Parking in Skaneateles debated as rates triple

Parking is something most of us take for granted. For some who work in Skaneateles the thing that we take for granted has become an incredibly expensive venture. Parking in Skaneateles hadn’t changed for nearly 10 years, since the implementation of parking kiosks in the municipal lots. However, a recent change — which tripled the overall price — caused some employees who work downtown serious concern.When the price for one day of parking in one of the municipal lots in Skaneateles moved from $2.00 to $6.00 it caught some employees working in downtown Skaneateles by surprise. Pamela Lynch, who works in downtown Skaneateles believes that the cost increase is unfair. “Personally, I think that’s way overpriced to park in a parking lot. Especially when I’m parking so I can go to work.”Parking passes are available, according to Village Administrator Patty Couch. They cost $50 per month, and after 10 days of parking — the user breaks even. Couch also explained that there were a number of factors that were taken into consideration when looking at parking increases.”The rate hike was precipitated by the escalating costs of maintenance, such as the recent milling, paving and re-striping of the south end of the municipal lot, pay station replace, and administration, which have been borne for years entirely by the Village taxpayers,” explained Couch.One problem with those parking passes, according to Lynch is that the parking passes don’t come with any guarantee. There are no reserved spaces, which means that if users purchased a month-long parking pass — and for some reason were not able to find a parking place — then that purchase would have been for nothing.According to Couch though “The parking rates were considered by the Village’s Planning Board, as well as the ad hoc Downtown Group consisting of Trustee Sue Dove (former Executive Director of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce), Tara Lynn (current Executive Director of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce), Jackie Keady (downtown resident), Romy Callahan (local Real Estate saleswoman), Chris Grillo from The Bakery, Nickie Marquis of the Skaneateles Library, and a member of the Village Board.”Another solution, says Couch is the option for free parking in downtown Skaneateles. She said that those working downtown can park for free in a number of different lots such as the rear of the Village Hall, behind the Post Office, in the Town’s lot on Fennell Street just beyond Town Square, Austin Park, and the school during the summer.Lynch believes that this is a matter that will most-severely impact those making minimum wage, or a lower wage. Being a teller at a local bank in Skaneateles she believes that it’s unreasonable for the Village to do this without looking at how those who work there would be negatively impacted.The new rates were adopted in a resolution at the Village Board’s regularly scheduled meeting this month, which was held on May 11th.

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