Galena village council met twice during January and handled a variety of business.
At the January 7 organizational meeting, David Walker was elected to serve as council president for 2019. Also, assignments were made for representation on council committees, village commissions and to external organizations.
In personnel matters, Council adopted 2019 employment resolutions including appointing the following:
· Suzanne Rease as fiscal officer and zoning clerk;
· Michelle Dearth as assistant fiscal officer;
· Jeffrey White as village administrator;
· Jeanna Burrell as assistant village administrator, to focus on special projects;
· Levi Koehler as zoning inspector, property maintenance official and floodplain administrator;
· Josh Cherubini as maintenance supervisor;
· Cody Hale as maintenance worker;
· Ken Molnar as village solicitor; and,
· Tom Marshall as environmental engineer, to continue with construction management of the water reclamation plant.
Council also approved 2019 contracts for the City of Delaware for prosecutorial services and Professional Package Plant Services to operate the wastewater treatment system. The 2019 budget was approved with anticipated revenues of $2.7 million and expenditures of $1.7 million. The general fund will be extremely tight due to the cost of the intersection improvement project at State Route 3 and Walnut Street with the village’s share of the project cost coming due for payment in 2019. No increase in sewer user rates are planned for this year.
Staff presented annual reports summarizing 2018 activities. Highlights include the increasing time demands for staff to deal with land development activities ranging from exploratory inquiries by property owners, to annexation, rezoning, engineering, and construction. Staff also conducted zoning permit reviews and property maintenance inspections and enforcement. Aside from managing the village’s finances, the fiscal staff reported about their accomplishments ranging from responding to public records requests, to managing the cemetery business, to utility billing.
Village Administrator Jeffrey White reported that much time was spent during 2018 developing capital projects such as construction of the village’s water reclamation facility, the intersection safety improvement project at State Route 3 and Walnut St./S. Galena Rd, and Phase 2 of the Galena Brick Trail which extends north from Holmes Street. Also, much time went toward planning Phase 3 of the trail, which will complete the missing link between Galena and Sunbury. Construction of the water reclamation facility currently appears to be on target to meet the February “substantial completion” specification of the contract. Much of the current work is concentrated on the plant interior, but noticeable exterior work that will occur as weather allows includes site grading and modifying and connecting the existing plant to the new one.
The January 28 council meeting started with confirmation that Chris Underwood had resigned his council seat for a career move that he felt would not allow him to devote the proper level of attention to village business. Council was pleased to have four very qualified residents present who expressed interest in filling the vacated seat including Lisa Dyson, Eric Johnston, Marty Mazzie and Todd Musacchio. After each candidate was given an opportunity to present their qualifications and answer questions, council selected Todd Musacchio.
Guest participation included Jennifer Strong of the Delaware General Health District who gave updates about that agency and Delaware County Commissioner Gary Merrell who answered questions raised by council members.
Rob McCarthy of Bricker & Eckler, an attorney for the Village’s New Community Authority (NCA), reported that an application has been received from MI Homes of Central Ohio LLC, to add the land of their Retreat at Dustin development to the NCA. As such, this council meeting included an initial review of that application and a hearing will be conducted with the February 25 council meeting. The NCA Board is scheduled to consider the application on February 28 at 4 p.m., at the village hall. The public is welcomed to attend.
Council passed legislation including: a resolution accepting MI Homes’ application to join the NCA, a resolution ratifying the solid waste management plan of the Delaware-Knox-Marion-Morrow Joint Solid Waste District, a resolution authorizing the village’s engineering firm, KEM, to design and oversee construction of the Galena Brick Trail Phase 3 project, a resolution authorizing the advertisement for bids to invest a portion of inactive village funds, an ordinance adopting a credit card use policy, and an ordinance authorizing a utility easement to Ohio Power Company. A first reading was made of an ordinance regulating on-street parking during snow and ice weather events.
Mayor Hopper reported that there was good public turnout for the January 16 hearing conducted by the Zoning & Planning Commission concerning the proposed rezoning of an area in an older part of the village from Planned Industrial to Planned Residential. With this change, currently non-conforming land uses will be conforming. The commission voted to recommend approval to the village council, and the matter will be considered and voted upon by council in a public hearing portion of its February 25 council meeting.
Information for this story was provided by Jeffrey White.