Columbiana ready to seek bids for new fire station

This portion of city-owned property along Metz Road will serve as the site of a future second fire station for Columbiana. City Council is moving forward with legislation to begin the bidding process for the building’s construction. (Salem News photo by Katie White)

COLUMBIANA — A project to construct a second fire station on the south side of town is getting ready to move into the bidding phase.

City Council gave a first reading to legislation this week to allow City Manager Lance Willard to advertise for bids for construction of the station, which will be located on city-owned property near the ballfields along Metz Road.

The city has discussed the need for a new station over the years, with officials concerned about the fact that calls on the south side of town could be delayed due to firefighters stopping for trains that happen to be passing through at that time.

A train track crosses Metz Road not far from the Fairfield Avenue Intersection, and the new station will be constructed on the side of the tracks away from Fairfield Avenue.

The city placed a 2-mill five-year fire levy renewal on the November 2013 election ballot, with residents aware that the department intended to put levy funding toward a new station in the future.

The levy was overwhelmingly supported at that time, and as a renewal, did not raise taxes. The levy brings in $267,500 a year for the department.

City Manager Lance Willard said the new station is being designed by Howells and Baird Engineers with input from fire Chief Rick Garrity and the specifications are still being worked out.

The city’s main fire station is located on West Friend Street, across from the police department.

“It’s a long time coming. It’s a good move,” Councilman Ted Souder said of the new fire station project.

Councilman Dan Bekar agreed.

“I am really glad to see that is getting done,” he said.

Another project moving forward is the state Route 14 waterline project, which will improve pressure problems on the northeast side of town.

Council began looking into the problem a few years ago, and in 2015 hired Howells and Baird to design the project, which went out for bid last year.

On Tuesday, council approved contracting with J.S. Bova Excavating LLC of Struthers for the work at a cost of $453,757.

Bova was the second lowest bidder, according to the Willard’s report to council.

In other business, council approved:

— A request from council member Crystal Siembida-Boggs to host the Pumpkin Pie 5K Race at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 21 in the city, and the ‘Twas the Night 5K Race at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 in the city. Boggs abstained from the vote.

— A request from Linda Linebaugh to host the Move It Forward 5K on Dec. 9 in the city, with proceeds to benefit the First Christian Church Pay it Forward Toy Drive.

— Authorizing Willard to enter into a contract with Tri Area Electric Co. of Youngstown for the standby generator for the water treatment plant.

— A resolution accepting the gift of a work of art for public display at the Main Street Common. The gift is from the Bryan Blakeman family and the artwork is being done by nationally-recognized artist Ray Simon.

— Emergency legislation appropriations of $2,600 into the park festival fund and $1,694 into the law enforcement trust fund, to pay current expenses. Finance Director Mike Harold said the park money is to pay bands that played during this year’s Concerts in the Park Series.

— Emergency legislation allowing Willard to contract with Mike’s Tree and Landscape LLC of Alliance for tree pruning in the city.

— Emergency legislation allowing Willard to contract with Mike’s Tree and Landscape LLC of Alliance for tree removal and stump grinding.

— Emergency legislation to appropriate easements necessary for the construction of the state Routes 7 and 14 intersection project.