No objections to Columbiana water plant annexation

LISBON – The city of Columbiana’s petition to annex 86 acres from Fairfield Township is one step closer to being approved following Wednesday’s public hearing hosted by Columbiana County commissioners.

The required hearing is the last step before commissioners can approve the application, which they intend to do after the annexation petition is checked by the county prosecutor’s office to confirm it complies with the law.

The Metz Road property is owned by Columbiana and home to the city’s well system and water treatment plant. Columbiana intends a major upgrade of the 80-year-old plant and wants the property in city limits before it begins the project.

“It’s a multi-million dollar project and it’s essential we control the property,” said Municipal Attorney Dan Blasdell.

Columbiana intends to plow snow on the section of Metz Road leading to the water plant that will remain in the township after the annexation, and Blasdell said the city has also agreed to share road maintenance costs.

The only other property owner is the Columbiana County Port Authority, which owns the railroad line that runs through the property, and the Port Authority supports the annexation.

There was no one at the hearing who opposed the annexation, nor have commissioners received correspondence from anyone with objections.

In other action at the meeting, commissioners:

– Hired Scott Svab of Canal Fulton as the 2013 county apiary inspector for $1,000. Svab is charged with inspecting beehives maintained by beekeepers in the county.

– Agreed to lease the 117 acres of land at the County Farm property on County Home Road in Center Township to Roy D. Keir, a farmer who lives on Winona Road, for $9,000 per year, which represented the highest offer received, according to Commissioner Jim Hoppel.

The next commissioners’ meeting is 9 a.m. Feb. 27.