COLUMBIANA CO. Officials OK plan to annex

Fecal material found at sample sites far exceeds a state limit.
LISBON -- Citing health concerns stemming from faulty septic systems, Columbiana County commissioners approved annexing into Salem about 184 acres in Perry Township so that municipal sewer lines can be installed there.
Commissioners made the decision Thursday, citing an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency survey of ditches, catch basins and an unnamed tributary in the area proposed for annexation.
All the sites checked showed fecal-coliform levels far beyond the state limit of 5,000 per 100 milliliters.
A catch basin at the intersection of Eastview Avenue and 15th Street had 1.7 million fecal coliforms per 100 milliliters.
Faulty septic tanks: The material's presence is the result of faulty septic tanks in the area, commissioner President Dave Cranmer said.
The area approved for annexation encompasses two tracts lying near each other on the city's northeast side and containing more than 100 homes.
Most of the property lies west of North Lincoln Avenue and north of Sunset Boulevard on the city's north side.
'Bottom line': Cranmer said the fecal-coliform amounts found in areas sampled poses a health concern, which is primarily why he said he favors annexation of the area.
"The bottom line is the health concern," Cranmer said. "If we did not take this action, it comes down to the county being responsible for correcting the problem. I can't believe we could do it any cheaper than what Salem has offered to do," he added.
The city has said that, if annexation is approved, it is willing to undertake a $1.1 million sewer installation project and pay for about 60 percent of the effort, which would take six months to complete. Tie-in would be mandatory.
The remaining project cost must by shouldered by homeowners, who would be assessed part of the expense.
Individual property owner assessments are expected to be about $5,000, which the city will allow to be paid over 20 years at 6-percent interest.

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