LISBON - Village Council declined to absorb the cost of providing police overtime for the upcoming Johnny Appleseed Festival.
Council received a letter at last week's meeting from the Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the annual festival, asking if the village was still interested in absorbing the cost of overtime resulting from assigning extra police during the Sept. 21-22 event.
"As in the past, we were wondering if you are willing to help out with the police department wages. We have donated $1,500 to them and the village has been great to reimburse the festival committee for that fee. We were wondering if you are still willing to do this," wrote chamber director and festival chairwoman Marilyn McCullough.
In past years, the festival committee would contract with the police department to have extra officers on duty during the event, and council would donate $1,500 to help cover those costs. But some council members wondered if the chamber might be in a position to pay those expenses since it receives a portion of Lisbon's motel bed tax. When asked about the status of those funds, Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner reported the chamber's share of bed tax revenue has been averaging about $2,500 per month.
"I think they can handle that this year," Councilman Steve Defilippo said of the $1,500.
Council then voted to give permission to the chamber to use the village square for the festival but declined to act on the reimbursement request.
How the chamber has spent its share of the motel tax money was questioned earlier this year by some council members, with the organization agreeing to begin providing council with a detailed reports.
In other action, Police Chief Mike Abraham reported part-time officers Travis McDade and Richard Whitfield recently resigned. He asked they be replaced with Hartley Malone of Salineville and Matthew Bacha, and council agreed. Malone also works part-time as a member of the Columbiana County Courthouse security staff, while Bacha recently graduated from a local police academy.
Gene Krotky from the Lisbon Historical Society attended the meeting to thank council for its $4,000 donation to the recent program commemorating the 150th anniversary of Morgan's Raid. The historical society was to draw down the money as needed, and she said they ended only spending $800.
Krotky said they received $400 in donations during the event, which was used by the Lisbon Ministerial Association to purchase school supplies for local children.
Council passed on first reading an ordinance to close an unused alley between West Spruce and Sherman streets. The applicant is Kathryn L. Williamson, and the majority of adjoining property owners have signed off on the request. Since approval was not unanimous among property owners, a public hearing must be held and it is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 17.
Barry James of the cemetery board updated council on several items of interest, the first being repairs to the mausoleum windows, which cost $13,175. He said they were able to raise all but $3,575 through donations.
Speaking of donations, James reported the Lisbon Community Foundation, which contributed to the window project, donated $4,000 toward the cost of repairing damage done to a number of older tombstones from trees felled during a June thunderstorm.