Lisbon Rd’s sorry state draws ire

GREENFORD – The condition of Lisbon Road in Green Township drew the attention of trustees during Tuesday’s meeting after Trustee Mark Stepuk said he spoke to the Mahoning County Engineer Patrick Ginnitti about it earlier in the day.

Stepuk said the road, which is the township’s main north-south thoroughfare and splits it in half, has raised complaints and each trustee has received complaints.

He said the section between state Route 165 and Pine Lake Road “is the worst stretch” noting that it is a safety issue.

Motorists try dodging the wide, deep and multiple potholes veering onto the oncoming lane, but in some places the road is so bad that doesn’t help, he said.

Fire Chief Todd Baird said, “We’re going to wind up with a head-on collision because people are going into the other lane.”

Stepuk said he told the engineer “we want to get Lisbon Road on some sort of a program.”

Trustee George Toy received a number of calls about the very poor condition and one township official said motorists were actually driving off the shoulder and onto private property trying to avoid holes; one trustee even wondered about shutting the road down.

Stepuk said Ginnetti said he would forward the information to the road supervisor.

Elected township officials in southern Mahoning County have repeatedly voiced their displeasure at their treatment regarding county roads for years.

That notion was apparent in several comments after the meeting and Stepuk said he was hopeful the county will move it up on the priority list as soon as possible.

Fiscal Officer Randy Chismar said the road hasn’t been resurfaced since 2004 and then it wasn’t on a very long section.

He said the sides of the road were falling apart and attributed the general disintegration to a “lack of attention.”

In other business, trustees heard a presentation from Sean D. Logan of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) about placing a gas aggregation issue on the November ballot.

Logan, a former head of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and state representative from Columbiana County, said NOPEC works through NextEra Energy and has purchasing power to distribute gas at discounts but it needs voter approval to move into the township.

The discounts can be as much as fifty to sixty cents per thousand cubic feet and “this is an opportunity residents don’t have,” Logan said.

The required public hearing could be held jointly for Green and Goshen townships if they wanted. The program requires people to pro-actively opt out if they don’t want to participate.

The aggregation period is for two years and there is no opt-out fee, and Logan was unsure about a fee to opt back in.

Toy said it would be a good idea to have Brenda Fargo, the manager for the NOPEC gas program, attend a county township association meeting but Logan said they take townships on a township-by-township basis and there are 10 in Mahoning Count already signed up.

No action was taken.