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Paid parking to return to Picton; two-hour limits in Bloomfield and Wellington

Council supports a municipal staff recommendation to reinstitute paid parking July 1 in Picton and amend a bylaw to include two-hour parking limits in the commercial areas of Bloomfield and Wellington.

A report was presented to council’s Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday afternoon. The amended bylaw is to be brought to the June 23 meeting of council for consideration.

The Picton Business Improvement Association had requested council extend free parking for the rest of the year and to fix meter and parking issues.

Free parking during the COVID-19 state of emergency is set to end June 30.

Sarah Doiron, Manager of the Picton BIA, informed council in a deputation May 26 about identified issues, including: free parking not obvious, difficulty using pay stations that malfunction regularly, poor signage, and no grace period.

Development Services is in the process of a parking study to assess capacity, identify needs and create a plan for parking – including boat launch and marina parking. The BIA concerns are to be included in the study.

The municipality’s Emergency Control Group authorized extentions of free parking to help facilitate changing businesses practices of main street merchants to includ delivery and curbside pick up options.

“Currently, parking enforcement is funded on a cost recovery basis and there isn’t enough projected revenue attributed to fines to offset the expenses of the program,” stated Todd Davis, Director of Community Services, in his report. “Parking fees in a traditional year represent more than 75 per cent of the programs revenues. As a result of current extended free parking, and potential parking space dedication the municipality will not achieve this year’s budgeted forecasted revenues of $140,000.”

He noted eliminating the year’s parking fee would have significant impact on the parking reserve, already depleted from recent deficit years during the Picton Main Street Reconstruction project.

“Efforts that encourage customers to continue moving help to reinforce physical distancing recommendations, reduces public gathering potential, improves accessibility to business and supports commerce,” he stated.

“Concerns about alienating the local population by charging for parking inspired staff to research the possibility of some type of local discount,” said Davis. “Currently with what we have licensed there is no technology solution to enable this. Haliburton and a select few other municipalities have developed programs that offer a method to provide discounts to the local community. Some type of program that acknowledges local drivers could be considered in the parking study.”

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  1. Ken Globe says:

    Mark: Are we really going to drag that dead horse out to beat it for another season? The County offered it out to businesses, the place pays for the deck and it is built to building code.

  2. Chris Keen says:

    “[T]he municipality will not achieve this year’s budgeted forecasted revenues of $140,000.” And since Council is apparently incapable of considering parking meters in Bloomfield and Wellington, it’s safe to assume at least that much revenue is being forgone there.

    Oh, and the “local” solution to parking? We don’t need a “technical solution” for that! How about a good old parking sticker for the windshield. $50.00 per year ($1 per week) for residents – free parking everywhere. Otherwise, feed the meter. Problem solved. Available to everyone, not just those with smart phones.

  3. Todd says:

    I don’t like complaining without proposing a solution so here’s a solution: Free parking in all the downtown cores. Encourage people to shop, eat, enjoy, spend money and support our great local businesses. Move the parking bylaw folks to other positions that are more needed thus saving the expense of constantly having to “police’ the parking spaces.

  4. Angela says:

    Parking meters – the perfect touch in Bloomfield and Wellington, two historic villages that have retained much of their character. Let’s line the streets with more of those ugly meters and see if we can wring out a few more loonies from the motoring public. And we wonder why people shop in Belleville.

  5. Trevor Collier says:

    I agree with Angela. The “new” parking machines are more trouble than they are worth. Several times I have reassured tearful elderly users that a nonworking machine is not their fault. It is little things like this that generate more bad feelings about the council than policy issues. I guess we can blame the last council’s advisors.

  6. Chuck says:

    Until the grass finally gets cut, you cannot find the parking pay machine in front of Benson Park.

  7. Argyle says:

    Apparently council does not have the willpower or fortitude to mandate that paid parking will be enforced in Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington……and of course they never offer an explanation as to why paid parking is only the norm in Picton.

  8. Mark says:

    Makes no sense. Why does Picton pay and Bloomfield, Wellington get free. And how do they propose to enforce 2 hr free parking in those commercial districts? And a patio went up today in Picton eliminating 2 parking spaces, and how a pedestrian would navigate that without being in 6 feet distance of patrons is beyond me. Find out tomorrow.

  9. Angela says:

    I’m tired of losing money to those malfunctioning parking meters. If we are supposed to support our local merchants it’s time to get rid of those money-eating machines that are frustrating at best and out of order much of the time.

  10. Dennis Fox says:

    After asking for a number of years for Council to explain the discrepancy in parking fees between Bloomfield, Wellington and Picton and never getting a response – it finally hit home! THey don’t have any explanation that makes sense – they just want our money! So, I too agree with Todd not to shop in Picton! Maybe we can start a boycott?

  11. Todd says:

    Well… I guess I’m not shopping in Picton. Bad move Council, why enact a disincentive for people to support local business?

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