Council discusses proposed parking reforms

Photo by Daily Press staff – A woman feeds a parking meter in one of the public parking lots in downtown St. Marys.
By: 
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Proposed reforms to the city’s downtown parking regulations were presented during a recent St. Marys City Council workshop.
Seth Higgins, a Brown University graduate student currently consulting with the city as part of his studies, presented the reforms which he drafted with the assistance of city staff and community input.
According to Higgins, both sets of reforms propose a way to better understand the local community by aiming to create a more vibrant downtown.
“The reforms are designed to ensure the community is advancing the goals of the Strategic Plan which was adopted by City Council in 2018,” as stated in a city-issued press release. “The Strategic Plan’s vision for St. Marys is ‘to be the preferred industrial city in the Pennsylvania Wilds region through celebrating heritage, tradition, and entrepreneurship’.”
Higgins, a St. Marys native and Air Force veteran, began working on his research in early January.
A consensus among workshop participants is the city’s public parking is currently subsidized.
“The current rates for public parking results in a budget shortfall, which then requires the City to pull from other parts of the budget to be able to maintain the public parking areas,” stated the press release.
Through Higgins research, he discovered the City loses over $30,000 each year to maintain the current parking system. In total, the city spends between $115,000-$120,000/year in parking not including the debt service from the Depot Street parking garage.

For more on this story, see today's print edition of The Daily Press.

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