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