Gloversville Common Council to consider installing security measures at lot

The Common Council will look into security upgrades on the south side of the transit station where permitted parking for tractor trailers will be allowed later this year after hearing from a concerned driver during Tuesday’s meeting. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

GLOVERSVILLE — With the passage of an ordinance allowing permitted parking for tractor trailers behind the transit station, the Common Council will look into security upgrades at the site after hearing from a concerned driver during Tuesday’s meeting.

The council approved the ordinance allowing the permitted parking of up to 10 tractor trailers in designated parking spaces on the south side of the transit yard located at 109 W. Fulton St. during the March 27 meeting to address concerns related to restrictions on parking large vehicles in the city.

Tractors, trailers, house coaches and buses are prohibited from parking on any public street by the city code unless actively loading or unloading. The council passed measures last July disallowing long term parking of large vehicles in the Frontage Road and Elm Street public parking lots after a number of issues with unusable vehicles and trash littering the lots arose.

Tractor trailer parking permits will be issued by the City Clerk’s office for six month periods at a cost of $500 each, an annual rate of $1,000. The revenue generated by the permit fee is to be earmarked for the DPW’s budget to cover the cost of laying down a protective strip of concrete for the trailer’s landing gear to rest on and general upkeep.

Permits running from Jan. 1 to June 30 will be available for purchase or renewal from Dec.1 to 20. Permits running from July 1 to Dec. 30 will be available for purchase or renewal from May 1 to 20. Permits will be issued on a first come first served basis with the $500 fee due at the time of issuance.

Given the annual fees, tractor trailer owner Ron Ellis Jr. requested that the council introduce security measures to ensure that vehicles and their drivers are safe while in the lot.

“I feel that for $1,000 per year per truck we should have some type of security and lighting there,” Ellis said. “For that much money we should have more than a parking space. I don’t think that it’s going to cost the city $10,000 a year to maintain that space even if lighting and security cameras are put in.”

According to Ellis, he and other truck owners have been subjected to a number of issues while parking their rigs in the lot, including finding kids jumping around on top of the trucks and trailers.

“There have been several times where I’ve come back in the middle of the night and I’m between the trucks unhooking and I turn around and there is someone standing in front of my truck,” Ellis said. “A few weeks ago one of the other drivers caught kids in the back of my trailer.”

Ellis said he also had a padlock cut off of his trailer once although it was empty at the time and had someone throw a pallet on top of his truck.

When Police Chief Marc Porter asked if he had reported any of these incidents to police, Ellis acknowledged that he had not, saying he didn’t have time to wait for an officer when he had to make a run and previous incidents he had reported had been brushed off.

“If we don’t know about it, then that answers your question,” Porter said. “I wasn’t aware of the issue regarding the tractor trailers until tonight, but I do recall recent activity in and around that vicinity in the last couple weeks.”

Porter instructed Ellis to report any further incidents to police, saying that if any complaints went unanswered to call his office.

When asked by the council about existing security measures at the transit yard, Department of Public Works Director Dale Trumbull said there is a rotating security camera on Fulton Street at the entrance to the yard covering the area, but poor lighting where the trailers park prevents nighttime visibility.

Porter noted that the camera is an older model, recommending the addition of a security camera dedicated to the permitted parking area and the installation or extension of lighting in the area.

“Lighting that area will only improve things. That’s a very dark stretch that has been a problem for years for people to go undetected through there because of the poor lighting. At one time there were all sorts of issues at the Regional Animal Shelter and they improved the lighting, they took security measures, and things were better,” Porter said.

“Sounds to me like it’s a benefit to the area,” Third Ward Councilwoman Betsy Batchelor said.

The council members expressed their interest in pursuing the suggested security measures with Porter agreeing to obtain quotes for purchasing a camera and Trumbull agreeing to look into lighting options.

No formal action relating to the security recommendations was taken Tuesday. Following the discussion the Common Council unanimously approved a modification to the tractor trailer ordinance removing reference to magnetic permit placards.

The council initially intended to use transferable magnetic placards for the tractor trailer permits. However, magnets will not stick to the aluminum trailers.

By Kerry Minor

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