Mark S. Kenna
Aug. 19, 2013. On Tuesday night, the Boone Town Council will hear the Downtown Boone Development Association’s (DBDA) recommendation regarding paid parking on King Street.
During July’s meeting, Boone Town Council tabled the discussion on how to approach paid parking on King Street.
At the beginning of June, Boone 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.
But, 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 Steve McLaurin of McLaurin Parking, which manages downtown parking services for the town, recommended pay stations over meters for a variety of reasons.
The move from meters to pay stations caused council members to raise concerns – mainly the cost of a 3 percent merchant fee — if the council decides on coin and credit card operated pay stations over meters.
On July 9, Greg Young, town manager, said that the town budgeted $151,000 for McLaurin Parking services for fiscal year 2013-14. He added that was in addition to $15,000 for ASU football game day services. This is roughly the amount the Town of Boone paid McLaurin last year, Young said.
In the July special meeting, McLaurin said that 24 pay stations throughout downtown Boone would cost in the range of $300,000. He added that the known lifespan of pay stations is eight to nine years, which is about as long as pay stations have been around and is considerably less than meters. Alluding to Boone’s tight budget, McLaurin also said that his company would be willing to purchase all of the pay stations and work out an arrangement for the town to pay McLaurin Parking back within three years if the town were to choose that route.
In previous budget meetings, staff and the Boone Town Council had initially settled on 88 dual-head meters, 25 single meters and a pay station at the North Depot parking lot, which was estimated to cost nearly $90,000 – all of which would be in addition to the current meters on Queen Street, Hamby Alley and the block of King Street in front of Capone’s Pizza.
Right now, the meters off King Street, in front of Capone’s Pizza and Hamby Alley are set to $1 an hour Monday through Saturday with the capability of returning and re-feeding the meter. Whereas the meters on Queen St., are set at $0.50 per hour, up to three hours, Monday through Saturday.
For this preview article, Virginia Falck, downtown coordinator for DBDA, preferred not to speak about the matter before the meeting.