Bexley News

Parking meters

Masser: Proposal will be up for vote in May

Councilman wants public input, survey on how concept might affect area businesses

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Mark Masser, chairman of Bexley City Council's Service Committee, said he plans to have a proposal for installing parking meters in key locations throughout the city ready for council to vote on in May.

"I'm trying to get closure on an issue that's been out there for quite a while," Masser said at council's March 11 meeting. "This is an issue that's been out there for over a year."

Installing parking meters on major Bexley thoroughfares is one of the recommendations of the Alternative Revenue Task Force, a group that formed in late 2011 to identify additional sources of revenue for the city. City officials have been reviewing the group's comprehensive set of recommendations since the group submitted its report in late 2012.

Mayor Ben Kessler reported at council's Feb. 11 meeting that there are 159 spaces on East Main Street where parking meters could replace current time-restricted parking.

In preparing a parking-meter proposal for his fellow council members to consider, Masser said he would like to incorporate public input, including a survey of East Main Street shopkeepers about how parking meters might impact business.

"I'm serious about getting this resolved by the first (council) meeting in May," Masser said.

In other business at the March 11 meeting, council also approved Ordinance 13-14, which allots $16,500 from the city's Swimming Pool Fund to build a permanent tent and additional bicycle racks at the David H. Madison Community Pool.

Councilwoman Lori Ann Feibel, chairwoman of council's Recreation and Parks Committee, said the tent has the potential to generate additional revenue for the city when residents pay to use it for birthday parties and other gatherings. She said the concrete pads that will be installed under the tent will be an improvement over the previous, temporary tent.

"This will really enhance the space," she said.

Recreation Director Michael Price said businesses will be able to purchase naming rights to the tent each summer.

"I believe there is an opportunity to have an additional $1,500 to $2,000 more a year and pay (the construction cost of the tent) back in eight years" through the naming rights and increased rentals, Price said.

Council also approved the hiring of Bill Dorman, who previously served as engineering manager for the city of New Albany, as Bexley's new service director at an annual salary of $84,294.

The service director oversees the operation and maintenance of the city's infrastructure, including streets, street lights, sanitation and sewers, trees in the public right-of-way, medians and parks. Dorman fills a vacancy that was created when the previous service director, Bill Harvey, was elected city auditor.

Dorman said one of his goals as the new service director is to increase communication with the public about upcoming infrastructure projects, letting people know where work will be occurring via the city's website, weekly email blasts and other methods.

"I'm excited to work with Bexley," he said. "I think it's a great community."

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