Truckee paid parking: Future may be in jeopardy after town questions current system | SierraSun.com

Truckee paid parking: Future may be in jeopardy after town questions current system

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Sun File PhotoCars park along Donner Pass Road regularly in front of parking meters. Paid parking has been a point of contention for many residents and business owners since its inception in 2005.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The future of paid parking in Truckee’s downtown district is in limbo after town council members delayed a vote last week to continue along the same route of having its redevelopment district pay off annual debts of around $120,000.

After watching the parking district lose money since its inception in 2005, the town last year decided to use the Truckee Redevelopment Agency to buy out the parking lot leases and other aspects of the district’s debt.

When town staff during the Thursday, May 6, town council meeting suggested the redevelopment agency continue footing the bill, council members questioned whether it’s the right thing to do, later deferring the decision in favor of a public workshop to discuss paid parking’s future.

and#8220;We let the parking district go into the red until we said enough already then let the redevelopment agency pay the debt,and#8221; said council member Joan Jones. and#8220;My intent and desire would be; don’t let the redevelopment agency continue picking up the red … We need to make this a priority and get it resolved.and#8221;

Director of Public Works and Engineering Dan Wilkins said alternatives to using redevelopment agency funds would be using the town’s general fund, eliminating parking lots from the town’s leases (such as the Beacon and Truckee Diner lots), raising parking meter rates or extending parking meter hours.

Truckee resident Jamie Brimer cautioned against the latter two alternatives.

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and#8220;I would recommend being real cautious about either raising rates or extending hours and#8212; paid parking is still a sore subject with residents and tourists,and#8221; Brimer said.

With the purpose of the redevelopment agency to revitalize the downtown core in mind, Jones said she sees the merit of its involvement in some aspects of the parking district, but considers most of it an operational cost that should be carried by the parking district.

Vice Mayor Richard Anderson said when forming the parking district, the council had projected the district to make money.

and#8220;I don’t think it was necessarily the intent of the town council for the district to be self sufficient, but it was the desire,and#8221; Anderson said.

Town Manager Tony Lashbrook suggested hosting a workshop and#8212; probably in the coming fall and#8212; with members of the public and stakeholders to fully consider the parking district.

and#8220;We’ve heard some really compelling reasons to take a step back,and#8221; Lashbrook said.

Council gave staff direction to table the item and come up with a plan for a public workshop.