Friday, July 11, 2014

Depot Street business owners want to ‘adopt-a-meter’

October 01. 2013 5:12PM
KEVIN KEARNEY Abington Journal Correspondent

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Clarks Summit Borough Council may need to add more parking spots for its proposed six-month pilot program, known as “adopt-a-meter,” after multiple property owners expressed concerns at the work session on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

The aim of the program is to provide free parking spaces at State Street meters for customers of retail shops, while also providing parking for store employees. Councilwoman Patty Lawler said the initiative would also increase revenue, potentially bringing in $3,000 a year.

But Scranton lawyer Anthony Piazza, representing several property owners on nearby Depot Street, told council that his clients’ tenants are leaving because of spillover parking from State Street and there needs to be more spaces there for his clients to “adopt,” or rent. One of his clients’ tenants had plans to open a salon, but decided against it due to the parking situation, Piazza said.

“The problem is you have empty storefronts and tenants are moving out,” Piazza said.

One of Piazza’s clients, property owner Andy Summa, said, “I have vacancies now … and I’m getting the same rent that I was 10 years ago. We need help.”

Council had a draft ordinance prepared but now it will likely have to be changed due to the additional input, said borough manager Virginia Kehoe.

Council had originally planned on having 23 adopted spots, but that number may increase due to the issues on Depot Street. The cost to rent is $35 per month for a single space; $25 per space for multiple spaces; and $22 per space for more than three spaces.

Councilman Herman Johnson suggested the matter be tabled until council has the exact number of spaces that will be available for rent. “Let’s do it right,” Johnson said.

Council Chairwoman Gerrie Carey disagreed, saying, “We’ve put lots of work into it and people are expecting us to move on it.”

Council’s next public meeting is Oct. 2, during which time it is expected to vote on the matter.

In other business , Kehoe noted that Clarks Summit residents won’t receive their October sewer bills until later in the month due to the borough shifting the billing process to in-house.

Residents typically receive the bills near the first of each month and must pay them by the 20th. Residents will not have to pay a late fee next month for submitting their bills after the 20th because of the delayed mailing, Kehoe said.

As part of the new system starting in October, the mailed quarterly bills will include three tear-off stubs, giving residents the choice to pay monthly or per quarter.

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