Resident Parking Fee Is $5

Published 4:14 pm Thursday, July 12, 2012

FARMVILLE – Residents for whom the Town of Farmville provides reserved on-street parking in front of their homes will begin paying $5 a year to help cover the cost of the service.

Or slightly more than a penny a day for the Resident Parking.

Town Council unanimously embraced the proposal made by Town Manager Gerald Spates during Wednesday night's July council meeting.

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Those already issued Resident Parking decals this year won't pay the $5 until the permit is renewed next March.

Resident Parking was established primarily in neighborhoods-generally at the request of residents-where Longwood University students began parking their vehicles rather than pay the university for on-campus parking-now $250 a year.

The Resident Parking is meant to assure residents in those areas who do not have their own off-street parking that they are able to park in front of their own homes.

The Resident Parking decals do not extend that privilege anywhere else in town, just where they live.

The small fee follows in the vein of the recently adopted $10 per month sanitation fee whereby the Town is hoping to recoup its expenses for the provision of this specific service without making the majority of town residents, who do not get reserved on street parking, pay.

“You don't furnish parking on the street for everybody,” Spates told council members, later adding, “at least you can recover part of your expenses.”

The possibility of some charge for Resident Parking was first discussed during deliberations for the 2012-13 budget, which was adopted last month but did not contain the $5 annual fee.

“Right now the decals are costing us $975 a year to print and furnish and I would suggest we charge five dollars per decal,” Spates told council Wednesday night, “as a processing fee. So if somebody came in, somebody who was renting property and needed four decals, they'd pay $20 for decals per year.”

Council member David Whitus asked how many decals were issued by the Town each year and Spates told him 370. “So that would take in $1,850. But that money we're spending doesn't include the (Resident Parking) signs” placed on sections of those streets where resident parking is reserved.

“It's just in certain areas,” the town manager explained, citing First Avenue, part of Second Avenue and Griffin Boulevard as examples.

The Town, Spates said, has to “pay to have the decals printed each year.”

The decals are a different color each year to clearly mark the current status of resident parking privileges.

“You can only park in front of your house,” Spates said in response to a question. “And that's why we limit the number of decals we give to a resident…So this is kind of to restrict it so that that person does have a place to park.”

Residents can use decals or hang-tags.

“Usually the Resident Parking was done at the request of the residents, not just us coming up and saying, 'Hey, we want to put in Resident Parking,'” the town manager pointed out.

The Town has not previously charged for Resident Parking.

“We gave it free,” Spates said.

“A lot of the areas do not have off street parking,” he explained, “and that's why we put the Resident Parking in. Plus, it was creating a problem for the people that lived in the areas around the university because the students would park in those areas and leave their vehicles there, rather than paying a permit for Longwood…So what happened was they would park in the residential areas and we started getting complaints because (residents) didn't have a place to park in front of their house.”

Longwood University charges $250 for resident parking on campus for its students.

“And we're charging five dollars,” Spates noted.

Vehicles in Resident Parking spaces that do not have the decals will be ticketed.

Spates stressed, too, that the Resident Parking applies only to the space in front of one's home.

“There's a misconception with (the decal). If you live on First Avenue you can't take it and go park on Buffalo Street because you've got a resident decal. It's only good for that area where you actually live,” Spates said.

The Town has the Resident Parking permits on file, recorded by number of where each permit allows the reserved parking.

“People will complain,” he told council members, “if somebody parks in front of their house.”

The residents with 2012-13 Resident Parking permits are “good until March,” he said. “So they won't have to pay for a new decal until after March.”

The decals are good for a year.

1.36 cents per day.

Town Appointments Made

Town Council reorganizes itself during the July meeting and appoints Town officials.

Council member Armstead D. Reid was reappointed vice-mayor and president of Town Council for a two-year term.

Spates was reappointed Town Manager.

Douglas Mooney was reappointed Chief of Police.

Carol Anne Seal was reappointed Town Treasurer.

Lisa Hricko was reappointed Town Clerk.

Donald Blessing was reappointed Town Attorney.

Ben Sears was reappointed Fire Chief.

Meeting Schedule

Town council will continue to meet on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m., with the exception of its August meeting, which will be August 1 this year.

Town Swimming Pool

The Town's swimming pool at the municipal golf course near the airport received praise during Wednesday's meeting.

“Pool membership continues to go up, so it's done very well,” Spates said.

“The pool seems to be gaining and gaining (in popularity),” council member Dr. Edward I. Gordon observed. “I don't know if it's membership or use…I'm hearing more and more people go out there and telling me how great it is, how crowded it is.”

And, council member Sally Thompson pointed out, “our staff seems to be very, very good this year.”

Spates praised two Town employees responsible for coordinating with the lifeguards.