Coun­cil de­lays vote on in­creas­ing park­ing fees

Newark Post - - LOCAL NEWS - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

Vis­i­tors to down­town Newark got a re­prieve Mon­day as city coun­cil de­layed a vote on in­creas­ing the fees to park at Main Street me­ters and in city-run lots.

The or­di­nance would in­crease the cost of park­ing at me­ters in the core down­town area – Main Street west of Chapel Street – from $1.25 an hour (12 min­utes per quar­ter) to $2 an hour (7.5 min­utes per quar­ter.) Mean­while, lesser-used me­ters east of the Pomeroy Trail would be re­duced to $1 an hour.

Coun­cil was also ex­pected to dis­cuss a con­tro­ver­sial plan to in­crease the cost of park­ing in city-run lots dur­ing the busiest times.

Un­der the plan for “peak” and “off peak” rates, the cost to park would dou­ble to $2 per hour Mon­day through Fri­day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cur­rent $1-per-hour rate would re­main on week­ends, nights and dur­ing the sum­mer.

How­ever, coun­cil mem­bers voted around 11:30 p.m. to end Mon­day’s meet­ing be­fore dis­cussing the park­ing is­sue, much to the dis­may of at least three peo­ple, in­clud­ing the owner of Unique Im­pres­sions, who had waited four and a half hours to voice their con­cerns about the fee in­creases, only to be told to come back next month.

Un­der the coun­cil’s rules, the body can­not take up a new is­sue after 11 p.m. un­less coun­cil votes to ex­tend the meet­ing. The rule was im­ple­mented dur­ing the height of the data cen­ter con­tro­versy in 2014, as a way to rein in meet­ings that were rou­tinely last­ing past mid­night.

Mon­day’s agenda was busier than usual, in part be­cause of sched­ul­ing is­sues. Some coun­cil mem­bers were out of town dur­ing the last two meet­ings, caus­ing im­por­tant is­sues to be saved for Mon­day’s meet­ing, and the next reg­u­larly sched­uled meet­ing falls on Christ­mas and thus was can­celled.

The park­ing fees will be dis­cussed at the Jan. 8 coun­cil meet­ing.

NEWARK POST PHOTO BY JOSH SHAN­NON

City coun­cil ended Mon­day’s meet­ing be­fore dis­cussing a plan to raise the cost of park­ing at Main Street me­ters and in city-run park­ing lots.

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