Lisbon officials quiet on chamber’s request to help fund summer event

LISBON – Village Council took no action on a renewed request from the Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce to help fund a summer kickoff event scheduled for June 7.

Chamber member Barbara Kuder attended this week’s council meeting to ask them to contribute $1,300 to help cover the $2,600 cost of having Froggy Radio broadcast live from the event, which is being held at the community park where the Sadie Van Fossen swimming pool and pavilion are located.

The event, called Ignite Lisbon, will be held from noon until midnight, and will feature activities and entertainment all day. Kuder said the event is expected to draw people from the county and beyond, and the exposure will be a boon for the park and Lisbon, which is why council is being asked to contribute.

The request was first brought up at council’s March meeting by park manager Dana Blackburn. Council rejected the request, however, pointing out the chamber receives $20,000-plus per year from its share of the village motel tax that can be used to cover the expense.

However, council indicated they would reconsider the request if a chamber representative attended the meeting, but council took no action on Kuder’s request, nor did they offer any comment.

In other action, council scheduled a personnel committee meeting to go over the seven applications to replace Richard Martin, who is retiring May 30 as the village income tax administrator. Village Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner recommended council chose a replacement as soon as possible because Martin said it will take seven to 10 days to properly train his replacement.

Wonner and Alisa Gostey, the mayor’s secretary, praised the always cheerful and helpful Martin, saying it will be difficult to find someone with his skills and demeanor to do the job.

Council member Cheryl Mills said Council President Roger Gallo, who missed the meeting due to work, asked her to suggest they explore contracting with the Regional Income Tax Agency to replace Martin as a way to save money. Created by state law, RITA is a quasi-government agency that provides income tax collection services for 215 Ohio communities, including East Palestine, Salineville and Wellsville in Columbiana County, and larger cities such as Youngstown.

RITA’s fee is 3 percent of tax collections, or a little over $30,000 based on 2013 figures. Wonner said while it may be cheaper to contract with RITA, she believes village residents and others will lose the personal service received from Martin, who often helped people fill out the necessary forms. She pointed out they considered contracting with RITA when the position came vacant before but rejected the idea.

Council also agreed to host a community spring clean-up day on May 3 and contracted with Waste Management Inc. to haul away the trash for $8,462. Waste Management was the only bidder, and the following items are prohibited from the event: tires, automobile parts, dirt, bricks, stone, concrete, containers exceeding 40 pounds, paint, and refrigerators, air conditioners and household appliances without the paperwork certifying chlorofluorocarbons have been removed.

Carpeting will accepted, but it has to be cut and bundled and tied in 4-foot lengths.

The weekend preceding the spring clean-up – April 26 and 27 – will be the community yard sale as approved by council. Participants must still obtain a yard-sale permit, but the permit is free.