By Matt Echelberry
At the Galion Area Betterment Commission meeting on June 4, the group listened to guest speaker Mark Osborne as he gave a presentation of his company, Equilbrium Crane (E-Crane) International. Commission President Don Trigg called the meeting to order and Osborne talked about how he started E-Crane after a visit to Europe, where he first saw a new technology being utilized in Belgium and wanted to partner with a company there. He founded E-Crane in Marion in 2000 and has served as president ever since. He moved the office to Bucyrus in 2002, and has been in Galion since 2007.
Mark Osborne, president and founder of E-Crane, spoke to the Betterment Commission during its monthly meeting on June 4. The E-Crane building, located off of State Route 598 to the north of Galion, is 24,000 square feet and houses the company’s offices and warehouse. From the road, one can see a model crane sitting outside of the building. Each crane that the company produces is constructed for a specific project based on the customer’s needs. E-Crane offers several sizes: 700 Series, 1000 Series, 1500 Series, 2000 Series and 3000 Series. All of them are more energy efficient and longer-lasting than the traditional crane in order to optimize work capacity and keep costs down. Some models can lift up to 50 tons.
He explained the physics properties that allow the product to be more efficient: it uses counterweight to stay balanced, so a large, complex base is unnecessary; it can be placed in tight or unconventional spaces. This type of crane is stationary but is capable of a higher and farther reach than traditional cranes.
A member of the commission asked what a typical machine would be priced at. Osborne said it costs around $3 million for a 1,000 Series model. It takes four to five months to build smaller machines and the company once built and delivered two of the larger models in one year.
The services E-Crane offers extend further than simply building the machines, of which 54 have been sold in the last 12 years. They ship their cranes to customers, assemble them on sight and train project workers to use them. They also offer maintenance and repair services, sell replacement parts, and perform rebuilds when necessary. However, Osborne said the cranes are very durable and easy to maintain.
Electric utility companies are E-Crane’s biggest customers, often using the machines for coal unloading. Recently, Osborne has been pushing the company into the recycling market for scrap handling. He said that Sherwin Alumina Corporation, based in Texas, a traditional freight unloader with two of his company’s cranes, cutting its costs for unloading in half.
After Osborne’s presentation, Trigg had members offer reports for their respective organizations. For the Galion Chamber of Commerce, Joe Kleinknecht said the Bittersweet Henhouse will be reopening on Harding Way East but possibly under a different name. He thanked the commission buying the flower baskets that were hanged in the downtown square recently and J&L Greenhouse for donating them and buying two of the four baskets.
Dave Williamson from the Economic Development Office said that the workforce is the primary focus right now. The “senior project” that the office is spearheading will start its pilot program at some schools in the fall and it will become a graduation requirement in the following school year. Galion City Manager Gene Toy said the water treatment plant is getting some equipment replaced and the projects on Portland Way North are starting now that the school year has ended. He also said Med Flight will be starting its operations at the Galion airport this month.
Terry Gribble from the YMCA said that the summer day camps have started and the community swimming pool at Heise Park has opened. County Commissioner Doug Weisenauer gave an update on the roof remodeling for the Courthhouse. He said the commissioners have been meeting with architects to replace the dome, which will be one color when the project is finished. Jerry Morasko, CEO of Galion Community Hospital, said the hospital’s budget has been approved. Construction of the cardiac rehabilitation unit is finished and the new parking lot is almost done.
Patty Rice Groth spoke for the Galion Hospital Auxillary; pre-order forms from Schwann foods have been received so that the fundraiser for the hospital can begin. Elaine Hottenroth from the Galion Community Theatre announced the dates for the summer musical “1776”: June 22, 23, 29 and 30 and July 1 (2 p.m. matinee). Admission is $15. The theatre will also be hosting theatre workshops July 9–20.
Vicki Eckenrod said the library is replacing its air conditioner and reminded the commission about the library’s summer reading program. Jean Plack said the Golden Age Center will be hosting ice cream socials and sponsoring Music in the Park, which will be every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the coming weeks. It is also having a car and motorcycle show on July 1. Plack also announced that the Relay for Life will be June 15 and 16 this year. Glenn Cheesman, trustee of Polk Township, said resurfacing will be done on Millsboro Road. He also said the the county needs a list of homes in need of demolition, a project that will be spent with state grant money received from a settlement with banks that foreclosed on homes. He said the county hopes to get rid of about 40 homes total.
Representatives from other groups were not in attendance to offer their reports. In new business, Trigg reminded the commission that he will be moving to Seville, Ohio. Toy is set to replace him as commission president. The Galion Area Betterment Commission will hold its next meeting on September 10 at 12 p.m. in the meeting room of the hospital cafeteria.
Source: Galion Inquirer