Lisbon street repaved in time for county fair

LISBON – Village Council came up with a relatively cheap solution to resurface Jerome Street in time for the Columbiana County Fair.

Council voted at this week’s meeting to spend $5,000 on blacktop to resurface Jerome Street up to one inch, with the county engineer’s office volunteering to do the work. That work was done Thursday.

The week-long county fair begins July 28 and Jerome Street, which runs past the front of the fairgrounds, had so many potholes that the village elected to grind the entire road down to the original brick base. That was in April, and the village had yet to resurface the street.

With the fair fast approaching, Mayor Dan Bing met last week with county Engineer Bert Dawson to discuss having the county resurface Jerome Street if the village purchased the material, and he agreed.

Jerome Street, which is part of state Route 164, is scheduled to be resurfaced in 2015 by the Ohio Department of Transportation. The village had the option of putting down two inches of blacktop for $10,000.

“They’re going to tear it out in a year or two, so why do we want to put down two inches?” Bing said. “Right now, one inch is what was on there.”

In other action, council ordered legislation be drafted that would allow the village to apply for a state Natureworks grant to replace the porta-potties at Willow Grove Park with restrooms that have running water.

Councilwoman Cheryl Mills reported $47,000 in grant money has been set aside for the county in the next funding round, and communities can apply for a share of the funding. The exact cost of the project and the amount being sought will be determined by the time council votes to formally apply.

Mills said the grant will be funded on a 75 percent basis, with the village required to contribute the other 25 percent in matching funds.

Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner reported income tax collections in June were $39,000 lower than they were June 2013, and they are down $43,000 through the first six months of the 2014 compared to last year. She said June may have just been an aberration and only time will tell, but the trend is worrisome.

Wonner also told council $15,000 has been spent to date on wages at the community pool, which is only $2,000 less than what was expended all of last summer. She also noted pool income to date has only totaled $5,000.

“The next thing that is going to happen is we’re going to run out of money and everyone will have long faces” and suggest we close the pool, said Council President Roger Gallo.

Councilman Tom Darcy said part of the problem is the rainy summer has drastically reduced attendance at the pool.

Wonner said Councilman Joe Morenz, who is chairman of the parks committee, intended to speak with parks Manager Dana Blackburn about situation. Morenz was absent from this week’s meeting.