At the Village of Galena’s January Council organizational meeting, Chrissy Fuller and Joe Stoll were sworn in as new Council members. Council also elected Dave Adams to his second year as Council president. Committee representation was determined and Council affirmed Mayor Thomas Hopper’s selection of Jason Hilyer to serve a three-year term on the Zoning and Planning Commission. Hilyer replaces Mike Bragalone who served two terms on the commission and did not seek reappointment.
Employees reappointed included:
• Jeanna Burrell, part-time Village Administrator and Deputy Zoning inspector;
• Marty Mazzie, full-time Fiscal Officer;
• Michelle Dearth, part-time Assistant Fiscal Officer;
• Josh Cherubini, full-time Maintenance Employee;
• Dave LaValle, part-time Zoning Inspector, Property Maintenance Official and Floodplain Administrator; and,
• Sally Hopper, part-time Zoning and Planning Commission Clerk.
Employees received a 3 percent increase. Ken Molnar was reappointed Solicitor. Professional Package Plant Services’ contract was renewed to manage the Village’s wastewater treatment system.
Committees were appointed and Council passed temporary 2014 budget appropriations with revenues of $1,386,477. The Village opted for no increase in sewer use fees for 2014. Council approved a resolution to extend the Big-O Refuse residential trash and recycling contract for 2014 with no rate increase. They approved an agreement for the Galena Historic Foundation to lease a room in the Village Hall. Council also hired Murphy and Associates Real Estate to assist with a real estate purchase option and authorized the Village to apply for a grant to fund trail land acquisition.
Council voted to declare it necessary to levy a 2-mil replacement property tax levy and request the County Auditor to determine the tax valuation and income that would be generated. The Village hopes to place the four-year tax levy on the May ballot. The current tax levy expired December 31 but is collected through 2014. The proposed tax would run 2014-2017 and be collected during 2015-2018.
At the end of her first year as Village Administrator, Jeanna Burrell presented an annual report to Council recapping accomplishments of 2013 that included:
• Many improvements were made to the Galena Village Hall, including a grant funded Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) entrance to the lower level; the attic was cleaned out; new insulation was added; a new metal roof was added; and new gutters, downspouts, drainage tiles and a rain garden were installed.
• The Village sold its previous municipal building in the spring and assisted with the sale of the Big Walnut School building.
• Phase 3 of the Walnut Street reconstruction project occurred with an Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) grant/loan. The $387,266 project installed new sidewalks and a permeable brick paver road. Punch list corrections will occur in the spring.
• The Delaware County Engineer replaced the aging Sunbury Road Bridge and the new bridge features faux brick and stone, street lights and a dedicated multi-purpose trail lane.
• A concerted effort was made to get street lights repaired by AEP, contractors and developers.
• The final phase of the Miller Park train-themed playground and bouncy toys were installed with Preservation Parks of Delaware County grant funding. The grant also funded Ruffner Park ball field irrigation tanks as well as a Galena Brick Trail picnic table and a Village Square bike rack. Another grant was awarded for 2014.
• The Miller Park walking trail and basketball court was patched and sealed.
• The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded a grant to pave the Galena Brick Trail between Dustin Road and Holmes Street during 2014. Additional trail parking space was added at the Depot Lot.
• The Delaware County Friends of the Trail and Maronda Homes made improvements to the Walnut Creek Trail. The Village took ownership of the trail and associated open space.
• Habitat improvement included invasive species control, tree management, and erosion control and water quality improvements by establishing areas that will not be mowed.
• Under zoning and planning, the Sambuca Nursery was rezoned to the Planned Office and Commercial District. New or amended development plans were approved for the previous municipal building, Coldwater Consulting and CDP Properties. A conditional use permit was granted for Journey Fellowship Church.
• Zoning and property maintenance violations were issued for a number of properties with a couple ending up in legal actions. Compliance was achieved on several properties or is in process and being monitored.
• Trinity Homes received approval to plat Phase C of the Estates at Blackhawk.
• The State Auditor’s Office conducted a financial audit of 2011 and 2012.
• The Village completed a series of OPWC zero percent loan project for the wastewater treatment system that included a Supervisory Control Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and purchasing a generator as well as a bypass pump.
• The Greater Galena Civic Association’s Summerfest was a huge success. The Village’s Discover Galena events included the first open house at the Village Hall and the new Galena Historic Foundation’s displays. The chimney swift program and parks, trails and history wagon tours were a hit, too.
• The Village’s Special Events Committee sponsored the always popular Easter Egg Hunt, Memorial Day Services, Ice Cream Social, Halloween Costume Contest, Tree Lighting and Santa Claus events. To avoid bad weather, Galena moved its Beggar’s Night and Costume Contest to the Village Hall and the Journey Fellowship Church offered movies, candy and activities as well. The events were very well received.