Columbiana K-9 earning high marks in training

COLUMBIANA — The city’s prospective K-9 Officer, Csuti, is midway through training and displaying his own unique personality, which police Chief Tim Gladis described as confident, unafraid and hard-headed during Tuesday’s council meeting.

The German shepherd was selected by the police department to undergo training with officer Bryan Granchie, who will serve as his handler upon completion of the 10-week training program through the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Gladis said Csuti (pronounced Soo-tee) has memorized all of the narcotics at this point and the next step in the program is for him to track down narcotics that have been hidden.

“He is now able to keep a scent at almost a dead run,” Gladis said. “He has a high confidence in apprehension work and he is unafraid.”

The chief added the department is continuing to receive donations for the program and is about $12,000 away from its goal of roughly $60,000.

The first ever K-9 program for the city is being funded entirely by private and public donations.

In other matters, council heard from resident Craig Newbold, who said that his property along state Route 14 near the Woodland Run development is flooded with water runoff, and he believes it may be caused by new development near his home in addition to the heavy rainfall.

“About three weeks ago we had 50 feet of water backed up behind Route 14 and I have been flooded twice. I presume it is a state issue since that is a state Route, but I thought I would bring it up. I would hope somebody would look into it,” he said.

He also asked if the city was looking into ways to benefit from the additional business generated by the Shell cracker plant in Pennsylvania. He believes the city is in a prime location to benefit, since it is not far from the highway.

City Manager Lance Willard and Mayor Bryan Blakeman said the city is keeping an eye on the project and willing to do what it can to share in the economic benefit.

In yet other business, council approved:

— A request from Kathy Keaggy Brown with Heroes and Halos to hold a Special Needs Race on Sept. 15.

— A resolution authorizing Willard to execute a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the state Routes 46 and 164 project in the city.

— A resolution authorizing Willard to enter into a Water Pollution Control Loan Fund or Water Supply Revolving Loan Account agreement on behalf of the city for planning, design, and/or construction of water facilities and designating a dedicated repayment source for the loan.

— Authorizing Willard to enter into a five-year lease agreement with Hilcorp Energy Corp. for mineral rights only on city-owned property along Crestview Road.

— Adopting the 2017 edition of the fire code.

— A contract with Tri-County Asphalt Materials, Inc., of North Lima for asphalt at a cost of $53 per ton for no. 404 and $49.50 per ton for no. 402.

— An executive session to discuss compensation of personnel. No action was taken.

Blakeman also read a proclamation during the meeting honoring May 15 of National Peace Officer Memorial Day, signed into law in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy.