Middletown approves $360 yearly parking permits, though there is ‘little demand’

Middletown City Council unanimously approved the city issuing yearly parking permits for $360, though City Manager Jim Palenick sees little demand this year. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Middletown City Council unanimously approved the city issuing yearly parking permits for $360, though City Manager Jim Palenick sees little demand this year. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Council unanimously approves revising parking policy

Those who park in public lots owned and operated by the city of Middletown can purchase an annual special parking permit for $360, though City Manager Jim Palenick expects less than a handful to be issued this year.

The city’s Economic Development Department has received several requests for designated spaces as building owners are beginning to develop residential units, according to a staff report. The need for designated spaces is important to “attract tenants and create residential vibrancy.” the report said.

City Council unanimously approved revising the parking policy to allow for designated parking spaces by business establishments, offices, and residential buildings and to impose “reasonable fees,” according to the city.

Palenick said parking is about supply and demand and right now the city has “little demand.” He said creating demand “is a good thing.”

Council can review the parking fees every year and make adjustments if needed, according to Palenick.

The city manager said if someone is parked in a reserved spot, typically the renter of that space would call the Middletown Division of Police about enforcing the violation.

Mayor Nicole Condrey asked how the city is planning to enforce parking violations. Middletown Police Chief David Birk said the fine is $8.

“We need to look into that,” a smilingly Condrey said.

Council member Monica Nenni said the city needs to find the “sweet spot” regarding the cost of parking fines.

Council members said it may be easier and more effective to tow those vehicles parked illegally than to issue parking tickets.

Birk said the department receives significantly more “junk motor vehicle” complaints than parking. Those vehicles that are parked on the street, driveway or yard and are unable to be moved are stickered by police, and after 72 hours, they’re towed and impounded.

Issuing parking tickets is “not a top priority,” Birk said.

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