PLATTEVILLE — The Platteville Common Council put the brakes on renting downtown parking spaces Sept. 25.
The council unanimously voted to table a plan for 12-month leases for 92 spaces at $30 per month.
District 3 Ald. Barb Daus, chair of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, which created the first version of the proposal, questioned whether downtown interests had given sufficient input into the plan.
“The people most affected by this resolution have not necessarily seen it,” she said.
Daus said the RDA board proposed renting about 30 spots as “a trial concept at best,” not renting every 24-hour space downtown. She proposed tabling the plan until after the results of the parking survey distributed in the city’s October water bills could be tabulated.
Common Council President Mike Dalecki questioned the validity of the survey, which he called “an opinion poll, the results of which will be essentially meaningless … it’s not going to present us with a lot of valid information.”
Dalecki said in his trips downtown, “there was only one day and only one block during the entire summer” when he couldn’t find a parking spot on the block he intended. “There really isn’t a customer parking problem downtown.”
Common Council candidate Michael Mayo pointed out that Dalecki’s survey was during the summer and a survey by former Ald. John Miller took place over UW–Platteville’s spring break.
“By charging people for parking downtown, we’re doing nothing other than charging for parking, whether residents or not, employee or employer,” said Mayo, who called the proposal “taxation without representation. … Make sure people stay in this town and are not taxed out of it.”
“The RDA … was not addressing parking on Main Street for customers,” said Daus, adding the RDA’s plan was intended to address “long-term parking for business owners or residents downtown.”
“The obvious issue is whether we should be subsidizing with public funds parking,” said Dalecki. “This is ultimately privatizing benefits and socializing of cost.”
Main Street Program Executive Director Jack Luedtke said some people who live or work downtown prefer a rented parking spot to a $20 parking ticket, but “they’d like to see all the details fleshed out before they get on board with it.”
“Instead of tabling it, it would seem like amending it to do a trial of 35 spots or whatever would be better,” said at-large Ald. Steve Becker, who voted to table the plan.
At the beginning of the discussion, Daus proposed tabling the plan until the Nov. 20 council meeting. Daus’ actual motion at the end of the discussion did not include a date to bring back the proposal.
The deadline for answering the survey, either the paper copy or the survey at www.surveymonkey.com, is Oct. 31.