LISBON - Village officials have talked for the past several years about finding a new home for the street department. Now they have no choice after receiving an eviction notice.
Village Council was advised at this week's meeting the Columbiana County Park District wants the village to vacate the park district's garage by March 31 because it intends to begin using the facility to store equipment.
Park board member Tom Butch attended the meeting to notify them in writing of the district's intentions and answer any questions. He indicated they did this knowing council was also interested in finding a new home for the street department.
"This is something we've been thinking about doing for quite a while, and I know you've been talking about it," he said.
Council has been talking about reoccupying the old street department garage located next to the water plant on state Route 164. The village abandoned the garage following the 2004 flood that left the building damaged.
For the past eight years Lisbon has been renting the former Center Township garage on South Jefferson Street, which is owned by the park district. The rent is $14,400 per year, which council has said could be put toward finding a new home.
Council president Roger Gallo was the first to float the idea of repairing the old garage and reoccupying it, and his plan appears to have the support of other members, but nothing was ever done.
Now the park district is forcing the issue. In the letter sent to council, park board chairman Dorothea Betz said they need the garage for storage following the recent resignation of their maintenance man.
"We feel that March 31, 2013, should give you adequate time to make provisions for the move. This date could possibly be negotiated, but March 31, 2013, will give us the necessary time to make the needed changes for us to occupy the building," Betz wrote.
In addition to storage space, Butch said the park board will likely move its offices there, too. The board currently meets in the county economic development office, where some of its records are also stored.
Lisbon's street department foreman, Jim Oliver, has said before he believes the old street garage could be repaired with minimum expense, although a small pole building may need constructed to store some of the equipment.
After the discussion, council failed to indicate whether it wanted Oliver to develop a plan for reopening the old garage, although Gallo suggested setting aside money for repairs.