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Columbiana police obtain $23K grant for vest purchase

Submitted Photo Rick Kamperman representing Compco Industries and the Smith Family hands the keys of the former Utility Cart of Clarence R. Smith to Frank Nulf, assistant park superintendent.

COLUMBIANA — Police Chief Bill Myers obtained a 75 percent, $23,000 grant for the police department.

According to Myers the grant will purchase ballistic vests.

In other first responder news, council recognized retiring Columbiana Police Auxiliary Officer Jeff Hough during Tuesday’s meeting. Hough served the city for 17 years.

“Jeff’s dedication to the unit has been superb,” Noel said.

Noel recognized Hough for always answering unexpected calls and contributing to many successful community events.

Current Fire Chief Rick Garrety will step down June 30.

“We will be sad to see him go,” said City Manager Lance Willard.

The process naming Jim Douglas as the new fire chief is in progress.

Myers appointed Keli Hephner to the Columbiana Police Auxiliary as chaplain.

“I’ve been blessed to serve in ministry with Keli for many years now and I can’t think of a better person to serve as chaplain for the department,” Council Clerk Deann L. Davis said.

Regarding community business, Willard addressed the passing of Clarence R. Smith from the COMPCO family. Smith’s involvement with COMPCO industries made him an important part of the community.

The Smith family donated Clarences former utility cart to the city.

“They backed it off the trailer and within five minutes we were using it,” Willard said.

Recent city upgrades include electric, storm water, gas and water installed at the Columbiana Corridor located on Main Street.

The corridor will be operational for the Luau on Main Saturday.

“We look forward to seeing everybody at the block party and Columbiana Corridor will be open so everybody can sit down there and eat,” Willard said.

Mayor Rick Noel addressed the public restrooms at Columbiana Commons. Willard said the doors automatically open at 7 a.m. and close at 11 p.m.

“That is about 80 percent of the questions I get,” Noel commented.

Tuesday was the first time council members met in person since all state mandated restrictions were lifted.

Council meetings are permanently streaming live through Zoom. Noel said he believes Zoom will benefit the community and help the city improve meeting records.

“It really feels good to be back where we used to be and I really feel blessed to be here where we are right now,” Councilman Skip Liston said.

Congressman Bill Johnson visited the Columbiana Cultural Collective. The collective is fundraising for the theater.

“I’m still amazed at this city,” Liston said regarding the speed of which Columbiana works to improve.

Councilman Dan Dattilio expressed interest in keeping measures that allowed tables and A-Frame signs in front of businesses.

Willard is continuing to encourage residents to reach out to Community Action of Columbiana County regarding utility assistance.

dgarner@mojonews.com

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