick Maddox offered a prayer for wisdom and clear communication for the council members and the citizenry.
Council then approved six items on the agenda that had not gone through committee, then approved the agenda as written.
Su Rowles from the NOAH Project attended the meeting to present the senior housing plan, Eden Place, approved by council last year. Rowles requested council to give its approval this year and stand behind the project so that the group could go forward and finish the extensive paperwork needed to request funding. She stated that the process for funding has changed for 2014 and NOAH will need council approval before they can apply for funds.
The settlement for the property damage [trees cut down] was passed to a third reading. The recommendations of the Incentive Review Council regarding tax abatements were approved. The ordinance containing Council Rules was withdrawn and sent to committee for further study. Which committee the council rules will be sent to will be decided by the council president.
Authorization for the Safety-Service director to advertise for bids for contracts was passed as an emergency. The council approved the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Richland Engineering for the Church Street Bridge Repair project which will be done using Issue 1 funds. Authorization for the Safety service director and the mayor to move forward with seeking CHIP grant funds was approved by council.
The council authorized the safety service director and the mayor to create an agreement with the Ohio Regional Development Corporation for the Revolving Loan Fund which, according to the auditor, is in excess of $900,000. This fund will be used to loan money to those businesses seeking to stay in Galion and expand as well as those new businesses wishing to set up shop in Galion.
The council approved a “Then and Now” certificate for $14,825 to JW Didado for damages done to an electric poll which resulted in loss of power and extensive repairs. Didado is the company constructing the electric upgrade. The auditor noted that some of the cost will be reimbursed by insurance.
The council then went into executive session “for the purpose of reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and conditions of their employment, to consider the discipline and compensation of a public employee.”
After executive session and a short discussion, council passed the ordinance setting the duties and compensation for the clerk of council.
Annual reports for the year 2013 from the treasurer and law director were passed out to council. Citizens wishing a copy for viewing may call the city building and request one.
The Finance Committee of the Galion City Council will meet Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Christmas tree pick up is still available for residents. Call 419-468-1857.
In council president comments, Watt thanked the mayor and council for their confidence in asking him to serve in the new position. Watt noted that the open position of 4th Ward Councilman would need to be advertised.
During his comments, council president Carl Watt said, “We have a problem here [in Galion]. I’ve been embarrassed … It’s high time we work together. It didn’t happen overnight … this negative attitude has been going on for years.” Watt stated that many have been trying to overcome the negative attitudes, “But the negative overshadows the good.”
Watt stated that the citizens want more than what the city leadership has been offering. “We have to be leaders here and change the attitude of this town.” Watt asked for support and patience of the residents. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but it has to start here.”
The next meeting of the Galion City Council will be Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.