Wastewater Expansion Study
Village Engineers Mike Murray and Kevin Wood, from IBI Group, reviewed their wastewater expansion study for Galena Village Council at their December meeting. IBI reviewed expected development densities from the Estates at Blackhawk, Miller Farm, and Arrowhead Lake Estates as well as other potential developments. Murray discussed IBI’s ongoing sewer capacity study and discussed the limited capacity available at the Village’s existing 75,000 gallons per day (GPD) wastewater treatment plant. IBI is recommending building a new 250,000 GPD membrane bioreactor plant (MBR). An MBR can be built on the limited footprint available beside the existing plant and can meet more stringent requirements.
Wood discussed financing the design and construction with various development and grant/loan scenarios for the $4.8 million project.
Council approved a contract with IBI to apply for a short-term $480,000 loan to design the plant. It is anticipated that this loan will roll over into the construction loan. Wood discussed options of subsidizing the cost of the project so current sewer customers don’t bear the burden for new customers. Development tap fees could primarily pay for the new plant and the operational costs per customer reduces as more customers tap into the system.
Council also voted to approve applying to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) for a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for Phase II Storm Water Rules for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). The Village was recently notified by the OEPA that, following the 2010 Census, the Village is now considered part of the urbanized Columbus metropolitan area and will now fall under the MS4 storm water permitting requirements. The Village will file an application in January, then develop a storm water management plan.
The Personnel Committee met to review staff proposals for 2017 and forwarded their recommendation to Council which included three percent cost of living increases as well as increased hours in zoning and new positions in the fiscal and maintenance departments, in part to handle new cemetery duties and increased development pressure. Personnel costs will be $286,137, an increase of $52,073.
The Finance Committee met and reviewed staff proposals and forwarded their recommendation to Council for allocation of the Village’s $1.7 million in revenues. The expense budget totals $1.5 million including $175,000 (or 10 percent of revenues) set aside in capital outlay funds to provide a rainy day emergency reserve.
Approximately $785,000 in general fund expenses include operating supplies, parks, personnel, utilities, insurance, equipment, maintenance, street maintenance, facilities, and professional and legal fees.
Street construction, state highway, and cemetery funds account for more than $236,000. Improvements are planned for Alexander Road during 2017 but the State Route 3 and Walnut St./S. Galena Rd. improvements and traffic light are delayed until 2018.
The sewer utility budget is nearly $503,000. A three percent sewer user fee is proposed which would increase residential sewer bills $1.68 per month to $57.76/month ($173.28/quarter).
Council opted to continue its property and casualty insurance through the Ohio Plan. Cemetery foundation fees also were revised.
Council held second readings on resolutions for leases, employees, and other contracts for 2017. They approved a 2017 calendar setting the organizational meeting on Jan. 9.
A long tabled ordinance to withdraw the Village from Berkshire Township was removed from the table and died for lack of action. The ordinance originated during research on an unwanted merger proposed in an unsuccessful effort to stop Sunbury annexations in the township.
We asked for our readers’ feedback on parks. Here’s what you said.
Eighteen people responded and approximately half live in the Village. Of those who were residents, most had lived here four years or less. Roughly one-third of respondents were 18-25, one-third were 25-45, and one-third were 45-55. Half had children and half did not.
Park/trail users can be broken down into two major groups: empty-nesters using the trails and parents with children using the playgrounds.
The majority enjoyed biking, walking/jogging, playgrounds, fishing, and nature watching.
The majority were familiar with the parks and trails located within the village that include Ruffner Park, Miller Park, the Walnut Creek Trail, the Galena Brick Trail, and the City of Columbus’ Hoover Boardwalk.
Most of the respondents had used the parks/trails within the past six months. Half used the parks or trails on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and half used the parks only once a year. Nearly half were more likely to utilize a trail and nearly one-third used both parks and trails.
Respondents particularly liked the trails; want the trail system expanded; and, liked the fact that they were clean and family-friendly. They wanted improvements including the following: Improved signage; Completion of trails to Sunbury, around Hoover Reservoir, along Little Walnut Creek, and along the east and west sides of Big Walnut Creek; On-street bike parking near the restaurants; More trash cans; and, Updated parks.
We appreciate your feedback and will consider it as we plan future park and trail projects and acquisitions.
You are invited to the Galena Historic Foundation’s (GHF) third annual Galena Days Gone By storytelling event in March at the Village Hall. It’s always a very interesting and educational experience.
Join your neighbors and friends with some light refreshments and share your Galena stories from the past and present. There will be guest speakers and locals who will share stories from Galena’s days gone by and a silent auction held during the event.
GHF meetings are on the fourth Wednesdays of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Galena Village Hall at 109 Harrison Street. New members are always welcome.
The foundation greatly appreciates any Galena historical artifact or monetary donations. Contact Vice President John Bland at 740-965-2081 or email him at email@example.com for more information.
Mayor Thomas Hopper recently spoke to the Hylen Souders Elementary School third graders about government. He explained about the various levels and branches of government and especially focused on the Village government. He explained how Sunbury will become a city after the next Census because their population has exceeded 5,000 but that Galena’s population of approximately 800 is much smaller. The third graders had some very interesting questions that Mayor Hopper answered.
Mayor Hopper and Village Administrator Jeanna Burrell also served as judges at the December Big Walnut High School’s Government Fair Finals competition.
Nature Club Recognized
The Big Walnut Nature Club was awarded the 2016 Community Stewardship Award by the Keep Delaware County Beautiful program. Accepting the award for the club were Dan Hall, Team Osprey leader; Craig Ebersold, Team Trash leader; and, president Jeanna Burrell.
The three-year old club has championed Galena area conservation efforts with spring and fall trash collection events to improve the natural habitat; educational programs; and, Osprey and Prothonotary Warbler conservation activities.
To get involved, visit their website at www.bwnatureclub.webs.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow them on facebook.
Information for this story was provided by the Village of Galena.