EDAC gives a presentation on New Parking Meters for Main Street

Greg Gallo, representing the Economic Development Advisory Committee, gave a presentation on getting new parking meters for Main Street at the Moorestown Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 8. Members of council voiced that they were in favor of or at least interested in getting new meters.

Gallo discussed how meters are good for businesses. Meters encourage turn over, so people don’t take up a parking spot for hours, allowing other potential customers to come in. Meters also allow the town to make revenue.

“Problem is, we have multiple meters consistently out of service. It makes it very difficult for people to comply to the regulations,” Gallo said.

Having non-working meters causes mix ups with ticketing, loss of customers and loss of revenue. Gallo also noted that Moorestown’s meter fees are sometimes 50 percent less than other towns in the area and in Pennsylvania.

Gallo was sure to mention that they are not making a sales pitch. Instead, EDAC is making a recommendation. And its recommendation is to keep a meter strategy, but update it.

“Make a change, it is time,” Gallo said.

Gallo stated that if Moorestown were to put in new meters, it would pretty much be self-funding. With the broken meters, as well as other factors, the town is not making as much money as it should. However, if they got them working and increased the pricing, the meters could potentially be self-funding.

There are multiple options available in regard to meters. Single space and multi-space meters are available as well as the allowance for coin payment along with debit and credit card payment. There is even the possibility of a phone app that allows you to pay wherever and extend your time.

This would be an improvement, not just because they work, but in other ways. Speed, use, maintenance and monitoring could all be easier if the meters were updated. Also, many of the meters are solar powered and wireless, making for quick and easy transmitting of data. This could help with compliance as well as an increase in revenue, especially if the price were increased to 50 cents rather than the current 25 cents, Gallo said.

Members of council voiced approval of the ideas and that it is something that they’ve been talking about for awhile.

“I think it is very important to keep the turnover for our businesses,” Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano said.

Councilman Greg Newcomer said he will follow up with Gallo offline and talk to the people who are involved or need to be involved to see what can be done. A follow-up discussion on meters will be held at the meeting at the end of the month or the first meeting in October.

In other news:

• Moorestown is setting aside part of the budget to reconfigure the municipal parking lot to increase the number of spaces. There should be about a 25 percent increase in the number of spots, going from 167 to 209 spots. The town also is planning to include solar panels and electronic vehicle charging stations.

• Moorestown has been chosen to host the statewide Arbor Day celebration next year on April 24 and will have a ceremony at Wesley Bishop Park.

• Mayor Chris Chiacchio gave a number of proclamations to those who helped sponsor the Parks & Recreation Summer Program. Sponsors included Home Depot, Live Civilly, Friends Enrichment Program, Moorestown Ministries and a group of eight churches, Moorestown Jewish Association, Moorestown Education Association and The Perfect Game.

• EDAC also suggests an improvement to the websites and tools available to the committee and employees as well as the residents for the permitting process with houses.

• The Moorestown Mall will be awarded one plenary retail consumption license for the sale of alcoholic beverages for a new restaurant.

• The awarding of $69,998 to Cherry Valley Tractor Sales for the purchase of a tractor has been delayed to discuss at the next meeting.

• The next township council meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.