COLUMBUS - Fifth Ward City Councilman Rodney Oels tendered his resignation by letter at Tuesday night's Columbus City Council meeting.

Oels, who was elected last year, bought a house outside the Columbus city limits and is therefore ineligible to represent the fifth ward.

He will be replaced by mayoral appointment. Anyone interested in representing the fifth ward should contact Mayor Marie Nepple.

Additionally, the council accepted the resignations of two Columbus firefighters who have accepted positions with the Joplin, Mo. Fire Department.

Nate Long's resignation will be effective March 18 and Justice Gannaway's last day will be March 4.

The council also voted to have the Budget and Finance Committee look into hiring a collection agency to handle unpaid utility bills and municipal court judgements.

In other business, the council:

Approved the use of the industrial park by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for the annual hot air balloon regatta.

Approved the use of the city park for Relay For Life on Aug. 18, and:

Approved the relocation of a light pole at the Cherry Creek Apartments provided all costs are borne by the apartment complex.