Village of Galena officials voted Monday to hire financial counsel and refinance some village debt.

Village of Galena officials voted Monday to hire financial counsel and refinance some village debt.

Council members heard from Paul Rutter of Bricker and Eckler, and Dave Conley and Emily Cannon of Robert W. Baird, who presented information on financing options available to the village regarding the former Galena United Methodist Church now owned by the village.

Conley recommended the village pursue short-term, one-year financing until interest rates for municipalities drop and a longer-term note can be financed.

"The interest rates are high," Conley said, "and this is not the best time for a long-term bond. We can do another one-year financing as the short-term interest rates are very attractive."

That note also would include funds for renovations to the building.

Council members voted to hire Bricker and Eckler to shop for the one-year note and passed an ordinance authorizing up to $400,000 for the new note.

Council also voted to apply for an Ohio Water Development Authority long-term loan that would be used to pay for the purchase of the wastewater treatment plant, bought from Delaware County.

The 30-year loan is for about $546,000 and, if granted, is not subject to refinancing. Should OWDA not grant the loan, the village passed an ordinance to retire the current debt and reissue another note.

The council also voted to approve a 25-percent increase in sewer fees, effective Feb. 1. This increases residential rates from $40.45 to $50.56 per month or $151.68 per quarter.

Delaware County Friends of the Trail representative Mary Kerr spoke to council.

Kerr is in the process of writing a grant application through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Clean Ohio Trails Fund for about $488,000.

The monies would be used to construct a trail from Dustin Road to the Galena Brick Trail.

Council voted to approve the application, contribute funds not to exceed $11,000, and agreed to maintain the trail upon completion should the village be awarded the grant.