The issue surrounding whether to re-install parking meters or go with new pay and display stations in downtown Picton was cause for some debate at the committee of the whole meeting Thursday.
The original meters were removed when construction began in the core. Now the County is looking at installing pay stations in downtown Picton and Market Lane now that construction in the core is complete. Council approved $225,000 in the 2017 budget for the purchase of pay stations. Essentially there would be 11 pay stations on Main Street, an additional eight on Walton, Elizabeth, Ross and King Streets and three in Market Lane. The new King Street parking lot will remain free parking at this time.
Councillor Kevin Gale said he was in favour of the original meters as they flow more with the heritage of the downtown and required less walking for those with limited mobility. However he said he was open to changing his mind on the matter.
Mayor Robert Quaiff said he enjoys the idea of pay and display options because he has seen that in areas like Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Councillor Steve Graham said he was in favour of pay and display as it allows customers to park in an area and then move to another section of the street without have to repay as they can use the same ticket. He added it gives customers the ability to pay for parking by credit card which he said is more convenient than change.
Stressing the fact that a decision must be made by the next council meeting for construction contract purposes, Commissioner of Engineering, Development and Public Works Robert McAuley said the pay and display option also provided patrons with the ability to top up using their smart phone devices.
In the staff report it suggests Picton street parking will have an hourly rate of $1 and Market Lane 50 cents an hour.
All municipally designated Accessible Parking spaces will be free, but will have a maximum two hour limit.
The committee deferred the matter until the next council meeting on May 23, awaiting further correspondence and a report from the Picton Business Improvement Area that is to show recent survey data on what businesses and consumers prefer.