Lisbon administration announces fine for neglected buildings

LISBON, Ohio (WYTV) – Revitalizing downtown Lisbon.

The current village administration council said that has been their goal since entering office, and big changes have already been made.

Now, Lisbon’s mayor and council are cracking down on landlords who leave their buildings empty.

They just passed a vacancy law that requires an empty building to have a “for sale” or “for rent” sign with a phone number on the window. If there is not a sign displayed for the empty building, Mayor Joe Morenz said the landlord will be fined.

“There’s a $200 inspection fee per year and then there’s a $200 fine and the fine will double every year, up to $3,200,” he said.

Currently, 26 buildings in Lisbon remain empty and most are deteriorating.

Morenz said empty buildings are affecting the economy.

“We have people that want to come to Lisbon and start a business and they can’t find a place that’s suitable because the vacant buildings are not for rent or sale,” he said.

Susan Shank said the decision to leave a building vacant could be because of multiple factors.

“They’re either being used for storage or they’re in such despair that somebody couldn’t walk in and rent something and sign a lease and start moving their stuff in the next week,” she said.

Renee Lewis of the Courthouse Inn said this fine can positively affect the area.

“Actually turning it into a downtown that enhances property values, enhances people’s quality of life, school systems, everything,” said Lewis.

Lewis said this can be a good investment for anyone.

“It’s a good value for anyone who wants to come in and help us turn the town around,” she said.