Officials work on improving public service communication

LISBON –The village’s department heads have begun meeting to improve communication and delivery of public services.

Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner reported at this week’s Village Council meeting the department heads and representatives from the village hall offices met for the first time earlier that day to share information and intend to continue doing so on a regular basis.

“This way each department knows what the other is doing,” she said, with this information used to better coordinate delivery of services or answer questions should a resident call about a particular project.

“It’s something we’ve done individually, but it’s never been done collectively,” Wonner said.

Wonner indicated they took their lead from council. “It’s taking some of the stuff you guys have talked about,” she said.

Back in February, council and then-mayor Joseph Morenz began work on creating the position of maintenance supervisor, whose job would have been to coordinate the sharing of village workers between all of the various departments, depending on what needs to be done that day. The idea grew out of discussions in May 2017 about possibly bringing back the village manager position, which was eliminated in 2004 because of costs.

Council decided they still could not afford to bring back the village manager position but never took any further action regarding creation of the maintenance supervisor position either.

Wonner said if each department knows what the other is doing they can better coordinate and concentrate their efforts to complete projects, depending on what is being done. She said knowing what is going on provides the village hall staff with the information they need should a resident call about, for example, whether a pothole on their street is on the list to be filled.

In other action, Councilman Peter Wilson noted East Liverpool received a $371,429 federal Homeland Security grant to purchase a new fire truck. Lisbon is purchasing a new fire truck for $605,000, and Wonner said the reason for the significant price difference is the East Liverpool cost does not include equipment, whereas the Lisbon quote does.

Wonner also said she is still working with a grant consultant to seek a federal grant to help purchase Lisbon’s fire truck, and she believes the funding source is Homeland Security.

Prior to the meeting, Wonner reported the Pritchard Avenue storm drain project has been pushed back to 2019 because it would require relocation of the waterline. Council had wanted the drainage problem corrected because it was resulting in water pooling next to McKinley Elementary School when it rains or snows. This caused problems when the pooled water would freeze in the roadway, but she said the low area was filled in by the street department as a temporary fix.