Galena Village Council organizes for 2013
The Village of Galena held two Council meetings in January, an organizational meeting and a regular monthly meeting. David Adams was elected to serve as Council president. Stan Swisher was reappointed to a new three-year term on the Zoning and Planning Commission and committee appointments were made.
Council appointed Jeanna Burrell as its new Village administrator. Burrell has served as Galena’s administrative assistant, assistant public service director, and interim village administrator. She comes to the job with a decade of experience with the Village and rewrote the Village’s master plan in 2010.
Burrell was also appointed deputy zoning inspector. She has more than a decade of experience in zoning and planning having served as a charter member of the Kingston Township Zoning Commission; as the zoning secretary who assisted in writing the initial township zoning resolution and comprehensive land use (master) plan; and established the zoning office. She also served as the Kingston Township Zoning Commission chairwoman and assisted in later revisions to the zoning resolution and master plan.
Prior to joining the Village’s staff, Burrell also had 15 years of experience in public administration and served as the public relations director on the president’s staff for 12 years at Marion Technical College. She handles the Village’s public relations efforts with news releases, a monthly newsletter, and the web site and also is the editor for the Marburn Academy Panther Pride newsletter and the Kingston News.
Council reappointed Marty Mazzie as fiscal officer; Michelle Dearth as assistant fiscal officer; Dave LaValle as zoning inspector, property maintenance official and floodplain administrator; Sally Hopper as Zoning and Planning Commission clerk; and Ken Molnar as solicitor. Josh Cherubini was appointed in December as maintenance employee for a 90-day probationary period. A 2013 calendar was also established and Council passed temporary 2013 budget appropriations of $937,725.
After a third reading on an ordinance, Council voted to increase sewer use fees 3 percent. The next bill was sent out February 1 for $53.64 per month ($160.92/quarter) for residential customers. Anyone doing automatic payments should adjust their payment amounts.
Council passed resolutions to apply for a Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant to pave a section of the Galena Brick Trail and improve the Little Walnut Creek Bridge. This would complete a section of the Ohio to Erie Trail through the Village. They also passed an ordinance to lease a room in the Galena Village Hall to the newly-formed Galena Historic Foundation.
Council passed annual ordinances approving the Ohio Basic Code as the Village’s Code of Ordinances and creating an exemption allowing agricultural landowners with 40 or more acres to hunt. Resolutions were approved to discard obsolete equipment and to designate the Delaware County Bank as the official public depository for the Village’s active deposits.
Following an executive session to discuss real estate, Council passed an ordinance to advertise for bids to sell or lease the Village’s municipal building on the square at 9 West Columbus Street. Council set a minimum price of $190,000 for sale and a minimum of $1,100 per month to lease the building with the lessee also paying taxes, insurance and utilities.
Village Administrator Jeanna Burrell presented an annual report recapping accomplishments of 2012 that included:
• An Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliant bathroom was added to the Galena Village Hall as well as fire escape safety, electrical and lighting improvements. Asbestos was removed from a mechanical room and termites were treated. The stage was reconfigured and a sound and recording system was added to the new Council Chambers. Walls were patched and painted, new flooring was added in some areas, lower level floors were painted, and the entire building was wired for new technology. The first Council meeting was held in the building in October and staff moved into offices in November. The Village was also notified that its application was approved for a Community Block Development Grant to add ADA access to the lower level.
• The Galena Historical Foundation was created as a stand-alone entity with John Bland serving as president. Bland plans to donate historical items to the foundation which will lease a room in the Village Hall. Volunteers are encouraged to join the new organization.
• Phase 3 of the Miller Park train-themed playground equipment was installed. Swing sets were cut down to lower heights in both parks to be in compliance with new fall zone safety requirements. Batting cages and a well house were completed for the irrigation system at Ruffner Park. Seventy-five percent of these projects’ costs were funded by the Preservation Parks of Delaware County’s Community Parks Improvement Grant (CPIG). CPIG funds were also approved for the final phase of the Miller Park playground for 2013 which includes a spiral slide as well as picnic tables and bike racks.
• An Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) grant/loan with $250,000 in grant funds and $137,266 in a zero percent loan was approved for the $387,266 Phase 3 reconstruction of Walnut Street with sidewalks from High to Church streets. The survey and design is complete and bids will be advertised soon. The Village hopes bids are favorable to build a permeable paver street to handle storm water.
• The Village collaborated with Big Walnut School administrators on survey issues related to the Big Walnut School administration property. The schools plans to trade land at the intersection of Walnut and Harrison streets needed for the Phase 4 relocation of that intersection in exchange for the Village vacating building encroachments on Walnut Street.
• The Village has worked with the Delaware County Engineer’s Office and utility companies in preparation for the county’s Sunbury Road bridge replacement scheduled for April through November. The Village worked successfully to get a bike lane and new street lights added to the bridge.
• The Village worked with Sunbury to set up a public meeting with American Electric Power (AEP) to discuss supply problems and reliability. AEP is studying moving the Village to another, smaller circuit.
• Staff cleaned up after four major windstorms within a one-month period.
• The Village participated in the planning process and Council approved the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s (MORPC) Big Walnut Watershed Planning Partnership’s plan.
• Eight new homes were under construction in 2012.
• Galena worked with the Ohio Water Resources Council/Balanced Growth Ohio on rewriting its subdivision code into a low impact development code. A team of experts was assembled to assist in the process which is still under way.
• Trinity Homes received a three-year extension for the Miller Farm development.
• Zoning hearings were held and an amended Zoar Development Plan for property downtown was approved.
• Properties were inspected and several property maintenance and zoning violations were issued in the second half of 2012. A great deal of time has gone into trying to bring these properties into compliance including legal remedies for two properties.
• The 2012 year ended under budget.
• The exclusive residential trash and recycling contract with Big-O Refuse was extended into 2013.
• The Village’s Special Events Committee sponsored the always popular Easter Egg Hunt, Ice Cream Social, Halloween Costume Contest, Tree Lighting and Santa Claus events.
• The Greater Galena Civic Association’s Summerfest was again a big success bringing thousands of people to Galena for a fun day.