By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer
COLUMBIA TWP. - Officials of this small Hamilton County township have committed up to $80,000 for development of a comprehensive plan that will help guide the community for the next 20 years.
Columbia, splintered into nine segments scattered throughout southeastern Hamilton County, is soliciting applications from planning consultants.
The township is seeking volunteer residents and business people to serve on a committee to evaluate the applicants, recommend which one to hire and create a list of goals for the plan.
"This plan will give us a blueprint to work from," Trustee Jane Pirman said. "In the past, we've been a little helter-skelter about our capital improvements and our purchases."
The comprehensive plan will take a year to formulate and will involve numerous public meetings.
The plan will provide policies for land use, zoning, police and fire services, road repaving, infrastructure maintenance, storm water drainage and finances.
Township Administrator C. Michael Lemon said the plan will improve efficiency and will save money.
Columbia officials hope the process of developing the comprehensive plan helps unify the different geographical areas of the township and provide a stronger community identity.
Pirman said the comprehensive plan will help remove politics from decision-making.
"The squeaky wheel tends to get the oil," she said. "This will help us identify needs regardless of politics."
Any township resident or business person who wants to serve on the comprehensive plan committee or contribute ideas can call township offices at 561-6046.
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