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October 25, 2012

Board reviews proposals for paid and permit parking

Monday night, the board of trustees approved moving ahead with two parking proposals — one aimed at relieving the village’s perennial parking problems for residents and the other to generate revenue for street maintenance through on-street paid parking.

The seven-member Parking Task Force, formed to look at a parking permit system for village residents, forwarded the results of its five-months of work to the board.

According to a memorandum from the task force, the permit system will allow residents to obtain permits that will exclude them from time restrictions on village streets outside the business district. The village has about 1,400 parking spaces, half of which are time restricted.

According to Trustee Lynne Mebust, who chaired the task force, members worked with village attorney Martin Tillapaugh and reviewed permit systems in use by other municipalities around the state.

To institute a parking permit system, the proposal must be approved by the state Legislature. The task force prepared a petition to be forwarded to the Legislature that includes the three required elements — identification of the parking problem, a list of streets to be included and the village’s proposed solution.

According to the memorandum, Tillapaugh has spoken with Sen. James Seward, who will introduce the petition to the Legislature early next year.

If approved by the Legislature, a local law will need to be drafted and adopted.

The petition states that pressure for off-street parking in the village has become particularly acute during the summer months when large numbers of tourists come to Cooperstown in addition to the employees of institutions and businesses in the village.

The ability to install a coherent parking permit system will enable to Cooperstown to improve the quality of life for its citizens and visitors, the petition stated.

The proposal covers all the village streets currently restricted to two-hour parking. It does not include those portions of Main and Pioneer streets in the business district. The permits will allow residents to exceed the two-hour limit on those streets. The permit system will not apply to the business district.

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