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Lisbon Campground online reservation system upgrade put on hold

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LISBON — The town is putting off plans to install an online registration system at the Lisbon Beach and Campground in the wake of public outcry.

Lisbon resident Julie L. Snyder delivered a petition to the Town Council with 316 signatures in opposition to the proposed software change at Thursday’s meeting.

“It’s a family campground now,” Mrs. Snyder said. “We do not want the reservations to go online; we want (campground director) Michael O’Neil to be able to view the applications in advance.”

Mrs. Snyder said that when she first started going to the campground, police often would be called in to break up big parties. Mr. O’Neil, she said, has cleaned up the campground, and an automated reservation system could allow people who have been banned to slip back in.

Mr. O’Neil said he doesn’t want to lose control of who camps at the beach, but said if an online reservation system allows him to accept or reject requests it could work as long as he is still able to be flexible about keeping large parties together.

Town Councilor Susan M. Duffy said the council will continue looking at online reservation systems, but won’t move ahead this year.

The town will give concerned residents the ability to look at any computerized system it feels is best before implementing it, Ms. Duffy said.

Meanwhile, referring to discussion by Councilors Alan D. Dailey and Nathanael G. Putney at April’s meeting regarding the possible sale of the campground in coming years, residents pointed out that it is making a profit.

Mrs. Snyder said that last year the campground made the town $28,000.

“It has never been run better,” said Newell T. Martin, a longtime camper. “It has never been a nicer place to be than it is right now. The beach is self-sustaining; it makes money.”

Mr. Martin said the beach and campground is “the only asset the town of Lisbon has. We want it left alone.”

Mr. Dailey said the discussion regarding the possible sale of the campground was started because the council is concerned that money from the New York Power Authority will run out soon.

The town has about $190,000 in NYPA money, Mr. Dailey said.

“When (the cost of the campground) starts coming onto the general public, that’s the time we need to have a discussion about finding something else to do,” he said.

Mrs. Duffy said there now are no intentions to sell the beach.

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