Mayor flags CBD me­ters to be part of dis­cus­sions for city’s fu­ture plans

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY SI­MONE KER­WIN sker­[email protected] ne­me­

PARK­ING me­ter use will be on the agenda for the Ru­ral City of Wan­garatta in 2019, ac­cord­ing to mayor Dean Rees.

The me­ters are a peren­nial dis­cus­sion point among traders and shop­pers in the ru­ral city, and Cr Rees told the

Wan­garatta Chron­i­cle the is­sue was also “a sore point” with him, and he was keen to dis­cuss fu­ture park­ing plans this year.

Both Cr Rees and Busi­ness Wan­garatta chair Dave Fuller - who is also a ru­ral city coun­cil­lor - said the ad­van­tages and ram­i­fi­ca­tions of not us­ing park­ing me­ters were worth rais­ing again, and ex­plor­ing with lo­cals.

“Pre­vi­ous coun­cils and ad­min­is­tra­tions al­lowed a multi-storey carpark to go ahead with a pay­ment plan that is so oner­ous on coun­cil,” Cr Rees said.

“Peo­ple don’t use it, and one of the main com­plaints is that no-one can ac­cess it from Ovens Street, so they for­get about’s dif­fi­cult to use.

“It costs us a lot of money ev­ery year, and we have a lease of 10 plus years. “How do we over­come that? “Do we of­fer free park­ing in the street or at the Co-Store? “It’s a thing that we need to look at. “Even with­out park­ing me­ters, it would still be timed park­ing, but it is hard to go up the street when you only want to stop for 10 or 15 min­utes and don’t have any coins, be­cause we are mov­ing to­wards a cash­less so­ci­ety; it does make things dif­fi­cult.

“Wan­garatta peo­ple do have to change their cul­ture, and con­sider walk­ing a dis­tance to shops some­times, but on the other hand, that is one ad­van­tage of be­ing in the coun­try, that we can park out­side the shop we want to go to.”

Mr Fuller said from a Busi­ness Wan­garatta point of view, park­ing me­ters needed to be on the agenda again.

“As a com­mu­nity, we need to work to­gether and see what works for all,” he said.

“We need to have a con­ver­sa­tion, and if we wish to forgo park­ing me­ters, to un­der­stand the need to un­der­stand the ben­e­fits of not hav­ing park­ing me­ters, and also what are the ram­i­fi­ca­tions in terms of the multi-deck carpark.

“If we take away the me­ters, we need to be con­scious of the ram­i­fi­ca­tions.

“We will be guided by our mem­bers, their thoughts and what they have to con­trib­ute.”

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