Bath council reviews parking proposal
A plan to ease downtown parking problems for customers of local businesses and generate more revenue for the town was submitted to Bath Town Council at their March 19 meeting.
The proposal was authored by Parking Enforcement Officer Gene Kilduff and presented to council by Police Chief James Minton.
The proposal cites the lack of customer parking near local businesses as being caused, in part, by owners and employees of those businesses who want to park close to where they work. Then they must leave their businesses several times a day to feed the parking meters.
Kilduff's idea calls for installation of eight or ten hour meters at selected locations along Wilkes, Mercer and Green streets. These meters would cost 25-cents for two hours or a total of $1.25 per day. Enforceable meter hours would change to 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Kilduff wrote that he has identified 35 parking spaces on Wilkes, Mercer and Green streets that could be converted to metered parking.
His proposal states: "This would free up parking for their business which would allow for a higher turn-over of customers, while at the same time providing close, reasonably cheap metered parking for their employees."
"The key is getting businesses involved in moving employees away from their storefronts," Kilduff told council.
Town Recorder Garnet Marsh suggested he talk to Chuck Wheeler, president of the Chamber of Commerce, to get his thoughts.
Kilduff wanted to allay fears of residents who live on Wilkes, Mercer and Green streets and do not have off-street parking. He proposes to issue resident parking permits. They would allow residents to park on those streets without fear of getting a ticket, as long as the permit was properly displayed.
Rates & fines
The proposal recommends upping the rate for all meters other than those on Wilkes, Mercer or Green streets to 50-cents for each 30 minutes, with a two hour maximum. This would help insure faster customer turnover.
Proposed ticket fines would also increase. The current $5 ticket would go to $7, a $10 fine to $15, a $15 to $25, etc. The grace period to pay a ticket would be reduced from 30 to 14 days.
According to the proposal, the town's mechanical meters are becoming harder and harder to get repaired. Parts are becoming scarce and mechanical meters are even showing up on auction web sites as collectables.
Kilduff proposed a program to start replacing some of the mechanical meters with digital meters each quarter. Money would come out of proceeds from increased parking revenue.