Notes from the April 10 council meeting

Last night’s borough council meeting began at 7:05 pm and ended at 9:27 pm. About 20 or so people were in the gallery of the council chamber at the beginning of the meeting; that number thinned to a handful when it ended.

Here are some notes about the meeting:

  • The search is on for a citizen to become a councillor to fill the position vacated by Dr. Sherry Welsh who announced her resignation, due to work conflict, effective March 17. That vacancy will be announced and interested persons may submit letters of interest to the borough manager or council president by May 3. Interviews for the position will be conducted at the May council meeting.
  • A citizen registered a complaint about speeders racing along North Third Street; the citizen, who has a mobility disability, alleged that he was nearly hit by a speeding vehicle on the way to the meeting.
  • Three other citizens came to the meeting to discuss an issue – we think about storm water. Council shunted the citizens into an anteroom to discuss their observations with Ron Miller, the public works director.


  • Council voted (5-1) to go ahead with a purchase of the McGinness Airport property – identified as tax parcel numbers 110-18629-0-0000, 110-43923-0-0000, 110-02300-0-0000, 110-83129-0-0000, 110-86091-0-0000, 110-19477-0-0000, 110-44952-0-0000 and 110-98905-0-0000 constituting approximately fifty-eight acres of land located within the Borough of Columbia and land located within West Hempfield Township.
  • The purchase price is $1,625,000. But it was stated the appraised value is a tad over $1.7 million and the mayor speculated that the property when properly developed could be worth $20 million. When developed, the mayor submitted it could mean “good paying jobs” for Columbia’s citizens. There were several references indicating the property is the largest space of undeveloped property in any borough in the county.
  • olympian and egregious debacle and public hazard – It appears council will make an offer to let the property owners of the neglected property at 208 Locust Street slide into borough ownership. In exchange for wiping away more than $51,000 of borough liens, the borough will become the owners of the dilapidated structure with the Tyvek® front.

columbia brochure

  • The newly created Columbia Map and Guide was available for meeting participants last night. It’s a glossy multi-fold, full color product that lists Columbia’s attractions. Also, citizens learned that the borough newsletter has been been published and will be mailed to all borough residents. Perhaps the newsletter will be produced as a digital version and posted at the borough Website, too.

We consistently and regularly encourage citizens to attend meetings so they can hear, see and question what’s being said during transactions. Reading reports or listening to second-hand information from someone who may have been at the meeting provides, at best, edited, not always objective, sometimes superficial and selective accounts of what actually transpired or was said. Columbia news, views & reviews does record all public meetings and offers to share the recordings. If you want a copy of the audio recording, send an email to

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