Trustee explains position
I do support paid parking. Our trolleys and peripheral lots will never be successful as long as free parking is available on Main Street. The successful revenue generation at Doubleday convinced me this is a viable way to fund the costly infrastructure needs of the village. I pay for parking when I am on vacation; it only makes sense for summer tourists to support the services they need, as opposed to having the burden rest solely on village taxpayers.
I did listen to residents. I stated in an email (Dec. 13) to fellow trustees: “I do not feel I can vote for paid parking in front of a residence as would occur with the current proposal on lower Pioneer and eastern and western Main.” By the Dec. 20th public hearing, I had received 12 emails, two phone calls and two letters from residents of lower Pioneer (none from any Tillapaughs). No comments from Main Street residents.
At the public hearing, Chamber of Commerce director Pat Szarpa reported that the Chamber surveyed businesses and half supported paid parking, half did not. She stated that paid parking is not seen as a negative, but parking tickets resulting from confusing signage or parking locations are negatives.
In addition to the comments of the Pioneer residents, I felt that the isolated nature of those six residential slots (beyond proposed 15 minute slots, and the Tunnicliff’s loading zone spaces) was confusing, and would require an additional pay/display machine. Stopping paid parking in the middle of the block seemed confusing — ending at Stagecoach Lane, before Stagecoach Coffee seemed a better stopping point.
Obviously, I made a mistake. Perception is reality and the perception is that I singled out the business owned by my brother Martin Tillapaugh. This despite the fact that there is only one, on-street parking space in front of his business and he has one of the largest private parking lots in the downtown, accommodating up to 60 cars. Ironically he often provides parking for adjacent businesses and residents, as well as locals who need to frequent a Main Street business in the summer, but are unable to find parking.
I am going to propose at the Jan. 28 trustee meeting that paid parking on Pioneer Street be extended to the northern boundary of the business district (middle of the block). That will leave the residences unaffected, and any discussion of the 15 minute slots, a separate issue.
I would like to point out that 30 years ago my husband and I bought our house at 80 Beaver St. where I have my business, Tillapaugh Art Conservation. It is the only business I own, operate and from which I receive “family” income. If I were interested in a financial benefit, as has been suggested, I would spend my time working in my studio as opposed to serving as an unpaid trustee.
Recently a letter by Jim Tallman got my attention along with probably several hundred others concerning the overpricing of gasoline in Otsego County. As I drive around between Cooperstown and Oneonta observing the prices, I can’t help wondering how these companies justify their prices. As in Jim’s letter, he was told it cost more to haul the liquid gold to Cooperstown.
So, I got my trusty calculator out and did some figuring. I figured hauling the fuel 60 to 75 miles from the terminal takes 15 to 18 gallons of fuel for the truck. At $4 per gallon that comes out to $60 to $75 for fuel. Hauling 9,500 gallons of fuel at once and having the price at pump 20 cents more per gallon equals $1,900 more per truckload. Now we take $1,900 minus the $75 in fuel for truck and they gross about $1,825 more per truckload. Now that’s not bad extra money to have to haul to Cooperstown.
So my question to them is, is it really the truth about costing more to bring gasoline to Cooperstown and Oneonta? Does anyone think greed has anything to do with it? I for one believe it does. Does anyone besides me believe the Price Chopper gimmick adds anything to the price per gallon? Something to ponder.
David K. Pierce