January 18, 2022

City council discusses parking fix

Councilman Troy Beckwith proposed at Tuesday’s city Common Council meeting legalizing overnight parking, or odd/ even parking, at the lot across Franklin Street from Dexter Park to help ease parking problems on the city’s east side.

The parking lot is on the east side of Cortland. The city-owned lot does not allow overnight parking.

Beckwith (D-7th Ward) proposed reserving about 10 parking spaces, to be available on a first-come, first-served basis. He said it could help to resolve parking issues on the east side of the city.

“Extra parking has been a concern on the east side,” Beckwith said.

Beckwith said the lot is full during the day, but only a few cars have been seen in the lot overnight.

Mayor Brian Tobin added that he’d personally “like to see residential paid parking spots there.”

The council was split on the proposal for the lot. Most of the downtown lots provide odd/evening parking, but lots at local parks are not residentially permitted.

“I think we should stay consistent with our parking lots in this area,” Councilman Thomas Michaeles (R-8th ward) said.

“Consistency is key when it comes to our parking lots in the city,” Councilman Bruce Tytler (D-3rd ward) said.

The proposal will be up for a vote and open to public comment at the council’s July 21 meeting.

The council on Tuesday also agreed to eliminate the plumbing commission and replace it with one plumbing inspector. Mike TenKate, interim director of code enforcement, has been chosen as the plumbing inspector until further notice.

“We are looking into giving most of our (city) inspectors the proper plumbing training,” he said.

The commission was tasked to make sure local plumbers were qualified to do jobs in the city. However, TenKate said the lack of volunteers was a concern and found it difficult to fill spots. The commission was also scheduled to have quarterly meetings, but ended up not working out due to finding it hard to find volunteers to be on the board, TenKate added.

“There’s just not a lot of interest there,” he said.

Tobin also said at Tuesday’s meeting that the city’s census report filing currently stands at 53%. He said Cortland is doing better compared to most cities, but wanted residents to spread the word about the importance of everyone filling out the Census, including SUNY Cortland students.

“We’re putting forth information and talking of ways to get people to register,” Tobin said. “It helps us get an accurate count for the county.”

Filing a census report is required by law. The deadline to fill out a census has been extended to mid-August due to the COVID-19 pandemic.