Council OKs $4K to mark Morgan’s Raid July 28

Village Council decided to help with the local historical society’s efforts to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Morgan’s Raid this summer.

Council agreed at this week’s meeting to make up to $4,000 available to help defray the cost of the July 28 celebration, which includes a series of events in Lisbon before the action moves to West Point, where Confederate General John Hunt Morgan surrendered in late July 1863, marking the northern-most advance of Rebel troops during the Civil War. The captured Morgan and his troops were taken to Wellsville, which is also holding an event.

At a previous meeting, Lisbon Historical Society President Gene Krotky had asked council to consider contributing $4,000 to help cover the costs of staging the event, which will be free, and village Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner said there was enough of a cushion in the budget to allow for the expenditure.

The $4,000 will include the cost of police overtime and pay street department workers to erect and tear down barricades near the Columbiana County Courthouse. The historical society will submit bills for other expenditures.

In other action at the meeting:

– Gary Morgan asked council for a reprieve from a previous order to demolish dilapidated rental property he owns on West Washington Street. This was after the zoning/building inspector, John Yenges, reported the home was in such bad shape that it posed a safety hazard.

Morgan said he intends to paint the house and the one he owns next door, in addition to making some structural changes he hopes will be enough to get the village to rescind its demolition order.

Village Solicitor Virginia Barborak said there was still time since she had yet to begin the legal process to demolish the home, but she recommended Yenges be consulted to learn whether he is satisfied the proposed improvements will alleviate his safety concerns.

– Cemetery Board President Barry James said he wanted to speak with the council cemetery committee to discuss the need to raise fees, and he said they also have a termite problem at the cemetery office that needs to be addressed.

On James’ recommendation, the street department was asked to fill in the potholes in the alley that parallels the front entrance to the cemetery. Street Foreman Jim Oliver said they will use the Durapatcher to fill the holes.

– Police Chief Mike Abraham reported the owner of the Motorcycle Dream Shop agreed to remove a boat that was sitting on cement blocks in the parking lot. “But the boats on trailers, I don’t know what we can do,” he said.

– Barborak reported she had nearly completed an application to seek tax-exempt status for all village property. The village is paying $2,384 in property taxes that may be eligible for the exemption.

– Barborak recommended Chief Abraham issue a building code violation against the owner of a property on East Washington Street destroyed by fire two years ago. The fire-damaged home was razed, but the owners have yet fill in the foundation and clean up the property.

– Councilman Joe Morenz reported his cousin, David Wellman, offered to add a calendar of events to the village’s website at Council agreed to have Wellman do the work for $250, with Morenz abstaining from the vote. He said Wellman was familiar with designing websites having worked in IT for a motorcycle dealership.

– Council agreed to go to only one meeting per month in June, July and August. Council meetings will held the third Tuesday those months at 6:30 p.m.