Lisbon looking to help new restaurant get off ground

LISBON — Village Council agreed at this week’s meeting to begin the process they hope will result in a liquor license for a new restaurant.

Council approved a resolution authorizing several steps that have to be taken before the state will consider the village’s application for creation of a downtown revitalization district, which would make the owner of Scratch eligible to seek a liquor license.

Jason Geissinger is in the process of converting the former Chef’s Table storefront restaurant on South Market Street into a new establishment called Scratch, which officials say is tentatively scheduled to open in early June.

Each county receives a limited number of liquor licenses, and the only way to obtain one is by purchasing it from an existing license-holder, which can be costly. Creation of a revitalization district would allow for a new liquor license to be issued for every five acres within a district and at a significantly reduced cost.

Mayor Joe Morenz has proposed creating a downtown revitalization district that would include South Market Street, enabling Geissinger to seek a liquor license for Scratch. Licenses in these districts can only go to establishments that derive at least 75 percent of its gross receipts from meals.

A required public hearing on the proposed revitalization district will be held at 6 p.m. June 13, a half-hour prior to council’s next meeting, which will put them in a position to approve its creation at the June 27 council meeting.

Meanwhile, the two required legal advertisements announcing the public hearing will be published prior to June 13. Morenz said the $400 application fee paid by Geissinger will cover the costs of the legal ads and village attorney fees.

In other news:

— Parks supervisor Dana Blackburn reported construction of the new splash pad has been delayed because the village had to obtain a permit from the Ohio Department of Commerce, a requirement she did not learn about until recently. The permit application required some assistance from an architectural firm, with the Lisbon Community Foundation paying the $1,000 cost.

Blackburn said the permit is expected to be issued by the end of the week and the splash pad should be in place within two weeks.

— Council gave the Community Action Agency permission to rent a port-a-john for the community garden located on village property at the corner of Mill and Caldwell streets. Resident Peter Wilson received permission in March to resurrect a community garden at the location, and he said the CAA recently piggy-backed onto his efforts by adding its own community garden at the site for CAA clients.

— Council accepted the resignation of police dispatcher Marianne Fonner and then promoted part-time dispatcher Cassandra Holland to replace her. Amanda Moore of Lisbon was then hired as a part-time dispatcher to fill Holland’s spot.

— Councilwoman Cheryl Mills reported five inmates from the federal prison had been assigned to assist village workers this summer. The inmates were immediately put to work preparing the cemetery for Memorial Day weekend, and after Monday two will remain on assigned to the cemetery. The other three will be shared between the street, water and sewer departments.