LISBON - The Lisbon United Methodist Church has no intention of taking legal action to stop the state from erecting a traffic control box on its lawn, a recent newspaper story to the contrary notwithstanding.
Two weeks ago, the Morning Journal ran a story saying the Methodist Church was considering filing a lawsuit as a last resort and wanted to know if Village Council could help. This was based on comments made at the Sept. 25 council meeting by Jack Dowd, who identified himself as a church representative.
At this week's meeting, council was presented with a memorandum from Cheryl Mills, secretary to Mayor Dan Bing, who said church representative Bill Jones called her after reading the story and apologized. Mills said Jones told her Dowd was not speaking for the church in any official capacity, and the church does not want to seek an injunction against the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
Meanwhile, council received a letter from Dowd dated Oct. 8 seeking a response about the ongoing issue. Council President Roger Gallo suggested they disregard the letter based on Jones' phone call to Mills, which they did.
ODOT recently completed work on several intersections in town in preparation for installing new wireless traffic lights. One of the intersections is at Washington and South Market streets, where the church is located.
At the Sept. 10 meeting, Jones and another church representative told council that as part of the project ODOT intends to install a 5-foot-high control box on the church lawn in front of an illuminated church sign. Church officials claim the control box would be located beyond the ODOT right-of-way and on church property.
Mills, in her memo to council, said Jones told her church trustees would still like to meet with ODOT before anything is done. Mayor Bing was supposed to schedule such a meeting but has yet to do so. Bing said at this week's meeting he would try to do so in coordination with Jones.
In other action at the meeting, council:
- Authorized the fire department to purchase a propane storage tank to power the back-up generator for the fire department's radio system. The tank is being purchased from Salem Propane for $400.
- Approved the request of street department foreman Jim Oliver to advertise to hire a seasonal worker for the remainder of the fall and the entire winter. Oliver said they need the additional help finish their fall chores and assist in snow-plowing the streets. Village policy restricts a seasonal worker to no more than 520 hours.
- Agreed to purchase a backpack leaf blower for the street department. The blower is to be purchased from L & G Mower Repair in Lisbon for $264.