Clarks Summit Borough Council voted in favor of initiating an “adopt-a-meter” program on Oct. 2. The program is aimed at freeing up parking spaces for retail shoppers on State Street while also providing nearby parking for store employees.
The six-month pilot program, which goes into effect immediately, is expected to bring in about $2,500 over that time period, said Councilwoman Patty Lawler. The amount would double if the program is extended to a year, she said.
There will be 25 spaces that property owners may rent on State, Main, Davis and Depot streets. The cost is $35 per month for a single space; $25 per space for multiple spaces; and $22 per space for more than three spaces.
Borough Manager Virginia Kehoe said the borough has already sold six spaces and she anticipates at least 20 being sold, if not all.
The rented meters will remain in place but will be covered by a sign designating the spaces to the stores/property owners. A $35 fine will be imposed on anyone not authorized to park in the spaces; the fine will increase to $50 if it is not paid within 10 days.
Two votes were taken: one to amend the parking ordinance and another to adopt a resolution on the fees. Both votes were 6-0, with Councilman Herman Johnson abstaining.
At a work session on Sept. 24, Johnson suggested tabling the matter due in part to concerns on Depot Street. The program had initially called for 23 spaces, but council upped it to 25 after hearing about the concerns. Property owner Andy Summa, at the work session, told council he is losing tenants because of spillover parking from State Street. In order to accommodate Summa, council added two spaces for him on Depot Street.
In another matter, council Vice President Roy Davis said he was concerned about a food truck that has been doing business in the borough. He said he would like council to take some action to “discourage” such trucks.
“They don’t have to park in front of three or four of our restaurants,” Davis said.
Councilman David Jenkins disagreed. “It’s free enterprise,” he said, adding that the truck has a permit to operate in the borough.
Kehoe said there is no ordinance to deal with such a matter, but there is a committee working on one. It was also noted that the truck had not been around in recent days.
In other business, council adopted a resolution authorizing the Lackawanna County commissioners to submit an application, on behalf of the borough, to the Community Development Block Grant Program for funding totaling $89,078 for fiscal year 2013. The majority, $73,044, would go toward improvements on Depot Street; the remainder would cover administrative costs.