Columbiana addresses Firestone foreclosure
By D.A. Wilkinson
City council is still weighing how to deal with the revenue loss resulting from the the Firestone Farms foreclosure.
The forclosure is done, but the distribution of any funds has not been decided, and Columbiana County Treasurer Nick Barborak said recently that the upscale development owes the county about $800,000 in back taxes.
Columbiana City Manager Keith Chamberlin has said the city put about $5 million into several miles of pipes and a lift station for the housing complex.
Councilman Bob Bieshelt asked the administration to come up with three alternatives for dealing with the revenue loss. Chamberlin, Municipal Atty. Daniel Blasdell and Director of Finance Kevin Smith are to present their ideas in early January.
In other action, Chamberlin suggested that the city skip a year in cleaning the city’s sludge lagoons. With 2010 all but over, the move would allow the city to financially get “ahead of the game.”
In the last decade, the city’s sludge treatment program is growing more and more, Chamberlin said.
Voters approved a 2-mill, five-year additional levy last month that will raise about $269,000 a year for fire protection.
City officials have talked about obtaining a ladder truck rather than having a firefighter at risk on the roof of a burning building. But under questioning by council, Smith said the city does not have enough money to buy a ladder truck.
Council also gave first reading to the 2011 appropriations ordinance, and Police Chief Tim Gladis introduced two new officers, Matthew W. Jones and Richard A. Whitfield. They were sworn in by Blasdell.