Day One of charging resident commuters an extra $4 a day for use of the Front Street parking lot got off to a noticeably slow start on Monday, as the lot, usually full at an early hour, had a number of empty spaces long after the commuter rush had ended. On Day Two there were about the same number of cars in the lot after the morning commute.
The village recently installed two meter consoles in the lot, which it leases from St. Agnes Cathedral, in an effort to recoup the cost of the lease. The consoles accept credit cards and coins. So far, despite some commuter opposition, a spokesman for the village said it plans to continue with the new system of extra charges. Although there was no official statement from the village as the Herald went to press, Mayor Mary Bossart was expected to comment on the parking issue at the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday night.
Under the terms of the lease, the village will pay St. Agnes $62,750 this year for the use of the parking field, and the fee will increase to $68,500 by the end of the 10-year lease. Last April, when village trustees approved the new parking fees for the lot, the estimate was that it would gross about $72,000 a year from the meters (assuming a full lot), minus $15,000 it cost to install them.
The Front Street lot, which was leased and renovated by the village in 2000 to cope with increased demand for parking close to the railroad station, is the only municipal parking field not owned by the village. In total it has 96 numbered spaces, including three handicapped spots.
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