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December 13, 2012

Paid Parking Law hearing is next week

The board of trustees will hold a public hearing next Thursday on a local law that would authorize paid parking on Main and Pioneer streets in the business district.

This time there will be no lengthy schedule of sometimes contentious public meetings about the issue. Instead it will be limited to a single public hearing.

“The law is out there on the website,” Mayor Jeff Katz said Monday. “It will be a regular board meeting and a regular public hearing and everyone will have a chance to speak. I think a regular meeting should be sufficient. I hope that is the case.”

Previously the board received some vehement, vocal opposition to paid parking, but trustees can now point to the success of paid parking in the Doubleday Field parking lot. The push for on-street paid parking is also being driven by the 2012 infrastructure report form Lamont Engineers that said the village should be putting aside almost $900,000 per year to keep up with required street maintenance.

“The establishment of on-street paid parking in certain key areas provides a means for those who visit the village and use the roads to contribute to the cost of street upkeep,” the recommendation from the streets and buildings committee stated.

Katz said most of the feedback he has received has been positive, but has also heard some negative comments.

“The job of the village board is to balance the interests of the community,” he said.

The board debated time limits for parking during its November meeting and decided to begin with two-hours and allow for the purchase of additional time.

“It can be tried for a year,” Trustee Lynne Mebust said during the discussion, adding that the board learned a great deal during the first year of paid parking in the Doubleday Field parking lot.

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