LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – The next time people head out to Lisbon to shop or eat, they won’t have to dig in their wallets for spare change.
Starting Wednesday, every parking meter has been covered with a bag, so parking is now free through the end of the year.
According to Lisbon Mayor Pete Wilson, it’s a tradition for the Lisbon Police Department and Village Hall to bag the parking meters every year for Christmas. They’ve done it for over a decade.
“It’s like the village’s gift to our residents and to our visitors,” Wilson said.
The idea is to bring people downtown and encourage them to shop locally and check out what Lisbon has to offer, like the village’s upcoming Skate and Shop event on Saturday in conjunction with Small Business Saturday.
“With events coming in, we’re bringing in people from out of town who otherwise might not think what we have is worth putting a couple coins into the meter to explore, but if it’s free, they’re more likely to come and explore,” said Lindsey Smoot, executive director of the Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce.
With inflation, it also saves people the trouble of spending — or finding — money for the meters.
“I don’t carry change,” Wilson said. “Before I moved to Lisbon, every time I came here, I was looking for change to put in the parking meters.”
Those at downtown businesses said this is the perfect timing for the holidays.
“People will come and shop more because a lot of times, there’s no parking out there because they’re filled up or people don’t want to feed the meter, so it’s free parking. There will be a lot of people in town,” said Jim Landfried, of JWB Supply.
“It’s great that the village can give customers time to go in and shop, especially small businesses. We’re a small village,” said Glenn McMillan, of Sandy and Beaver Insurance Company.
There is still a two-hour parking limit for each space.