New Hope Borough Council will postpone a decision on doubling parking meter rates scheduled for Oct. 18, instead delaying a vote until “November, December, January” or beyond, according to Borough Manager Cathryn Thomas.
“The borough can’t vote because it’s not ready,” she explained. “Bill [Scandone] is not 100% sure a proposal will be ready by Oct. 18, so it could likely be moved to a meeting in the future.” Thomas says the borough “can’t give a definitive date” on when that might be.
It remains unclear why Borough Council President Scandone announced Sept. 3 that the parking proposal may be voted upon on Oct. 18, but is now, weeks later, not prepared to do so.
Business owners, their employees, and residents of New Hope are still waiting for details to emerge on the parking meter plan. Announcement of the mammoth rate hike ignited a storm of controversy on social media, in part because it is being cast as a “consumer convenience,” rather than a municipal revenue enhancement.
New Hope’s leaders apparently could have timed their increase proposal better, too — many local businesses are reeling from a disappointing summer season, and few believe doubling their customers’ parking tab is helpful. Documents and interviews with those close to the situation suggest that the potential increase in parking meter rates has been discussed for at least a year and a half in the Revitalization Committee of New Hope Borough Council.
That committee’s leader, Joe Franlin, is a candidate for appointment to the empty borough council seat vacated by Cliff Montgomery, and will be voted on by council Oct. 18, they say.
For now, at least, Borough Hall says it won’t vote on doubling parking meter rates Oct. 18.
To me, it seems like a vicious circle. Parking meter revenue brings in funds for the borough. The police department is at least half of the borough budget. The police department enforces the parking meters. The borough taxpayers pay for police salaries, benefits, retirement, etc. – and that is a huge part of the budget!
Just a thought – is there a private company that can enforce the meters so we’re not paying the police department to do the job? The company would have its own benefits/retirement package, and we’re not relying on the police to do that work. It might cut down on police staffing too.
New Hope is not as much of a retail town as it once was. It’s become a gentrified community, with huge, expensive mansions and townhouses along the river and canal, and the Playhouse and Odette’s appealing to a different crowd. Very few unique or craft stores. A lot of restaurants and coffee shops. Rents are high for retail space.the Chamber of Commerce can’t control what businesses come in to town, but can they promote regular themed events like Peddler’s Village does, to encourage people to come and visit? Or aren’t they a visionary organization?
New Hope is still a fun destination, but it does need some fresh ideas.
Scott, I agree with everything you wrote, but
what is valley parking?
I use to live there and the things that I Rember is that there were so many different kind of shops to choose from ,each store sold different products and now it’s boring nothing to wow you into buying .There is more to choose from in Lahaska, The town has turned into a small foodies hot spot, which is nice , martines, Karlas , Marsha browns, Havana , The landing ,to name just a few .The land mark buildings the owners got greedy on main street and now we’re sterlings use to there’s a fucking dunkin donuts, what the fuck ! And a star bucks ? Next there will be a subway , Does anybody body get it yet , It’s better not to raise the rents and let a larger diverse group of stores take up residence to help build back the charm of what New Hope use to be ! It makes me sad and a bit sick . I live in new York and maybe in a few years I will move back , I Remember a conversation I was in and we were all at Karlas a bit drunk but full of ideas and the group that I was with strongly agreed that once pam mimford, John Myers, and there’s was another old time passed away New Hope would turn to shit . Those people that I met and spoke with were the movers and shakers of the town, And now there gone ,My strongest wish is that the new ones will have as much love and affection for the town as the others did !
Surely there are multiple options for NH to raise additional revenue. Why is this the only option available? You have a problem when the bulk of your revenue comes from issuing tickets. How does that sustain tourism? How many other options are there for raising additional funds? Even parking revenue could be addressed differently. If you really believe that the business employees are taking the good spots then have permits that let them park for free in other lots of locations. You could have valley parking with a fee as well, try to find a better solution. Not sure what is happening here but this issue is just the height of foolishness.