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Long IslandTowns

Patchogue delays parking meter launch

Main Street in Patchogue. (July 1, 2011)

Main Street in Patchogue. (July 1, 2011) Photo Credit: Carl Corry

Patchogue Village has postponed the launch of metered parking in the downtown business district for an unspecified period.

Deputy Mayor Jack Krieger made the announcement at Monday night's village meeting, after which board members passed a resolution, 4-0, to lease 11 more meters, for a total of 33. The 11 meters would be leased for $117,000, bringing the total cost of meters $350,000.

Metered parking had been set to launch on Sept. 3, but Krieger said plans are still being hashed out. "We are exploring the program to find more parking and fine-tuning the plan," Krieger said Tuesday.

At the meeting, Krieger said one change being considered is charging downtown employees $5 per month for a vehicle sticker to ensure parking. Village officials have said many downtown employees park near their jobs all day for free, filling up most of the village's 2,000 downtown parking spaces by 9 a.m.

David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, said downtown employees such as bartenders and waitresses fear that paying for evening parking could eat away at their wages. Other employees expressed concern over possibly having to walk long distances to parking lots with tip money on their person.

Krieger, who unveiled the proposal in July to address a lack of adequate downtown parking, said metered parking would generate about $500,000 annually. The revenue would go toward lighting, security, cameras and landscaping.

The meters would be scattered throughout downtown, possibly costing 25 cents per half-hour, and $5 to park overnight.

Village officials said top-of-the-line meters with the latest technology would be used, allowing residents to use their cellphones or credit cards to pay for parking. A parking meter company has not been selected.Port Jefferson, Huntington, Babylon, Lindenhurst and Great Neck use similar meters, officials said.

Village officials also said many parking sections will be color-coded to differentiate between designated morning, evening, overnight, free and employee areas.

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