The hurdle has been raised for on-street paid parking in downtown Cooperstown.
At their monthly meeting Monday, Jan. 24, the Village Board repealed a section of a 2007 law that would have allowed paid parking to be expanded to Main and Pioneer streets by a simple vote of the trustees.
Using the 2007 law, the trustees installed pay-and-display machines in the Doubleday Field parking lot, but due to the level of controversy, never expanded it onto village streets.
Mayor Joe Booan has proposed the repeal, and it passed 5-2, with Democratic Trustees Jeff Katz and Lynne Mebust voting nay.
Republican Trustee Jim Potts, appointed that evening to fill the vacancy created by Chuck Hage’s resignation, voted aye despite criticism he had not been on the board long enough to make an informed decision.
“I was not in favor of it then (in 2007),” Potts said, “and I’m not in favor of it now. The public did speak, and then the board did the opposite. And that was very frustrating.”
On-street paid parking could again be approved if a future Village Board decided to do so, but it would require the extra step of a law change and a month’s delay for a public hearing.
During the comment period, citizen Glenn Hubbell pointed out that if on-street paid parking were approved, turnover would halt; visitors would simply park in the same spots all day.
Also that evening:
• The trustees, 4-2, with Potts and fellow Republican Matt Schuermann voting nay, approved an anti-idling law proposed by outgoing Trustee Neil Weiller, chairman of the Sustainability and Public Safety committees. The law allows a fine up to $250 if a driver allows a vehicle to idle more than three minutes when temperatures are above freezing.
(Richard Blabey, Planning Board member, decried the move as another incursion by the “nanny state.”)
• The trustees, also by a split vote, rejected a law that would have extended hours in the Doubleday lot from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the evening. Concerns were raised that the later hour was an added burden on downtown resident; also, that the later time would discourage attendance at Cooperstown Hawkeye games.
• Weiller had also proposed a number of adjustments in downtown parking, some of which were approved and some not.