At its November meeting Galena’s Village Council heard from Homewood Corporation President Jim Lipnos about platting the third phase of the Estates at Blackhawk on Dustin Rd. This phase includes 22 lots on nearly 13 acres. There is one more phase of the development. Council passed the ordinance approving the final plat.
Mayor Thomas Hopper presented a Council Proclamation to Paul Bolander for his outstanding service to the Village. Bolander has served four years on Council including the Facilities, Finance, Grants and Personnel committees. He also represented the Village on the BST&G Fire Board and has served as their president.
Also in Council Chambers was John Hower, from Rinehart-Walters-Danner and Associates, making a presentation about the Village’s 2014 insurance coverage through the Ohio Plan.
Council held first readings on a variety of housekeeping legislation for 2014 including hiring resolutions; a Galena Historic Foundation lease agreement; leasing storage space from Joe Underwood; adopting a part-time maintenance employee job description; authorizing the Delaware County Building Department to enforce residential building codes; adopting 2014 Council rules; amending bonding requirements; contracting with the City of Delaware for prosecutorial services; approving a service agreement with Professional Package Plant Services to manage the wastewater system; and, exercising a sixth year option with Big O Refuse for residential curbside recycling and trash disposal.
Village Administrator Jeanna Burrell reported that the Village was finally able to meet with Walnut Street contractor Complete General Construction (CGC) on November 5. Negotiations have resulted in CGC planning to reset bricks in several areas beginning December 2, weather permitting. They will rework storm water and sewer inlets that are not flush with the road. They also plan to trim high grass and return in the spring to correct landscaping problems. The Village has held their pay request since they had not returned in more than three months since the road was completed to discuss or correct the punch list of deficiencies on the road.
Del-Co Water Company is currently putting in new water lines along Walnut Street downtown and at the intersection of Walnut and Harrison streets. Their contractor also placed a new fire hydrant on the square in the wrong location. It will be relocated when a new Village water tap is installed on the square to separate the Village’s water source from the previous municipal building.
W. B. Republic is progressing on work for an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access to the Galena Village Hall’s lower level. Work has been delayed until Columbia Gas recently moved a gas line. The rest of the sidewalk work is now in progress. Investigation into rotted wood around the entrance has revealed that the problem is not larger than expected and can be fixed within the current project budget.
The Village received a new generator for its wastewater treatment system and thanked American Showa for its help with the delivery. A backup pump is being delivered this week as well. Burrell reported on further research into the grease buildup in downtown sewer lines from local restaurants. The Village’s sewer use ordinance requires commercial entities to regularly have their grease traps cleaned and they are required to provide the Village with receipt copies. Letters will be sent requesting that information. Conducting regular inspections was discussed as well.
Burrell said the Village is seeing an increased interest from developers looking at local properties. In other zoning news, a new development plan was approved for SAE-MJME Family, LLC. The owners of the previous municipal building at 9 West Columbus Street are renovating the building. They plan to remove the vestibule to return the building to it former facade when it was originally a bank building. They plan to open an art and antiques gallery.
Burrell reported on financial planning assumptions that were developed for the Finance Committee for the 2014 budget including the following:
* Most accounts have healthy carry-overs from 2013;
* Income and other taxes are on the upswing;
* Maintaining capital outlay (reserves) in the sewer and general funds;
* Giving employees a 3 percent raise;
* Hiring an additional maintenance employee for approximately 10 hours per week flexibly scheduled to assist with plowing, mowing and other duties;
* Having no increase in sewer service fees;
* Applying for a Community Block Development Grant to create more ADA restrooms in Village Hall;
* Improving Village Hall security;
* Purchasing a new copier machine;
* Purchasing or leasing a new tractor;
* Replacing some street signs; and
* Paving the Galena Brick Trail from Dustin to Holmes Street and improving the Little Walnut Creek bridge with an Ohio Development of Natural Resources grant.
Fiscal Officer Marty Mazzie reported that a mailing went out to all residents informing them of their income tax obligations. For years, new residents have received a welcome packet that explains the obligation and it is also noted on the Village’s web site. Recently, several residents learned they were in arrears on their income tax and accruing penalties and interest. They often petition the Income Tax Committee to forgive the penalties and interest because they didn’t know they owed income tax. The Income Tax Committee and Council decided to send the mailing so everyone is informed.
Questions should be directed to the Regional Income Tax Agency at 1-866-721-7482, or visit < www.ritaohio.com >.