COLUMBIANA - The city will file a petition to annex 134 acres from Fairfield Township. On Tuesday, council passed second reading of the legislation following a brief discussion on how the move will benefit the city.
The annexation is being sought by council in order for the city to own the property where the current water treatment plant is located. The outdated plant built in 1933 on the southeast end of the city near Metz Road will be replaced by a new multi-million-dollar plant over the next two years.
The annexation includes some neighboring farm properties and about a half-mile of roadway that the city would be responsible for.
City Manager Keith Chamberlin has said the annexation will benefit the city because it will make way for the police and fire departments to have jurisdiction there. Currently the departments have no authority at the property since it is situated in the township.
Councilman Bob Bieshelt said the additional jurisdiction would result in more costs for the department through overtime hours and mileage.
"This is a pretty large chunk of the property," he said of what is known as the Hawkins property located not far from the city's baseball fields.
Police Chief Tim Gladis said the additional property in the city would mean more costs for the department but didn't indicate the cost would be significant.
Planning Commission member Ron LaLonde noted, and Gladis confirmed, that the city already has officers patrol the area near the baseball fields.
Bieshelt then asked why the Hawkins property, which is mostly a field, was included in the annexation, and Chamberlin explained that it wasn't originally included but later added in order for the property to be more equally divided.
Bieshelt then asked if any revenue would be received from the property, to which Chamberlin responded that aside from some income tax and a "little bit" of agriculture real estate tax, the revenue wouldn't be significant.
He noted, however, that the township is currently collecting fire levy money on that property and once annexation takes place it would switch to the city's levy collections.
He added the city does not need to run utilities to the property targeted to be annexed.
The legislation was unanimously approved.
Also approved was the purchase of a new ladder truck for the volunteer fire department. Fire Chief Rick Garrity approached council on Sept. 18 requesting approval for the new truck estimated to cost $585,432.
Council approved making a $250,000 down payment through Community Leasing Partners and financing the remaining $327,932 with a three-year, 2.7 percent interest loan.
The city received a $7,500 discount on the truck by making the down payment, Finance Director Mike Harold pointed out.
The truck will be paid for through available funding from the fire levy approved in 2010. Six installments of little more than $57,000 will be made beginning in March of 2013 and continuing through 2015, resulting in the truck being paid off by the end of the levy.
Garrity said he expects the truck to be delivered to the department within nine months.
Other items approved were:
- A first reading of a resolution requesting county distribution of casino revenues.
- A first reading of an ordinance amending sections 1260.05 and 1260.22 of the planning and zoning code. The amendment added language that would bar a liquid waste injection disposal well and support structures from being constructed in the city. Municipal Attorney Daniel Blasdell said the amendment is a precautionary measure and there were no plans for a well to be constructed in the city.
- Setting trick or treat night for 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31.
- A request from Kelli Harding for Heros and Halos to host a 5K race/walk on Sept. 13, 2013. Harding said the event will benefit the Heros and Halos summer safety event and that the race/walk will begin at South Side Middle School and end at the Firestone Park track. Special needs individuals are also invited to participate and fireworks will be set off at the close of the event, she said.