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Sarasota Monday, Aug. 31, 2009 6 years ago

City Commission to vote on paid parking details

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by: Robin Roy City Editor

Two weeks after they approved parking meters downtown, city commissioners will be reconsidering the plan. One option they’ll be presented is delaying the paid-parking program for another year.

The commission voted Aug. 17 to place parking meters around parking garages, starting with the existing county garage at Ringling Boulevard and School Avenue as soon as the meters are purchased, and then around the Palm Avenue parking garage after it’s built next year.

What commissioners didn’t make clear was if they wanted meters around other garages, such as the ones at Whole Foods Market, Plaza at Five Points and Hollywood 20.

City Manager Bob Bartolotta and parking manager Susan Dodd made the interpretation that the commission wanted meters around those garages.

Since the Aug. 17 meeting, Bartolotta individually met with commissioners, and they told him that is not their intention, so the city manager is placing the issue on the agenda for the Sept. 8 City Commission meeting.
Commissioners will be given two options. First, they can approve a plan that places meters east of Links Avenue now and west of Links Avenue after the Palm Avenue garage is built, which is expected to be November or December 2010.

The second option is delaying the entire paid-parking program until the Palm Avenue garage is complete.
If commissioners approve the second option, they will be given another choice — buy the meters now, because Bartolotta said they’re being offered at a good price, or wait until late 2010.

The city was prepared to pay the contractor $510,000 for the installation of meters for 710 downtown spaces.

Bartolotta said the second option could avoid confusion of a phased installation and would avoid the impact of metering one part of town before another.

Contact Robin Roy at rroy@yourobserver.com.

 

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