Last updated: August 19. 2014 1:11PM - 303 Views
By - mechelberry@civitasmedia.com



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Galion City Council heard an update on the Efficiency Smart program during its Aug. 12 meeting.


Mike Richart, chair of the Utilities Committee, gave reported that several local businesses have approached Efficiency Smart with ideas on how to utilize the program, and some residential energy audits were requested as well.


Richart emphasized they will continue to monitor the program to make sure Galion is getting the full use out of it.


Utility Office Manager Dan Bute was then asked to make an announcement for Customer Appreciation Days. The event will be hosted by the Utility Office on Aug. 21 and 22, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


He explained representatives from Efficiency Smart will be at the office, along with their mascot, “Ernie Energy.” Customers who stop in will receive five CFL light-bulbs free of charge, as well as information on how they can use the energy savings program.


In citizen comments, Clarence Beach thanked city officials and everyone involved in making budget billing possible for Galion utility customers. “I hope it will work out for the good of our town,” he concluded.


In legislation, Ord. 2014-63 amended the language to the pool fees. The issue had been discussed during several meetings, and Aug. 12 was the third time a revision has come before council this summer.


The ordinance changed “Family Pass” to “Household Pass,” defined as “two adults and up to and including four children who reside at the same residence.” There is still a $5 charge for each additional child each season. The change makes the legislation less restrictive on who can buy a pass.


Committee Chair Shirley Clark explained that the Parks and Streets Committee met the week before to finalize the revision. YMCA Executive Direction Terry Gribble was present to give input, as the YMCA operates the pool.


Council member Jon Kleinknecht added, “If a situation comes up, it will be left to the discretion of the YMCA and pool staff.”


In other business, Fire Chief Phil Jackson was asked to give an update on the search for a new aerial truck. The Fire Department has been without one since 2009, and must call neighboring departments when an aerial truck is needed.


“We looked at a lot of models and picked the size that would fit Galion best,” Jackson commented. He said they have selected Sutphen, based in Columbus, as the vendor to build the truck — a process that will take at least one year. As it happens, the company does have some business ties to Galion.


Council had previously amended the 2015 budget to appropriate $695,000 for the purchase. That evening, Jackson reported the cost is slightly under budget at $692,000 or $693,000.


Also, City Auditor Brian Treisch went over the monthly cash position. He announced that income tax collection was 15 percent ahead compared to this time last year. He also said his office is trying to put monthly revenue and expense reports online to have them available to anyone who is interested.


Other Legislation


Ord. 2014-57 - Changed the zoning classification of RAR Districts to Residential Estate Districts within the northeast annexation area.


Ordinances 2014-64 and 2014-65 reflected the changes made earlier this year in the new union contracts.


The first authorized the discontinuation of the pension pick-up contribution for employees of the Police Department. The city will no longer pick up any percentage of contribution. The second authorized a gradual phase-out of the pension pick-up contribution for employees at the Fire Department over the next three years.


Upcoming meetings:


Finance Committee will meet on Aug. 20 at 7 p.m., at the City Building.


City Council will convene next on Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. Prior to the meeting at 6 p.m., State Senator Dave Burke will be at the City Building to meet with citizens.

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