Center, Elkrun trustees to vote on purchase of new firefighter gear
LISBON — The apparent impasse between the village and Center and Elkrun townships over the purchase of turnout gear for village firefighters has apparently ended.
Mayor Peter Wilson reported at this week’s village council meeting Center Township Tim Novak told him the trustees were going to vote on the purchase at their next meeting, which is today.
Councilman Jerry Cox said he spoke with Elkrun Township officials and learned the trustees planned to vote on the purchase at their next board meeting as well.
The townships contract with Lisbon for fire coverage, with most of the expenses split three ways. For the past two months, council was prepared to approve the purchase of six sets of new firefighter turnout gear for $15,000 but was waiting for the trustees to act.
When no action was taken by the last council meeting two weeks ago, Wilson expressed his disappointment and puzzlement by the trustees’ inaction. He recommended a safety committee meeting be scheduled with the trustees to discuss the issue and suggested maybe now was a good time to take another look at the agreement.
Council will wait until its next meeting on May 25 to approve the purchase in anticipation both sets of trustees will have agreed by then.
In other action at the meeting, Wilson presented council with a plan to repair the South Market Street bridge, which spans the Middle Fork of the Little Beaver Creek. He learned there is a federal grant program that would provide enough funding to cover 95 percent of the cost. The village would apply for a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission to pay for its 5 percent share of the cost, which expected to be considerable given the bridge’s deteriorated condition.
The upfront cost to the village is $3,000 for a preliminary engineering study to come up an estimated cost for repairing or replacing the bridge, which is the most direct route for safety forces to reach the Grant Street/Jordanville section of Center Township and the people who live there.
The village street department just patched some of the holes on the bridge, but that is only a temporary fix. “If that were to go that would be a major problem for the village,” Wilson said.
Cox is mindful the village is heading into an uncertain financial future because of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 virus pandemic, but he said they cannot afford to put if off any longer.
“That bridge is in pretty nasty shape, no doubt about it … This is probably a project that needs to happen sooner rather than later.”
Wilson was asked to return with something in writing from project engineer Jon Vollnogle and other details before council approves the project.
In other business, council:
— Gave the volunteer Lisbon Beautification Committee approval to begin working on the village square. The first phase involves mulching, weeding, planting some new annuals and painting the picnic tables.
— Learned Tammy Ketchum had received a permit to open a Ketchum’s Kreations, a flower, crafts, gift shop at 329 N. Market St., which is the same plaza as the Circle K.
— Learned Columbiana County Juvenile Court received a permit to build a structure to provide weather coverage for witnesses awaiting court and allow for social distancing.