At its December meeting, Galena’s Council approved placing a two-mil, four-year replacement property tax levy on the May ballot. The current two-mil levy expires December 31 but continues to be collected through 2014. If approved by the voters, the levy would be in effect January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2017, and would be collected from 2015 through 2018. Income to the Village’s operating budget would be $37,900 per year and the cost to homeowners would be $70 per $100,000 of home valuation.
Mayor Thomas Hopper presented a Mayor’s Proclamation to Chris Underwood for his outstanding service to the Village. Underwood has served four terms on Council since 1998. He has served on numerous committees, notably the Finance, Grants, Personnel, Security, Special Events and Summerfest committees.
Council members adopted a 2014 calendar and discussed committee appointments. They also approved a job description for a new 10-hour per week maintenance employee and approved a storage space lease agreement.
Second readings were held on a variety of housekeeping legislation for 2014 including hiring resolutions; a Galena Historic Foundation lease agreement; approving a service agreement with Professional Package Plant Services to manage the wastewater system; exercising a sixth-year option with Big O Refuse for residential curbside recycling and trash disposal; and, approving a 2014 budget.
Village Administrator Jeanna Burrell reported that Walnut Street contractor Complete General Construction (CGC) began corrections to storm water basins on December 2. Resetting the bricks has been delayed due to weather.
W. B. Republic is completing work on an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access to the Galena Village Hall’s lower level. Sidewalks are complete, stair railings are being installed, and finish work is occurring.
The Village received a new backup pump for its wastewater treatment system. This is the final purchase in an Ohio Public Works Commission zero percent loan program.
Burrell attended the Walnut Creek Homeowners Association (HOA) meeting. She explained how the development’s open space was mistakenly deeded to the HOA while Maronda Homes controlled the HOA. Then, the HOA and the property were transferred to the homeowners. The open space was intended to be deeded to the Village as specified in the development’s original plat. The land includes the Village’s wastewater lift station and parkland that includes a section of the Ohio to Erie Trail. After months of working with attorneys, the land was deeded back to the Village but has inappropriate residential deed restrictions that still must be cleared up. Burrell also explained the Village’s zoning and property maintenance codes. The HOA elected new officers who are gathering information from the previous management company.
The Village was awarded a Preservation Parks of Delaware County Community Parks Improvement Grant (CPIG) for more than $24,000 to fund park and trail signs, a new light pole at the ball field and picnic tables. The Village also received CPIG reimbursement for 2013 projects that included the final phase of the train playground and new bouncy toys in Miller Park, a picnic table installed on the Galena Brick Trail deck, a bike rack on the Village Square and water tanks for the ball field irrigation system.
The Estates at Blackhawk Phase C plats are being signed so Homewood Corporation can record the plats.
Under Special Events, attendance was good at the Village’s tree lighting and Santa events. Council thanked Karin Underwood and the Special Events Committee volunteers for all their hard work.
Council also thanked Maintenance Employee Josh Cherubini for all the hours he has been putting into plowing and salting the roads. One pass through town to hit all streets takes approximately two hours. The weather has been difficult earlier than usual, but similar to last year’s December. Burrell noted that Cherubini continues to deal with numerous salt truck mechanical issues and that Council needs to begin thinking about replacing the 10-year old Chevy. Residents and businesses are also reminded to keep sidewalks clear and accessible.