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Council OKs splitting water fees
May 03, 2013 · Meghan Hunter

The ballpark lease between the City of Lisbon and the Lisbon School Distict will remain the same for now, but city council members are considering making changes to the agreement. The school district uses the fields in City Park that are owned by the city.

Water use at the ballpark was high last year, especially during the drought, but council members don't want to risk drying out the field.

"I think we want the field to look good, so whether we do it this year or next year, put in (the agreement) the city would cover a very reasonable amount of water and anything over that, the (school district) would pay for," said council member John Bardsley. "We want to encourage them to keep it looking good, but don't want them leaving (the water) run to where they're putting several inches of water."

Water metering began last June, but the city decided not to charge the school district, intending to begin this year.

Communication with the school district is the next step.

"The school needs to know that they're going to pay 'X' amount of money when it comes to their budget and the city knows they're going to pay the rest. I know there's some of the school board that feels the same way," said mayor Beryl O'Connor.

Ultimately, the mayor suggested having the parks and recreation board, school board, and city council meet to set some goals.

In the meantime, council member Doug O'Connor's motion to have the district and city split the water fees from April to July, with the city picking up the bill again in August, was approved.

Capital improvements

The city council has decided it's time to create a capital improvements plan.

The council will meet Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m. to discuss water, sewer, curb and gutter, storm water and streets.

Many projects are being driven by water main guidelines changing, and the city's four-inch water mains are obsolete. Replacing all of them would cost more than $2 million.

"We've come to the conclusion that we really need to set a date and we need to sit down and go through it," council member Travis Jubeck said. "I've got at least three years (planned) that I think we can handle right now with the Second Avenue project, and the South Jackson area."

Because the water main guidelines are being applied to all cities, mayor O'Connor wondered if there are grants available.

"There ought to be some type of grant or something that we can write to help pay for that - that's a lot of money to change your water mains because they changed some laws," she said.

Jubeck hopes to schedule the projects over a five-year period.

"My goal is to have a firm five years, a good foundation, so we can go through that and we'll know every year what needs to be budgeted so we can pay for these projects," Jubeck said.

Downtown work

The History Center is getting new siding from Lisbon-based Blinks Brothers for $7,119. Insulation may also be installed if costs stay under the city's budgeted amount of $8,000.

Nick Walton was approved for a Downtown Reinvestment Grant of $6,135 for work at 139 E. Main St.

Walton said the building is "rough - it needs a roof and has a lot of structural issues to it, so I'm going to put a beam in down the center of it, and I don't know how it has lasted this long, but when I get that beam in and get half of that roof done, that would be tremendous help."

Walton plans to use the building for his business, Walton Construction, and hopes to have the project done by the end of the year.

In other action:

• A partial sewer abatement was denied for Jim Sands, Lisbon Mobile Home Court.

• Waste and brush pick up days will resume being picked up on the second Monday of the month as opposed to two separate days.

• The second council meeting in May was rescheduled to May 28 due to the holidays. Additionally, a public hearing regarding the door hanger fee, changing yield to stop signs, and the water conservation ordinance will be held May 13.

• Regarding changes to the city's cell phone plan, the goal is to reduce the city's bill. The council is leaning toward U.S. Cellular.

"We can go with U.S. Cellular, but we have to figure out a definite price," Jubeck said.

• Mayor O'Connor gave thanks for high participation in recent events. "At the Saturday community clean-up, there were close to 80 people and I was impressed," she said.

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