Parking Plan to be unveiled

It’s been three months since the Warren Parking Committee was given three months to come up with a comprehensive plan.

The committee tied up some loose ends Monday night and will present its plan to the public on Wednesday.

Mayor Maurice Cashman created the committee, made up of city staff and members of city council, in January to investigate possibilities and develop a comprehensive parking plan. The group has scheduled a public meeting for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Warren Public Library’s Slater Room.

“We are absolutely looking for public input,” City Manager Nancy Freenock said on Monday. “We encourage people to come. We are hoping that we are going to have a large turnout.”

Residents and commuters, in particular, are encouraged to attend.

As proposed, the plan focuses on having those who park downtown pay the costs associated with parking.

“What we’re trying to do is make people view parking charges as a user fee, rather than having the taxpayers subsidize parking,” Freenock said. “We’re trying to put the cost where it belongs.”

She said the plan includes a combination of meters, permits, and kiosks, and takes the burden off of the property owners.

“This is what we’re putting forth, something that would be implemented in phases,” she said.

Part of the meeting on Wednesday will be a presentation that breaks down the costs of parking that currently fall on residents.

The plan is not final and there is no guarantee it will be approved by city council.

While there are three council members – John Lewis, Gregory Fraser, and Dr. Howard Ferguson – on the committee, even they had not seen the entire plan as of Monday, according to Freenock. Committee members are working on various portions of the plan with City Intern Greg Wilson bringing the material together.

Council will hold a work session from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at the municipal building.

Freenock said the committee members are hopeful that a plan will be on the agenda for approval at the next city council meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, at the municipal building.