COLUMBIANA -City Council is poised to annex 134 acres from Fairfield Township.
By a 5-1 vote, council last week passed first reading of legislation allowing the city to own property where the current water treatment plant is located. The acreage also includes some neighboring farming properties.
Council is seeking to annex because of plans to construct a new water treatment plant there. The multi-million dollar plant would replace the existing one located on the southeast end of the city near Metz Road. The plant was constructed in 1933 and updated in 1957, and is deteriorating from age. The new plant will feature a back-up system, which the current plant does not have.
City Manager Keith Chamberlin said annexing the property will benefit the city since it will improve police and fire protection there. Due to it being situated in Fairfield Township, city police and fire personnel do not currently have jurisdiction.
Councilman Bob Bieshelt was the only one to vote against the annexation. He said after the meeting that he did so because he believes the farm property should be voted on separately.
In order to take effect, the legislation will need to pass a second reading.
In other business, council also approved:
- A request from Elaine Kloss, Columbiana Music Boosters, to hold a tag day from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 6 in the city.
- Entering into executive session to discuss the purchase of property.
Bieshelt questioned whether council could discuss the matter behind closed doors under Ohio law. Municipal Attorney Daniel Blasdell said the state Open Meetings Law allows for these discussions in executive session.
"It is allowable and probably one of the (most important) reasons to go into executive session," he said.
He explained that when considering a property purchase it is wise not to disclose any information publicly as it could hinder ongoing negotiations.
No action was taken after the closed door meeting.