By: Jodelle Greiner, The Brookings Register

Council sets aside 10 stalls in 72-hour lot for permitted parking

BROOKINGS – Ten stalls in the 72-hour parking lot on Third Avenue will be set aside for permitted parking, the Brookings City Council decided.

A request from a downtown tenant sparked the topic at Tuesday’s council meeting.

It’s a pilot program, and the city will see how much interest there is and adjust according to need, said City Engineer Jackie Lanning, who was acting city manager due to the absence of City Manager Paul Briseno.

Right now, there is nowhere in the downtown area where a vehicle can be parked for more than 72 hours. The council designated 10 permitted stalls on the west side of the 72-hour lot, next to the alleyway. People will be allowed to lease a stall for six months for $100 or for a year at $180. Five signs will be set up between the stalls with arrows pointing right and left to notify people which stalls are reserved, Lanning said.

She said the city would work on setting up the program and application process in the next month and hoped to open it to applications Nov. 1. There will be an informational mailing to those in the downtown area, and applications would be available through the engineering department on the first floor of the City & County Government Center.

If demand for stalls is high, the city can set aside more stalls for the program, Lanning said.

Councilor Patty Bacon asked how the city will require proof of residency and how will the applications be reviewed.

There are a lot of questions since this is a pilot program and the city could require proof of address, Lanning said.

Some people might not have a driver’s license with their address, noted Brookings Police Chief Dave Erickson. The city could do like the Department of Motor Vehicles and have them present a utility bill with their address as proof. There are ways to check, he added.

Councilor Holly Tilton Byrne questioned whether the city wants to limit the leasing to residents. She said some people who work downtown or own a business there might want a permanent place to park.

Some people park on Main Avenue for extended periods of time, which takes those stalls away from shoppers, she said. Tilton Byrne sees the permitted parking as a way to get the long-term Main Avenue parkers into spots off the beaten path and free more parking for shoppers.

“If they don’t live downtown, why would they need to park longer than 72 hours?” asked Councilor Dan Hansen.

There is alley parking downtown for the business owners, pointed out Councilor Mary Kidwiler, acting as mayor in the absence of Mayor Keith Corbett.

Erickson said it would benefit those who both live and work downtown and don’t have to move their vehicles daily. Now, they have to move their vehicles every 72 hours, whether they need to go somewhere or not, he said.

“I think that’s where a lot of this came from is residents who don’t move their cars a lot and get citations,” Erickson said.

Councilor Nick Wendell said some business owners who have catering or delivery vehicles might want to keep their business vehicle in close proximity.

Kidwiler asked about enforcement. That will be done by the police department or by the city, Lanning said, adding that a local towing company will remove offenders if notified by law enforcement.

Councilor Ope Niemeyer asked how long the pilot program would last. City staff wants to try it at least a year, Lanning said.

She has no idea how much interest there might be, and the program will have to be adjusted as necessary.

Tilton Byrne asked how vehicles will be marked if they have a right to park in the designated stalls. Right now, rear view hangers are the most feasible option, Lanning said. The hanger can be moved from vehicle to vehicle as a driver needs, unlike a sticker in a window.

For more information, contact Lanning at the engineering department 692-6629 or e-mail jlanning@cityofbrookings.org.

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