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Parking meter changes approved in Apollo

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Friday, Sept. 24, 2010

Apollo council approved more changes for parking meters in the borough's shopping plaza aimed at making it more customer-friendly.

Council on Thursday approved increasing the time a quarter buys in a meter from 30 minutes to one hour.

It also approved bringing back a program that allows plaza businesses to lease parking spaces and provide them for free to customers.

The changes came following discussion between council members and some of the plaza's business owners, most notably Randy Sprankle, president of Sprankle's Market.

Since the plaza was renovated, customers have complained about the meters — that they accept only quarters and gave only a half-hour of time — and what was characterized as "aggressive" enforcement.

Sprankle was among business owners saying the meters and their enforcement were scaring customers away.

Council addressed the enforcement aspect by having the enforcement officer reduce the number of tickets being written. They also will carry change in order to break dollar bills and give out quarters if needed.

But plaza parkers should not expect the changes to be immediate.

Council could not say last night how long it will take to change the meters in order to increase the time.

The leasing of spaces by businesses won't start until the new year.

Businesses will be able to lease meters at an annual cost of $300.

There will be a 60-minute limit in the plaza, and a 30-minute limit for meters on streets.

Related to the meters, Borough Manager Lori Weig-Tamasy said the borough may be able to use a $25,000 state grant toward paying for the meters, which she said cost nearly that much.

The money is coming from the Department of Community and Economic Development's community revitalization program, she said. The borough will have to ask if the grant money can be used for that purpose.

In other business:

• Council filled its last vacancy by appointing Karen Kenevich.

Kenevich is owner of Maple Tree Cafe in Apollo. She was chosen from six applicants.

All of those considered had applied to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Councilwoman Wendi Cappo. Council in August named Donald Hollen to fill that seat.

Kenevich was appointed to fill the seat vacated by former council president John Ameno Jr., who resigned in August.

Hollen and Kenevich's appointments run through next year. The seats will be up for election for two-year terms in 2011.

Council is expected to name a new president at its meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 14.

• The borough will receive about $18,100 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse it for costs incurred during the February snowstorms, Weig-Tamasy said. It is 75 percent of the nearly $24,200 in costs the borough incurred over a 48-hour period due to the storm. It will go into the borough's general fund, she said.

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