Columbiana pays its respects to longtime fire chief

COLUMBIANA — City officials last week honored the life of a man who served as chief of the local fire department for three decades.

Charles Flohr, who passed away last month at the age of 91, was honored for his dedication to the city, which included serving as fire chief from 1976 to 2006.

Mayor Bryan Blakeman presented a memorial tribute on behalf of the city during the council meeting, noting that Flohr began his service with the city in 1947 as a firefighter.

He also served as a part-time lifeguard at the Firestone Park pool from 1947 to 1949 and later became a part-time patrolman for the police department from 1951-1953.

After serving as fire chief in 2006, Flohr remained with the department until his retirement in 2014.

“He was a very capable, honest, energetic and trustworthy employee, loved by all, and faithful in the performance of his duties,” Blakeman said in the tribute.

He went on to say that Flohr had earned the admiration and high regard of those with whom he had come into contact with, and the affection of his fellow public servants.

“We the council, on behalf of all city employees and the citizens of our community, extend to the members of his family this expression of sincere regret for their loss, and the hope that they will be consoled by the memories of his fine life and achievements,” he said.

In other matters during the meeting, council approved:

— Giving first reading to legislation establishing new salaries for all department heads for 2019. The salaries reflect a 2 percent wage increase, resulting in annual salaries of $68,012 for the finance director, electric, wastewater, street, and park/cemetery superintendents; $63,036 for the water superintendent; $61,836 for the public safety vehicle service supervisor superintendent; and $77,043 for the police chief. All will contribute 15 percent on their monthly health care premiums.

— Giving a first reading to legislation contracting with Lyden Oil Co. of Youngstown for the purchase of gasoline and diesel fuel at a per gallon cost of $1.71 plus 28 cents state tax for unleaded gasoline and $1.92 plus 28 cents state tax for diesel fuel low sulfur.

— Giving a first reading to legislation contracting with Mid Ohio Valley Lime Inc. of Marietta for the purchase of lime for the water plant at a cost of $163.65 per ton.

— Giving first readings to legislation regarding annual appropriations of local government fund money allocation for 2019.

— A request from Heather Bucholtz, chairwoman for the Columbiana Music Boosters, to hold a tag day in the city on Aug. 18.