PLATTEVILLE — A Platteville Common Council meeting without a discussion of parking is like a Green Bay Packers–Chicago Bears game without one team’s fans sniping at the other.
The disconnect between city government and downtown businesses over downtown parking (see story, page 1), spilled into the Sept. 11 council meeting, which started just as the Downtown Parking Alliance’s meeting was ending.
“We just want to be heard because parking is part of a good downtown business,” said Dave Spensley of the Bridal Boutique. Spensley asked the council to table proposed parking space rentals until the results of a parking survey scheduled to be included in the city’s October water bills could be determined.
Spensley pointed out that the Downtown Redevelopment Authority recommended renting 29 to 36 parking spots, but the council proposed extending that to 89 spots.
“You are not in need of leasing out 89 stalls yet,” he said. “If you feel you’re in need of leased parking, I wouldn’t start with 89 when it looks like you need 30. It’d be a disaster if you worked out at 89 and only leased out 30.”
Nevertheless, said District 4 Ald. Ken Kilian, “We should certainly go ahead with leasing of those lots. … To me, the demand is there.”
Discussion was all that took place, because parking was not on the list of action items in the meeting’s agenda. The proposal for renting parking stalls could come up at the council’s next meeting Tuesday.
Kilian favored changing the signage around Harrison Park and Sherman Park to allow permit parking or two-hour parking between Sept. 1 and May 14 and four-hour parking from May 15 to Aug. 31 — roughly the fall and spring semesters at UW–Platteville.
Common Council President Mike Dalecki found the latter unnecessary, saying, “During the summer there isn’t going to be any pressure for parking there.”
Kilian also proposed returning the signs on Bayley Avenue and Rountree Avenue between Mitchell Avenue and Pine Street that allowed permit parking or two-hour parking between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
“The issue is that residents along these streets should not be subjected to the parking problems caused by tenants and employees of Main Street and commuters seeking to find free parking,” wrote Kilian in a memo to the council. “The parking needs of downtown Platteville should not be shoved into the nearby residential neighborhoods.”
Kilian had no support on the council for his two proposals.
“I’m not voting for any more changes,” said at-large Ald. Steve Becker.