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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Parking meter limitation extended

  • HAWLEY- Parking meters won't have to be fed at dinner time for at least another year.
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  • HAWLEY-   Parking meters won't have to be fed at dinner time for at least another year.
        Cutting back on when Hawley's meters need coins to park there has cost the Borough a little over $15,000 since the spring of 2013, over a year ago, Hawley Council heard Wednesday night.
       Mary Sanders, Council Vice-president, who brought this up in her Police Committee report, said she wanted Council to be aware that revenue was down about 20 percent. She asked whether the policy of free parking between 5 and 6 p.m. should be extended.
        "It could be 20 percent higher," she noted. Meter collections could be restored in that hour, or the Borough could find some other way to make up the loss in the budget.
       Andrea Racht, Borough Treasurer as well as Meter Enforcement Officer, advised that there is no way to tell how much of the loss comes from not having to use meters between 5 and 6 p.m. It is hard to compare year to year because the economy also fluctuates. She said the only way to get data they can measure is by looking at the amount of fines, which contain the time of the infraction.
       Parking meters are in force six days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Before the change, they were in force from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. In May of 2013 the Police Committee recommended the change because of the traffic in town backed up due to the bridge re-construction that spring. At the time it was not certain how soon the Lackawaxen River bridge work would be done (it was completed by the end of June).
       A local businessman, barber Ronald Finan, had previously suggested that meters not be in force after 5 p.m., to give a break to local restaurants on Main Avenue. The backed up traffic only made it worse for merchants.
        Councilman Joseph Faubel noted that collections was $2500 higher in the first six months of 2014 than last year. That is hard to compare, however, because of the bridge work in that time frame in 2013.
        Councilman Martin Cox advised extending the limited parking meter hours another year to give a better baseline for comparison. Council unanimously approved extending the policy.
       Faubel also asked about the possibility of changing the one-hour meters with three-hour meters. Three-hour meters are mostly limited to side streets. Main Avenue has one-hour meters. Racht said that the meters are not adjustable. New ones would have to be ordered; the cost is the same. This could be done, but not this year.

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