City lot to be closed to long-term parking

GLOVERSVILLE — Vehicle owners who have been storing their recreational vehicles, trucks and trailers at the Frontage Road and Elm Street lots will have until July 7 to remove their vehicles.

In April, city officials began discussing if and how it should remove long term parking of large vehicles from the Frontage Road and Elm Street public parking lots.

Officials said the issue was that the lots — which are located next to City Hall and the Farmer’s Market Pavilion — have been filling up with old, sometimes unusable recreational vehicle, utility trailers with old mattresses or other trash or a dumping ground for junk cars that are sitting there for weeks or even months.

The city currently allows such vehicles to park in two of the city owned lot.

According to the city code, no vehicle which is more than 20 feet in length overall shall be parked in any public parking lot, except in that portion of the Frontage Road parking lot and the center westerly section of the west side of the Elm Street lot which are marked by lines on the pavement or by police signs permitting such parking.

According to city officials the intention of allowing the vehicles in the city lot may have been to provide temporary relief for someone who can’t stay in their home because of a short-term issue such as a house or garage fire.

Several residents of Kingsboro Towers told The Leader-Herald last month that private haulers had been parking open top trailers filled with garbage in the Frontage Road lot across the street from their building, leading to an unsightly and smelly issue.

Kingsboro Towers resident Joyce Estee thanked the council on Tuesday for moving to have the trucks removed from downtown.

Mayor Dayton King said with the city trying to rebuild its downtown, it can’t allow central city parking lots to be long term storage for campers and trash trucks.

“We are trying to rebuild our downtown and we’ve got garbage trucks parked next to city hall,” King said.

council members will continue to work on the ordinance however, seeking a location where private tractor trailer drivers can park their rigs in the city.

Fourth Ward Councilman Steven Smith said he had been contact by residents who are private truckers who need a place to park their vehicles during their down time.

“I think that the city probably owns enough vacant property away from the downtown,” Smith said.

Smith said his concern is if the city doesn’t offer a lot of park in, people may park their cabs on city streets. Smith said it was his understanding from people he spoke with that private individuals can’t use long term parking at some truck stops.

“I think it is not inappropriate if we have surplus land to let those people park there,” Smith said.

“We should try to find a place where we can accommodate them, not in downtown,” Third Ward Councilman Vincent DeSantis said. “It seems to me there is a lot of empty space out there we can utilize to accommodate these people.”

City Assessor Joni Dennie said there was a city owned plot of land off Harrison Street that could serve as an area for tractor trailer drivers who live in the city to park. Dennie some tractor trailers are parking their now.

“It would be virtually out of a residential area,” Dennie said.

Officials said they would consider creating a permit system for the lots that would include the persons contact number, what they are parking there and what, if anything, they are hauling. The city says they also want to make sure they have contact information for people during situations like winter storms when they need to plow the lot.

Officials said they are not yet certain if there would be a fee for using this lot.

Casale said the city will also continue to review the ordinance for potential additional modifications. Casale said he would like to see the ordinance, which relates to city parking lots, list all of the lots.

The change would not affect events such as Rail Fest that has in the past needed to park equipment for rides in the lot in the lead up to and clean up of the event. Additionally, the rules would not affect planned energy upgrades expected at City Hall that will be performed by SmartWatt Energy.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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