Revitalization plan necessary

Plans to revitalize the downtown business district in Lisbon were instituted in 2017 and we hope the resignation of Mayor Joe Morentz will not jeopardize this project.

Morentz’s major policy initiative — revitalization of the central business district by requiring property owners to fix up their buildings and try to lease or sell them — was undertaken in partnership with the Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 2017 village council and the chamber partnered together to hire Town Center Associates and agreed to split the $12,500 cost. TCA was hired to help the mayor develop and implement the plan and this year the contract was renewed with the same cost-sharing arrangement.

TCA representative Mark Peluso this week noted that Lisbon’s mayor serves as a de facto village manager, but there is only so much he can do. After all, the mayor’s position is part-time, and the new mayor, Roger Gallor, has a full-time job.

Gallo says he will continue meeting the goals of the plan to the best of his ability. Peluso called on council to step up and help the mayor keep the project on track by dividing some of the oversight responsibilities among themselves.

Lisbon contains so many beautiful, historic buildings. Some have been restored and others are planned for restoration in the future. Filling those empty storefronts is necessary for the revitalization of the retail district.

Village department heads have begun meeting to improve communication among themselves and thereby improve service to the public. This coordination of services the department heads have instituted could serve as a model for council to keep the ball rolling on the downtown revitalization project.

Council and the chamber must continue to work together and not let this important project fall by the wayside.