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Columbiana County commissioners approve vacation of St. Clair Twp. road

LISBON — The request to vacate a residential street, Fisher Avenue Extension, in St. Clair Township was approved on Wednesday by the Columbiana County Commissioners.

During a public hearing on the road vacation, David Dawson and Bert Dawson, both residents of the street and former commissioner Jim Hoppel, whose property backs up to the street from Calcutta-Smith Ferry Road, asked for commissioners to approve the request, which was already approved by the St. Clair Township trustees.

Bert Dawson said he built it as a private road himself 41 years ago with family living on the short stretch of roadway. However, there is a property at the end of the street, which has an actual address of Calcutta-Smith Ferry Road, where residents are using the road as their throughway. While three families with small children ride their bikes and other family members are walking with strollers along the dead end street, the men described motorcycles and cars flying past heading to the end of the road.

That address has a driveway off of Calcutta-Smith Ferry Road and man acres, but Dawson said those living on the property park at the end of Fisher Avenue Extension and have improperly placed a mailbox there. Dawson said this leads to confusion by pizza delivery people and Amazon, who cannot find the address and come to his house trying to find it sometimes daily.

Although she did not attend the meeting, Bert Dawson read a statement written by his wife, Deb Dawson, where she reflected about many problems there have been with the neighbors on that property through the years, including farm animals in her garden, garbage burning and high powered gunshots.

After making certain the action would not landlock the neighbors, commissioners unanimously approved the request to vacate the road. Dawson said he plans to make a circular cul de sac at the end of the vacated portion of road.

In other matters:

— Commissioners approved permission for the engineer’s office to advertise for bids to extend a storm line on Calcutta Smith Ferry Road in St. Clair township.

— Commissioners approved more American Rescue plan spending, $12,400 to the East Liverpool City Hospital Lab Services for COVID testing at the county jail, $117,839 for upgrades to air handler units at the county jail by Johnson Controls and $6,000 to Healthworks for COVID antibody testing for employees.

— Commissioners entered an agreement with the County Employee Benefit Consortium of Ohio Inc. to provide healthcare benefits for many of the county employees.

— Commissioners approved a contract between the county Veterans Services and Always Better Communications Inc for the purchase of a new phone system at a price of $9,913.

— Commissioners approved an increase in the technology fund fees to $8 beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2025, which will cover the expenses, loans, maintenance and contract services for the office. According to County Recorder James Armeni the increase will generate about $112,000 each year for the 14,000 documents generated.

— Commissioners also approved several agreements that allow the Department of Jobs and Family Services to provide services to their clients. Agreements were approved with Christina House, the County General Health District for the Cribs for Kids program, the board of Developmental Disabilities for the respite services, Community Action Agency for supervised visitation services, the Community Action Rural Transit System (CARTS) for job commute services and Smith Oil for gasoline vouchers for clients.

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