LISBON - The city of Columbiana's petition to annex 86 acres from Fairfield Township was formally accepted at Wednesday's meeting of Columbiana County commissioners.
Commissioners have to wait 60 days before scheduling the required public hearing, which means it will occur sometime after Feb. 17, according to the commissioners' clerk.
The Columbiana water treatment plant takes up a portion of the property, which is located near the Metz Road baseball fields. The city is seeking its annexation so the police department will have jurisdiction to patrol the property, although officers already patrol the area.
The petition has the support of all the affected property owners, which include Anthony and Lois Edgerton and the Columbiana County Port Authority, which owns the railroad that runs through the property.
The annexation petition originally totaled 134 acres but three private property owners of 48 acres withdrew after the city balked at providing free utility service to them and assurances it would not impede their efforts to lease land for oil and shale gas development.
The water plant was built in 1933 and is scheduled to be replaced with a treatment facility over the next two years.
In other action at Wednesday's meeting, commissioners voted to seek bids on the Painter Road/Brooklyn Avenue and Depot Road sewer line extension project in Perry Township. The bids will be opened Jan. 23.
The project is being funded in part with $84,000 obtained from the state by township trustees, with the city of Salem loaning the township the rest, which will be repaid in the form of assessment against residents required to hook into the sewer lines. The lines will become part of Salem's sanitary sewer system after they are installed and become operational.
Finally, commissioners approved a road-use maintenance agreement (RUMA) between the engineer's office and Chesapeake Energy to use 0.24 miles of Middleton Road in Fairfield Township for access to the proposed Mitch Murphy well site from state Route 7. Middleton Road is a county road. Chesapeake intends to seek a state drilling permit.