Columbiana annexation in doubt as company backs out

Fairfield Township meeting

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) — A plan to annex land and expand the city of Columbiana by more than 183 acres has come to a halt now that the global company buying the land has backed out.

On Tuesday night, City Manager Lance Willard said AMP Corporation informed him the company is no longer buying the Fairfield Township property that was in the process of being annexed into the city, the Morning Journal reports.

AMP Corp. represents the company, which hasn’t been publicly identified, as they wanted to remain anonymous for competitive reasons.

The plan was to add land along Cherry Fork Road, part of Fairfield Township, into the city, allowing developers with AMP Corporation to take advantage of city utilities. AMP initially expressed interest in having a facility to produce metals for the aerospace and biomedical industries.

The multi-million dollar plan was expected to create 120 jobs for the city, and the company was supposed to begin construction by the end of 2015.

As a result, City Council voted against the original annexation legislation that was tabled at the Oct. 6 meeting and approved giving a first reading to new legislation rejecting the annexation, according to the Morning Journal.

“I think they have a very good project. For whatever reasons, they’ll have to discuss that, Columbiana was taken off the table. But we’re going to continue to reach out and see if we can’t have some positive development for them,” said Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck.

Halleck said the project isn’t completely dead. Commissioners are still trying to find other possible sites, hoping to keep those promised jobs in the area.

Council may still consider further annexation, should another company be interested in the property. The same process would be in place.

It is unknown at this time why the company is not moving forward with its plans.

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