James Hrivnak was appointed late Tuesday night as Powell's next city council member, fulfilling a term left vacant by the March resignation of Bill Morton.

James Hrivnak was appointed late Tuesday night as Powell's next city council member, fulfilling a term left vacant by the March resignation of Bill Morton.

Hrivnak, 48, of 330 Delaney's Circle, currently serves on the city's planning and zoning commission and served on the board of zoning appeals in the past.

His appointment to city council will now leave a vacancy on the zoning commission.

Hrivnak was one of five finalists interviewed by council members during an executive session Tuesday.

He was the unanimous choice of council and will be sworn in at the June 3 council meeting, said Steve Lutz, city manager.

"Council was very impressed with all five candidates they interviewed," Lutz said. "Council is confident that Mr. Hrivnak will be able to hit the ground running as a result of his planning and zoning and BZA experience.

He is familiar with the issues facing the city and has demonstrated a long term commitment to Powell and its residents."

Hrivnak, a manager of engineering and maintenance for Marysville-based Veyance Technologies Inc., holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.

In his letter to council, Hrivnak said he is, "interested in the betterment of the city of Powell through thoughtful leadership and legislation. I will work diligently with the other members of council to improve the general welfare of the community."

He will serve Morton's remaining term, through December 2009.

Morton, 53, resigned in March, midway through his first term on council, citing work which will take him overseas and cause him to miss most meetings.

Elecent applicants applied for the post.

Hrivnak is not a resident of the city's Golf Village area, although two of the five finalists were.

Last month Golf Village resident Jon Bennehoof called on the city to adopt wards or precincts, because council members are currently elected at-large under the city charter.

Bennehoof, who is president of the Golf Village Residents Association, a group formed to oppose a planned Target store, urged council to appoint a resident of Golf Village, saying the area needs representation.

In other business, council approved an ordinance waiving about $13,000 in development and engineering fees to allow the construction of about 600 feet of new paths in the Golf Village area to connect to existing city paths. Developer DRK will pay about $110,000 to install connections at the Sawmill Parkway overpass and near two pedestrian tunnels along Rutherford Road.

Signs will be installed on shared paths requiring golf carts to yield to pedestrians.

The paths' availability became an issue last year after the Golf Village Residents Association said developers were violating the development plan for "failing to build pedestrian under and overpasses required under the plan."

Residents said paths were not publicly accessible. Powell officials have said paths were built, but connections to the city system were never made.

A "mutual aid" agreement with the Delaware city police department was also approved, and will allow Powell to respond to emergencies in Delaware if assistance is requested and vice versa.

The next council meeting will be 7:30 p.m. June 3, at the Village Green, 47 Hall St.

kyouman@thisweeknews.com