Lisbon council makes street foreman official

LISBON – Village Council has finally removed the probationary-employee tag from street foreman Jim Oliver 18 months after he was first hired.

Promoted in August 2011 to street foreman, Oliver was given an initial six-month probationary period, after which the council personnel committee was to evaluate his performance.

When new Mayor Dan Bing took office in January 2012 he asked the evaluation be pushed back so he could have a chance to review Oliver’s performance and provide his input since the mayor is the street foreman’s immediate supervisor. Council agreed to extend Oliver’s probationary period to April 2012, but no action was taken at that point.

There was periodic talk over the rest of 2012 about Oliver’s job status but nothing came of it until this week’s meeting, when council member Joe Morenz brought up the topic. “I think we’ve passed any (probationary) period,” he said.

Council agreed and voted 5-0 to name Oliver to the job permanently. Absent from the meeting was council member Willis Coleman, who is still recuperating after suffering a heart attack in December.

In other action, council agreed to spend $2,400 to install an overhead radiant heating system at the old street department garage, which is being renovated so it can be reoccupied. The quote obtained by Oliver was from Tolson Comfort Systems in Salem and included installation. Grainger Industrial Supply provided a quote of $1,674 for just the heating system.

Village zoning/building inspector John Yenges said he believed the Tolson quote to be a good price.

The street department is currently renting the former Center Township garage, which is owned by the Columbiana County Park District. The park board advised the village in the fall the park district intended to reoccupy the garage by April and that the street department would have to be out by then.

Rather than build a new garage, council decided to renovate the old garage, which had been abandoned since being damaged by the 2004 flash flood.

As part of that process, council authorized Oliver to purchase $625 in limestone from East Fairfield Coal to spread on the muddy driveway and aprons at the old garage. The limestone is to be hauled and spread by Foster Trucking for $450.

Council also changed its meeting schedule for 2013, with the meetings to be held the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., starting in February. The meeting schedule was changed twice last year, largely to accommodate the work schedule of Mayor Bing, who has has since retired.