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Not all support free night parking at Aspinwall municipal lot

| Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Parking in the municipal lot in Aspinwall would be free from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. under a proposal that may not get enough support to pass.

The plan was unveiled last week.

Parking in the metered lot currently is enforced 24 hours per day. The idea is to make enforcement hours the same as for metered street parking.

The change would cost the borough about $20,000 in revenue, borough Manager Melissa Lang said.

To make up that difference, some fines for common parking violations would be increased, Lang said.

“We have people who come in monthly and pay $40 in street sweeping tickets, because they never move their car” to make way for street sweepers, Lang said.

Councilman Jim Donahoe said he wouldn't support that plan.

“It seems to me you're transferring $20,000 from people outside of Aspinwall who come and park there to residents of Aspinwall,” Donahoe said.

While he doesn't necessarily support the idea to make the lot free at night, Councilman Joe Giuffre said the fines should be consistent.

“My opinion was that whatever we do, we should do equally,” Giuffre said.

Donahoe noted that the amount the borough is expected to lose from the change would be equal to .25 mills. He questioned the need for different parking rules.

“You have street parking, and you have municipal lot parking. I don't really see why there has to be a differentiation between the two,” Donahoe said.

Councilman Joe Warren, who served on the committee that came up with the new parking rules, said while the changes started as a way to make up for lost revenue, after studying the existing policy the need to make everything consistent was clear.

Warren's motion to follow the recommendation failed, after it didn't receive a second.

Officials plan to review the suggestions and discuss the information further before making a decision.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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