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Closed lot spurs parking dispute

After public complaints of a lack of transparency regarding parking regulations, the village has posted the times and days that the metered parking is enforced.
July 10, 2019 10:01 pm

CATSKILL — Some village residents are contesting parking tickets received on Tuesday because one of the main municipal lots was closed.

The fines from the parking tickets will be forgiven, village officials said Wednesday.

The village Department of Public Works made an announcement July 6 that the lot would be closed from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday so crews could paint new stripes and remove trash and brush.

Because of the shortage of off-street parking caused by the lot closure, many residents, business owners and employees had to park on Main Street.

Main Street has metered parking Monday through Friday during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but many meters did not display the hours.

With the lack of posted regulations exacerbating the situation, residents protested the two-hour parking limit, which they found hard to abide by while working on Tuesday.

The village responded by ordering labels for all of its meters, Village President Vincent Seeley said.

“[They] all should be tagged today,” he said. “Maybe a few left for tomorrow.”

The village maintains approximately 150 parking meters and the labels cost about $1 each, Seeley said.

The 20 or so tickets that were given out for going over the two-hour limit on Tuesday will be forgiven, Seeley said.

The typical fine for a parking violation is $10, he added.

On a day-to-day basis, the limit is designed to keep traffic flowing, Seeley said.

Village Department of Public Works Superintendent Michael McGrath said the work at the parking lot was necessary.

“We had a lot of brush and garbage to clear,” he said. “We didn’t want to damage someone’s car.”

Additionally, there were other off-street parking options available, he said.

“People could have parked in the lot over by the dance institute but no wants to hear that,” McGrath said.

The municipal lot that closed has room for 90 vehicles, Seeley said.