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Downtown parking leasing moves forward
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A Platteville Common Council meeting without a discussion of downtown parking is like Independence Day without fireworks.

Fireworks briefly flared in a discussion of one of the ordinances passed by the Common Council.

The council discussed the Downtown Redevelopment Authority’s proposal for leasing parking for $30 per month, which was first brought up Aug. 14.

The original RDA proposal, authored by District 3 Ald. Barb Daus, was amended by the RDA board to 21 spaces at the lot at North Fourth Street and East Mineral Street, and 24 spaces on the east side of Rountree Avenue near Pine Street.

Daus’ original proposal is now being considered by the council, however. That proposal adds 11 spaces at the Oak Street and Main Street lot, 26 spaces in the Pine Street–Bonson Street lot, and seven spaces in the lot at North Fourth Street and East Furnace Street, for a total of 89 leased spaces.

The original proposal for six-month permits is being amended to 12-month permits at the suggestion of at-large Ald. Patrice Steiner, from June 1 to May 31.

The original resolution had the RDA receiving the lease revenues, with a requirement that 25 percent be deposited into a new fund for maintenance and repair of the leased lots. The resolution is being amended to put lease revenues into the city’s general fund, since the city is enforcing parking regulations and is paying for lot maintenance and repair.

Daus said the RDA was concerned about “if parking enforcement is reactive instead of proactive.” She said cars had been parked in areas that required permit parking without having permits this summer. “Part of the issue we talked about was dedicated time and dedicated people to parking enforcement,” she said.

Police Community Service Officers currently write parking tickets.

“I don’t think the CSOs have a number of hours for enforcement anymore,” said District 2 Ald. Eileen Nickels.

District 4 Ald. Ken Kilian wants the parking fund to also include parking lot “landscaping … there are some areas that are very blighted in appearance.”

During the RDA proposal, Common Council candidate Michael Mayo spoke to criticize the council’s handling of parking issues.

Mayo said parking was “taking up most of this council’s attention for over a year” because of the council’s “lack of foresight” and UW–Platteville’s having “miscalculated” over the parking impact of its new Rountree Commons dormitory.

Mayo called on the city to “take a parcel of property we have somewhere in town, designate that as a parking area, and have the university come in and cover all costs of parking … put the responsibility on the people and individuals who created the problem.”

Shortly thereafter, Common Council President Mike Dalecki said this summer “there’s never been a time I can’t park within 100 feet of where I want to go.”

That prompted Mayo to say, “When you start talking about things that are truly ridiculous, you have to stop,” and Dalecki to call a five-minute recess.

The council approved two parking ordinances Aug. 28. The first requires UW–Platteville permit parking on College Drive from Greenwood Avenue to Sunset Drive, University Plaza, and Greenwood Avenue from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 2 to 6 a.m.

Nickels voted against the ordinance, saying she opposes “using public resources for private parking.”

The council unanimously approved prohibiting parking on the west side of North Second Street from East Main Street to East Mineral Street, and designating the east side of North Second as a 15-minute loading zone weekdays between 8 and 10 a.m., with parking prohibited from 3 to 6 a.m.