County will seek other recycling drop-off site

The former site of Columbiana County Job and Family Services will not become a recycling site. (Salem News photo by Tom Giambroni)

LISBON –Columbiana County Commissioner Tim Weigle said he will work with Mayor Joseph Morenz after learning of his objections to plans to temporarily relocate recycling containers to downtown Lisbon. Morenz heard from someone that commissioners were moving the recycling drop-off site from the county Educational Service Center parking lot to the former county Department of Job and Family Services vacant lot at the corner of North Park Avenue and East Chestnut Street in downtown Lisbon.

The downtown is zoned central business, and Morenz said moving the dumpsters to the location is a change in use and would require a zoning permit, which he would oppose.

“We just can’t have a bunch of dumpsters down there. That’s our downtown,” he said.

Weigle announced last week the plan was for the three-county solid waste district to relocate the 10 dumpster-like containers following the Johnny Appleseed Festival, which ended Sunday. The solid waste district operates the drop-off recycling programs in Columbiana, Carroll and Harrison counties and is made up of county commissioners from each county.

Before the district decided to relocate the containers, Weigle said he called someone in the mayor’s office and was told no zoning permit was necessary. “I was assured there was no problem, but if there is I guess we’ll back up and regroup,” he said.

Alisa Gostey is the mayor’s secretary and also serves as clerk of the zoning board of appeals. She was of the opinion no change in use would occur since placing recycling containers on the property would be no different than if the property owner were to put a trash container on the lot, which is something that can already be done without a permit.

Weigle said the move was only for maybe several months until they find a permanent location and would have included a white privacy fence around the containers.

A new location is being sought because more room is needed to accommodate motorists dropping off recyclable materials and for the trucks to maneuver when emptying the containers.

The former JFS building was demolished about five years ago and commissioners at one time talked about constructing a new office building at the site. It remains vacant, however, with a small portion used as a parking lot for vehicles from ATG Worldwide.

Morenz is trying to revitalize the downtown business district and displeased with the huge gravel lot just sitting there empty instead of being redeveloped. He said placing 10 containers there would make it look even worse.

Meanwhile, Morenz intends to meet with Weigle to suggest other sites for the recycling containers, such as the property located at the end of South Jefferson Street that once housed the village street department. It is now owned by the county park district, but some of the property still belongs to Lisbon.

“There’s some options that I think would make it accessible and usable for everyone. I’m sure we’ll figure something out,” he said.