Lisbon mayor seeking residents’ help

LISBON – Mayor Dan Bing is calling on village residents to show up this Saturday and help them clean up what remains from the June 11 storm.

Bing and Village Council decided at this week’s meeting to schedule a community cleanup day for Saturday, with anyone interested in helping them meet at the street department garage on state Route 164 at 8 a.m.

“Any volunteers who can come, bring your pickup trucks, trailers and chainsaws,” he said.

The June 11 downburst packed winds of up to 90 mph winds and uprooted or splintered an estimated 100 trees, leaving streets blocked and damaging more than 20 homes.

Helping with the immediate cleanup were street department crews from neighboring communities, the county engineer’s office and the Ohio Department of Transportation, as well as church groups, local organizations and individual volunteers.

While these groups and volunteers managed to get the streets open again and remove most of the debris, there remains piles of tree sections and cut-up limbs around town that still need cleaned up.

Bing said he has contacted some members of the Amish community to inquire if they wanted any wood. “If you know anyone that wants wood, come to the streets and pick it up,” he said.

Resident Jerry Jones wondered why the street department had not hauled away the remaining debris from lawns. Bing indicated the street department crews are busy with their summertime routine of fixing village streets.

“Our normal routine doesn’t change because we had a disaster,” he said, adding they only have three people in the street department.

Village employees were encouraged to post the community event on their personal Facebook pages in the hope of spreading the word.

In other action at this week’s meeting, council passed on a third and final reading an ordinance granting a 1.5 percent pay raise to the village’s 22 full-time and 15-20 part-time employees. Employees last received a pay raise of 3 percent in February 2013, which was the first across-the-board increase in five years.

Jones also complained about the tree-trimming crew in town working on behalf of the electric company. He said they have “butchered” the trees on Sunset Drive.

“They just totally destroyed those trees, and we know what these trees mean to our town,” he said, referring to the fact Lisbon is designated a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Councilwoman Cheryl Mills, who is a long-time member of the committee in charge of preserving village’s trees, said they have argued with the utility companies about how the trees are trimmed, but to no avail.

“We begged them to quit cutting them into Mickey Mouse trees,” she said, referring to the trees look when the trimming crews are finished, only to be told the communities have no authority over how they go about their job.