Lisbon BPA: Don’t reverse course on water, sewer services

LISBON – The village Board of Affairs sure hopes council never reverses itself and reinstates the law requiring annexation in exchange for water and sewer services.

The BPA felt compelled this spring to pass a resolution opposing such a move after reading about comments made at a February council meeting, where the village zoning/building inspector suggested reimposing the annexation law as a way to get the tax benefits from the potential new development that may occur just north of town along state Route 45.

BPA members Carol Petrachkoff, Bill Hoover and Bob Garwood were taken aback by the comments and the discussion that followed, although none of the council members indicated they were interested in reimposing the annexation law. Under the old law, any Center Township property owner wanting water or sewer was required to be annexed into the Lisbon.

“We felt we were crippled for the time that was in,” Petrachkoff said.

The law was blamed for stifling development outside of Lisbon because the next closest water source was Salem, and Salem also had an annexation law. Council apparently agreed after about a dozen years and voted two years ago to lift the moratorium.

Petrachkoff indicated being able to add customers has stabilized utility rates for all, while allowing for the area around Lisbon to grow. “We are the only ones at this point who can pull in anything, any new businesses,” she said.

The BPA expressed its gratitude to council for rescinding the annexation law and went on record opposing any efforts to reinstate the measure.

Village Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner, who also serves as council clerk, attended the BPA meeting and told them council appeared caught off guard by the suggestion they consider reimposing the annexation law.

“I don’t look for it to come back up,” Wonner told them.