Problem with ordinance, so Lisbon refunds parking fines

LISBON – About 10 people are due a refund on parking tickets issued because of confusion about the village’s parking ban during heavy snows.

The issue was raised at this week’s Village Council meeting by Police Chief Mike Abraham, who said his officers issued the tickets in the downtown business district over a two-day period during a recent heavy snow.

The village has long had signs posted downtown and in certain other areas announcing permanent parking bans are in place on those streets from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. This is so the street department can remove snow or use the street sweeper unimpeded, depending on the season.

Abraham said he decided to research the parking ban law, which was adopted in the mid 1990s, and learned it did not actually establish a blanket ban that was in effect permanently.

While the law allows the mayor and street foreman to enact a parking ban in the designated areas, “I couldn’t find an ordinance setting those times” on a permanent basis, he said, which is why Abraham decided to refund the parking tickets.

In other action, council:

– Named Dana Blackburn to the new position of parks manager, which includes oversight of the community swimming pool. Blackburn served as the adult lifeguard supervisor at the pool last year and then took over running the facility when the pool manager left for another job.

The part-time job pays $12 an hour, with the manager working more hours during the months when the pool is open.

– Heard from Pete Conkle of the Columbiana County Soil and Water Conservation District, who was there to address them about drainage problems in a ravine next to the Fleming House run by the Family Recovery Center. The resulting erosion is occurring in the portion of the ravine that lies within village limits.

Conkle said he was there to offer the agency’s assistance in coming up with a plan to solve the problem. “If my office can help, we’re willing to do that, and it wouldn’t cost you anything,” he said.

The engineering firm used by the village said it could come up with a preliminary plan for $5,600.

Council voted 6-0 to take Conkle up on his offer of assistance.

– Accepted the resignations of part-time parking meter attendant Lyndsey Ward and part-time police officer Justin Madison, both of whom have taken other jobs.

– Hired Garrett Jarvis of Barberton as a part-time police officer and Tammy Renfro and Heather Davis as part-time police department dispatchers.

– Instructed street foreman Jim Oliver to have the main pump at the swimming pool rebuilt for $691 rather than purchase a new one for $2,200.

– Went into executive session for more than an hour to discuss a contract dispute with Infinite Synergy, its computer consultant. The current service contract for $1,653 a month expires this summer, but council was reportedly considering canceling the contract immediately. No action on the contract was taken.