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July 1, 2008

Doubleday parking yields lots of tickets

By JIM AUSTIN

Cooperstown Crier



The police department began enforcing paid parking in the Doubleday Field lot Friday morning and initially, at least, it looks like tickets are generating more revenue than the $2 an hour the village is charging.



DPW Superintendent Brian Clancy said the signs they were waiting for were installed very early Friday morning, giving the police department the green light to begin enforcing paid parking. And the department is off to a busy start.



Parking Enforcement Officer Mike DeSimone was writing tickets in the lot Monday morning, and said he believes as many as 75 to 100 tickets were written there over the weekend.



Police Committee Chairwoman Lynne Mebust said Tuesday that during the first few days of enforcement it is likely more tickets will be written. The committee, she said, plans to watch parking trends carefully in case there needs to be additional signage notifying people the lot is now paid parking.



``The intent is not to be Draconian,’’ Mebust said.



With an unusual number of the lot’s 125 spaces empty late Monday morning, it appeared drivers were looking elsewhere for free parking. ``We’re not as full as usual,’’ DeSimone said.



Mebust said the empty spots in the lot may be an indicator of how many hospital employees had used the lot prior to the switch to paid parking.



Police Chief Diana Nicols said Monday that officers emptied the two pay and display machines at the lot that morning. Currently, the department plans to take the cash from the machines every couple of days, but may do it more often if need be.



According to Village Treasurer Mary Ann Henderson, the cash boxes from the machines contained $1,859 and change that was collected over the three day period, or approximately $620 a day.



With parking tickets costing $35, those weekend tickets would amount to somewhere between $2,625 and $3,500, providing they are all eventually paid.

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