Downtown parking meter plan approved

  • Downtown parking meter plan approved
    Downtown parking meter plan approved

A $14,000 parking meter pilot program received an official nod of approval from members of the Dahlonega City Council during a special called meeting last week, a little more than a week after the meters were initially installed on Maple and West Main streets.
The newly approved ordinance allows for the installation and regulation of parking meters in the City of Dahlonega and was approved by the council with one abstaining vote from newly sworn in council member Johnny Ariemma.
"I didn't have enough information and I didn't understand the logic behind this," said Ariemma.
The ordinance marked the first official action taken on the matter since the council discussed possible parking solutions in its June 18th work session last year.
During that meeting, the council discussed a parking meter pilot program in which the city would install parking meters at specific locations to gauge their effectiveness.
City manager Bill Schmid told the council at the time that the use of parking meters would be located on Maple and West Main streets and that the results of the pilot program would be brought before the council in order to decide on the long-term plan for parking meters.
However, there was no official action taken at the time on the issue.
“This was a staff initiated pilot program,” Mayor Sam Norton said when asked by The Nugget why the parking meter program moved forward without an official vote by the council. “It was discussed at the work session, but it did not need a formal vote to precede at that time.”
The ordinance passed by the council during the special called meeting also laid out some of the ground rules that will be associated with the 13 metered spots.
“The council approved $1 per hour, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with discussion that they will monitor results and may or may not adjust,” said Schmid. “Those 13 spaces are free before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. daily and all day Sundays and holidays.”
The fines for time violations for the spaces will be the same fee schedule set for exceeding time limits in time-restricted spaces as stated in Section 32-29 of the Dahlonega code. There will be a $25 fine for the first offense, $30 for the second offense and up from there.
The pilot converts previous three-hour time limited spaces to non time-restricted.