Lisbon to mail warning letters

LISBON — Property owners in the downtown business district should soon be receiving “friendly” warning letters advising them of problems with their buildings that need to be addressed.

Mayor Joseph Morenz confirmed the letters will be going out this week, and although they clearly state this is not a violation notice, the missives are to serve as a warning shot across the bow that violation notices will follow if nothing is done to correct the problems.

Morenz held off sending out the letters until village council passed the revised building repair and maintenance code on third and final reading at its Oct. 10 meeting. The mayor has made revising and enforcing this law one of the two key pieces of legislation he wants passed as part of his downtown revitalization plan.

The consulting firm hired by council and the chamber of commerce to assist in the revitalization efforts found 58 of the 88 storefronts in downtown Lisbon had at least one exterior maintenance violation. Approximately 25 letters were mailed to building owners advising them of upgrades that need to be made, ranging from a fresh coat of paint on the property and general repairs, to cleaning up the property.

“This is not a notice of violation, but a friendly heads-up that in the coming weeks we will be taking a closer look at possible maintenance code violations in our village and, more importantly, in our historic business district, and then following up on those found appropriately,” wrote Mayor Joseph Morenz and village Building/Zoning Inspector Zach Barkley in the letter issued jointly.

“We are encouraging all downtown property owners

to address maintenance issues prior to that time,” they continued.

He is hoping most property owners will voluntarily comply, but failure to address the violations could result in a $100 fine per citation,

Morenz said they were prepared to send “friendly” warning letters to four other property owners but they have since come into compliance by making the necessary improvements or undergone a recent change in ownership.

Another 24 letters are going to be mailed to property owners whose building are 100 percent in compliance with village code thanking them for being conscientious.

The other key piece of legislation Morenz wants passed would require owners of vacant storefronts to make an effort to find a tenant or sell the building, or face being fined. The village solicitor is still working on the legislation but is expected to present it to council at the Oct. 24 meeting.

In other village news, Councilman Vito DiIullo suggested giving away the old lights and fixtures that were recently replaced with new LED lights and fixtures. Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner said any resident wanting the old lights and fixtures to call her at 424-5503 and she will compile a list on a first-come basis.

Morenz also reported Scott Strong of Welding Improvements recently donated industrial metal components that can be used in construction of a new bridge at Willow Grove Park. They have $4,600 in donations so far, including $1,000 from the Lisbon Eagles, which the mayor believes is enough to begin looking for grants to pay for the project.