At the Village of Galena’s January Council organizational meeting, Council elected Dave Adams to his fifth year as Council president.
Committee representation was determined and Council affirmed Mayor Thomas Hopper’s selection of Alison Cherubini-Hillyer to serve a three-year term on the Zoning and Planning Commission.
Employees reappointed included: Jeanna Burrell, Village administrator; Marty Mazzie, fiscal officer; Michelle Dearth, assistant fiscal officer; Josh Cherubini, maintenance supervisor; Dave LaValle, zoning inspector, property maintenance official, and floodplain administrator; Sally Hopper, Zoning and Planning Commission clerk; and, Levi Koehler, deputy zoning inspector/code compliance assistant and maintenance employee.
Employees received a three percent salary increase.
Ken Molnar was reappointed solicitor. Professional Package Plant Services’ contract was renewed to manage the Village’s wastewater treatment system. Council opted to increase Koehler to full-time; create a deputy fiscal officer position; and, will hire a part-time maintenance employee.
Council passed temporary 2017 budget appropriations with revenues of nearly $2 million and an expenditure budget of $1.6 million which includes $175,000 in rainy day reserves.
The Village’s annual report recapped 2016 accomplishments and events that included:
· 2016 is the fifth year in a row that the Village did not utilize reserve funds and came in under budget.
· The 2015 dispute over the Galena Cemetery ownership continued into 2016 with the court ruling that the Village will own and operate the cemetery. A financial settlement was reached and Larry Buell is serving as a consultant. Long-term former Galena police officer and chief Charlie Chandler was the first burial the Village handled among five since September.
· A marked increase in development interest has dramatically increased staff work load.
· The Estates at Blackhawk’s Phase C is nearing completion and Phase D’s development plan was amended. Construction of the final 26 homes should begin in 2017.
· Harmony Development submitted a rezoning application for the 142 home Arrowhead Lake Estates on 71 acres of the Fuller/Davis property. The application is still working through the zoning process.
· The development plan was amended for Homewood’s 197-acre Miller Farm development at Sunbury and Vans Valley roads.
· The Village has 28 new residents with four new homes. Seventeen zoning certificates were issued.
· Punch list repairs were made by Maronda Homes in the Walnut Creek subdivision in preparation for turning the infrastructure over to the Village.
· The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) issued new National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for the 75,000 gallon per day (GPD) Don Miller Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and a proposed .5 million GPD plant.
· The IBI Group was hired as the Village Engineer and completed a sewer expansion study recommending building a new 250,000 GPD WWTP. They are also conducting an existing sewer capacity study.
· Long-term WWTP operator Jason Watts resigned and was replaced by Brian Rammelsberg.
· Del-Co Water began construction of 12” water supply lines to increase pressure in the Village. Columbia Gas also replaced supply lines along a portion of N. Walnut St.
· Dustin Road, parts of Walnut Street, and the streets around the Village Square were resurfaced.
· The Village is working with ODOT and the Delaware County Engineer on a light and lane improvements at the Walnut St./S. Galena Rd. and SR 3 intersection.
· The Galena Brick Trail was converted into a 10’ wide paved portion of the Ohio to Erie Trail from Dustin Road to Walnut St. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant also replaced the deck of the railroad bridge over Little Walnut Creek.
· Code compliance staff worked through the property maintenance code violation process on 14 properties with one cited into municipal court. After years of violations, a substandard dwelling was demolished and replaced with a new home.
· The owner of Sambuca Italian Greenhouse appealed zoning violations to the Zoning and Planning Commission, the Delaware County Common Pleas Court, then the Fifth District Court of Appeals. The violations were upheld at every level. The court ordered the owner to bring the property into compliance.
· In the Galena Village Hall, three new ADA-compliant restrooms were built and renovations began on new, larger offices for the Galena Historic Foundation. Rental of the building began with the first wedding and first funeral.
· A new snow plow dump truck was purchased.
· A major effort resulted in the destruction of 49 boxes of outdated records.
· The lawsuit filed by Scott Jamison against the Village in January 2013 was settled.
Information for this story was provided by administrator Jeanna Burrell.