On November 26 Kiwanis of Galion held their final meeting of November. Several upcoming projects were discussed which included Toys for Tots. Kiwanis is in the final stages of collecting toys for the event. They are collecting the toys from the drop boxes around town as well as going out and buying some of their own. The toy give away will be on Saturday December 7. The Salvation Army bell ringing will also be taking place thanksgiving weekend. Kiwanis members are signing up for shifts for this event which will see them collecting money outside of Geyer’s market for the Salvation Army. In other Kiwanis news Kiwanis of Galion will only be having two meetings in December. One will be on December 10 and the other on December 17. The next meeting after that will take place on January 7.
The guest speaker for the day was Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary. O’Leary spoke on a number of topics. First of which was the approval of the city budget. O’Leary said that the Council would meet later that night where he hoped to approve the budget but if not that night then in two weeks at the next meeting. One important note he added was that the water and sewer funds will not be transferred to the general fund. Of all the funds the general fund is the strongest with the utilities fund being weaker and the electric fund being the weakest he said. O’Leary also said that a number of new positions will be open as far as city personal. Some of these are new positions and some are open due to retirement. They include several different types of positions which include union civil service, a meter slot, administrative clerks, and waste water treatment. Other positions he mentioned that they are looking to fill are a line department superintendant for utilities, and a street department superintendant. This will be a new position. The person who has this position will manage eleven to twelve people and one of the things they will be responsible for is the waste water collection system.
Mayor O’Leary also spoke about the 598 widing project. He said it is moving rapidly towards sale. The project is set to come in within the budget range as they are half a million dollars ahead according to O’Leary. He said they have had several successful talks with ODOT and that a public meeting will be held in late January to early February with citizens to give a more detailed understanding of the project. Another matter discussed by the mayor was the depot building. O’Leary said he would like to bring the community together on this issue. He wants to work with the various community groups to find a solution on what to do with this building. When it comes to this he said it comes down to three things. They are funding, use, and programs. He said that last time something was attempted to be done with the building the funding wasn’t there. To fix this it would need the proper funding. As far as use goes a number of suggestions have been thrown out on the table. They include ideas for a restaurant, brewery, commercial use, city offices, insurance agencies, and other businesses. As far as programs go O’Leary said that they need to decide if it will be a space used for private business, common space or a space used for festivals. O’Leary plans to meet with various groups about the issue next month.
O’Leary also spoke about the school funding issue. He said that the schools are in need of funding right now and that he wants to help out. He plans on devoting a day or two a month to looking into finding new investments or recruiting new businesses to the town. If this cannot happen he hopes to at least see businesses add jobs. The electric upgrade was also discussed by the Mayor. He said they are currently in phase three of the city wide upgrade. They are 90% done with phase three out by Dawsett and are close to moving onto phase four then five. Phase five will be out by Harding Way and is hopeful to be started within a year or so.