Paid parking goes into effect in the Spa City, this summer

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Parking in the Spa City from Labor Day to Memorial Day will now come with a charge. NEWS10 was at the Saratoga City Council meeting that decided when and where visitors will have to pay to park.

After many people spoke during the public comment period about the new pay to park plan at city parking garages and lots, the Saratoga City Council decided to go forward with their plan to charge out of towners to park during the summer.  “Tonight, this matter passes,” said Mayor John Safford.

The newest pay to park plans would include six locations throughout the city at a rate of two dollars an hour. Spa City residents and those who live in the Saratoga Springs Central School District will be allowed to park for free with a permit. Street parking would remain free for everyone. “I do think this is the right move to make. We need to be flexible we need to be able to make adjustments if we have to,” said Safford.

The mayor says he feels this is the best solution. And the timing is just right. “We have Belmont coming up which is a whole new experience for us,” said the mayor.

Public Safety Commissioner Tim Coll says there is a real safety concern that needs to be addressed and this new source of income will help with the increased cost of keeping things safe. “By having an attendant there, a physical attendant and that will deter crime and ordinance violations and hopefully keep bad actors away from the parking garage,” said Coll.

 Some business owners and locals approve of that plan. “The summers are already crazy up here, which is how we like it. But yeah, if you can eliminate anything like that it’s a move in the right direction, I would say,” said Putnam Place General Manager, Gary Fox.

But not all businesses are on board because they say it will turn their customers away.

“Driving business away from us down here in Saratoga Springs is not the way to do it. Because if you do that, you’re going to realize the loss on sales tax revenue.  If you implement the plan the way it is now you’re going to have a net loss not a gain,” said John Nemjo the Owner of Saratoga Outdoors.

Some said they wanted their commissioners to slow down and take another look before making the plan final. “We have to remember that people come downtown for us. For this business community, they’re not coming down here for any other reasons. So, you better make sure that what you’re doing is not going to be harmful to any one of those sectors,” said downtown business owner Heidi Owens West.

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