Chamber official named to Columbiana board

COLUMBIANA – The executive director of the city’s Chamber of Commerce has been chosen to fill the empty Civil Service Commission seat.

City Council approved April Brinker for the seat Tuesday. The six-year term began May 15, the day Gary Neville informed the city he would not be reapplying.

Neville began his term May 15 of 2007.

The commission was formed in 2001 to assist the city in the hiring of new individuals. Members receive no payment and meet on an as-needed basis.

Mayor David Spatholt said Brinker was the only one who applied. With Councilman Richard McBane absent, the five remaining members approved her unanimously.

Brinker said she decided to seek the commission seat because she is “looking forward to broadening her horizons in Columbiana.”

She became executive director of the Chamber in July of last year and prior to that worked as an office manager for eight years.

As office manager she was responsible for hiring and making sure the company was up to date on Ohio Safety and Health Administration regulations and Department of Transportation requirements, she said.

“I felt that I could serve the city well (on the commission) in helping to find new employees as needed,” she said.

City Manager Lance Willard said he has confidence in Brinker’s abilities.

In other business, council approved several pieces of legislation, including one implementing a time limit on site plans through the planning commission.

The time limit was designed to allow properties that remain unchanged for one year to be available to someone else if no activity occurs during that time frame.

If no activity occurs, the previously approved site plan will expire. The limit can be extended once, if the person who originally requested the plan provides a reasonable explanation to the planning commission. The extension is for six months.

Current site plans will be grandfathered in.

Council also approved amending the planning and zoning code’s maximum height requirements, with commercial zones set at 45 feet, up from 35 feet. Industrial zones were set at 65 feet, up from 35 feet in classifications 1 and 2.

A public hearing was held before the changes were approved, and no one offered comment.

Council also approved:

– A second reading setting a salary and establishing a street superintendent position.

– A first reading accepting the annexation of 86.734 acres from Fairfield Township.

– A motion accepting the resolution approved by county commissioners regarding the annexation of 86.734 acres into the city. The property in Fairfield Township is for the new water treatment plant, which is where the current plant is already located.

– A motion referring the question of the annexed land’s zoning to the planning commission. The commission will recommend a zoning classification back to council and a public hearing has already been set for 7:15 p.m. Oct 1 regarding the zoning.

– Emergency resolutions excluding the approval of Salem for an alternate method of apportionment of Local Government Fund monies to be distributed in 2014, approving the new alternate method of apportionment and an ordinance authorizing the sale of personal property no longer needed for municipal purposes.