The Oyster Bay Town Board tabled a resolution to increase parking permit fees at commuter lots Tuesday following public criticism of the proposed hike and disagreement among board members at a board meeting.
The original proposal to increase the annual cost of a permit from $10 to $100 was widely panned as too big too fast but board members disagreed Tuesday night over whether to raise it gradually and by how much.
The proposed increase was not included in the 2018 budget passed in October and it was unclear why the proposal was being made now.
“In our budget we didn’t have an increase in there, to me this is just another tax,” said Councilman Anthony Macagnone, who called for a public hearing on the issue.
Deputy Highway Commissioner John Bishop said his original proposal was based on an analysis of what other Long Island municipalities were charging for their parking. Bishop said the parking lots need capital maintenance. The town did not pass a capital budget for 2018.
Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia proposed raising the fee to $50 and then additional increases the following two years to bring it up to $100.
Councilman Joseph Muscarella called for a one-time increase to $50 in 2018, but no additional increases for now. Some board members called for permit fees to be put in a dedicated fund that could only be used for the parking lots but Councilman Louis Imbroto said that was not necessary.
Several speakers said they were willing to pay more but were concerned that there was not enough parking and that public outreach about the proposed increase had not been sufficient.
Robert Freier, an executive recruiter from Woodbury said “I think people would be happy to pay more if they were assured they’d get a parking spot.”
Lisa Reinhardt, 47, an executive assistant from Hicksville said the vote should be delayed so more residents could find out about it. “I don’t understand why it’s imperative to do that today?” Reinhardt said.
Muscarella made a motion to table the resolution to a later date and it was unanimously agreed to.