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Higher Croton Train Station Resident Parking Fee Mulled

Croton Village staff told Village Board members Monday, that board members should consider instituting a waiting list or raising resident permit fees.
Croton Village staff told Village Board members Monday, that board members should consider instituting a waiting list or raising resident permit fees. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Croton Village staff suggested several changes to handling parking at the village-owned Croton-Harmon train station lot, including raising residents' parking rates.

Deputy Village Manager Janine King said if Croton Village Trustees don’t consider raising residents' permits rates or instituting a wait-list for residents, "We're going to continue to get a lower revenue. The trend is for the revenue to go down."

Currently, a village resident parking permit at Croton-Harmon train station is $162 per quarter, or $648 annually. A non-resident permit costs $270 per quarter, or $1,080 annually -- 67 percent higher. Preferred permits guarantee a parking space. Preferred parking is $450 per quarter, or $1,800 annually.

This village expects revenues of $2.8 million in the 2012-13 budget from daily and permitted parking at the train station. This is nearly 47 percent of the village's approximately annual $6.1 million in annual non-tax revenue, and more than 16 percent of the village's total budget of about $17 million.

Many non-residents wait months to receive a permit. The lot is overbooked, and non-residents are placed on a waiting list. According to village officials, only between 10- 20 non-residents from the waiting list receive a parking permits per quarter. Residents are not subject to a wait-list.

"At least if we instituted a wait-list, it would be easier to manage capacity," said King about the possibility of developing a resident wait-list. Another suggestion developed by King would "grandfather in" current resident permit holders at the rate of $162 per quarter, but charge new resident permit holders a higher rate.

Trustee Casey Raskob said one of the reasons he moved to Croton was the residents' ability to obtain parking permits. He said "I just want [village residents] to be able to get a good spot." Raskob said he believed people were less concerned with the cost of the permit, than being able to obtain one.

"I don't know the huge difference in fee is that big of a difference," between resident and non-resident permits, King said.

Village staff also proposed outfitting parking enforcement vehicles with license-plate reading cameras. Staff said the measure would make parking enforcement faster, since agents could drive parking aisles, instead of walking them, to read paper hang tags. Paper hang tags would become obsolete since permits would be linked to license plates.

The license plate reading technology would not be connected to police databases.

The technology costs about $48,000 to set up and $21,000 per year to maintain. Currently, about $11,000 annually is spent in "direct costs" related to the paper permitting system, excluding staff time, according to King.

"There's just a lot of sophistication this can give us," sje said.

The proposal regarding license plate reading technology could come to a vote as soon as the next board of trustees meeting, due to a February deadline for ordering paper parking permits.

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