Lisbon pool lift carries $4K tag

LISBON — It will cost nearly $4,000 to install a device to lift handicapped people in and out of the Sadie Van Fossan swimming pool.

Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner reported at Tuesday’s village council meeting that parks director Dana Blackburn submitted a proposal to purchase an electric-powered lift through OP Aquatics at cost of $3,562, plus $100 for the anchor and $300 for shipping, bringing the grand total to $3,962. The device can lift up to 350 pounds.

Blackburn said the lift would come with a backup battery that would be kept fully charged. She indicated this is the lift used at the Columbiana community pool, where it sometimes goes two years without being deployed. “So it’s not something they use much,” she said.

Lisbon-area resident Scott Bartholomew, who needs a scooter to get around, lodged a verbal complaint with the village in May about the village being in violation of the federal American With Disabilities Act because the decades-old pool was not handicapped accessible. Village Solicitor Alec Beech agreed but he believes the village is only required to comply if the solution is “readily achievable,” which he interprets to mean if it was within the village’s financial means to do so.

Since the pool season is pretty much at an end, council is considering its options before deciding what to do.

Bartholomew, who describes himself as an MS activist on his Facebook page, filed a formal ADA complaint against the Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce after finding it did not have a handicapped accessible entrance, and the complaint remains pending. He has also posted photographs on Facebook of him on his scooter outside the H & R Block and Subway in town and stating they are not ADA compliant.

In other action, Mayor Roger Gallo said he has spoken with state Rep. Tim Ginter several times about the availability of state funding to extend the sidewalks up North Market Street to Dickey Drive and all along that road. Gallo said Ginter, R-Salem, indicated he might be able to obtain some funding for the project in the upcoming state budget for capital improvement projects.

A number of Columbiana County agencies are located on Dickey Drive, and earlier this year the head of the county Department of Job and Families asked the village to put in sidewalks so employees could walk safely from building to building.

Gallo also reported he intends to contact his fellow mayors in the county to determine if they are interested in reviving the dormant county mayor’s association, which was last active about 15 years ago. He said this would be a good way to share information and get a different perspective on how each town addresses similar problems.

Councilman Jeff Snyder, who served two terms as mayor, remembers those meetings were a great source of information. “There were a lot of good ideas,” he recalled.

Gallo said another purpose would be to discuss sharing resources and equipment between communities. “There’s a lot of things we could avail ourselves to,” he said.

Wonner told council about the small increase in state Local Government Funds communities in the county will receive under the new two-year state budget. She said Lisbon’s share will increase by about $3,000 in 2020, to $36,483.