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Boone Town Council Tables Parking Meters/Pay Stations Discussion Until August 20 At Request Of DBDA

By. Mark S. Kenna

July 17, 2013.  Downtown Boone Development Association (DBDA) Tuesday night asked Boone Town Council to give them more time to decide between parking meters or pay stations on King Street.

DBDA received a recommendation Monday from Steve McLaurin of McLaurin Parking, which manages parking services for the town in downtown Boone. During the Boone Town Council meeting McLaurin showed pictures of the pay station he recommends for King Street.

Steve McLaurin and Virginia Falck, photo by Mark S. Kenna

“We need more time, to make sure we’re looking at all possible questions and concerns involved with a new parking plan,” Virgina Falck, downtown coordinator for the town of Boone, said.

At the beginning of June, Public Works department put in experimental meters on the block of King Street in front of Capone’s Pizza.  Meters also exist on Queen Street and Hamby Alley.

A pay station alternative was brought up during a Boone Town Council special meeting in July to discuss the implementation of metered parking throughout Boone by Sept. 1.  During that meeting McLaurin recommended pay stations over meters for a variety of reasons.

However moving from meters to pay stations caused members of Town Council to raise concerns.  The pay stations would be coin and credit card operated, Mayor Pro-Tem Jamie Leigh asked if there would be a merchant fee and if so how much.  McLaurin added that the merchant fee would be around three percent.  There were also questions about the visibility of the signage on the pay station and parking spots during the wintertime.

“We can spare time to do this right,” Leigh said.

Pilar Fotta, cultural resources director with the Town of Boone, suggested having online aids to help tourists with parking if pay meters are implemented.

During the meeting last night, Falck cited the different pay rates for meters in other college towns as a reference point for determining Boone’s meter rate.  She also recommended that Town Council reduce the rates on the parking meters from $1.50 an hour to $1.00.