Committee Meetings

Sep 19, 2018

Parking Commissioners Minutes - September 19, 2018


TOWN OF LOITTLETON
PARKING COMMISSIONERS MEETING
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2018 4:30PM
COMMUNITY CENTER - DINING ROOM

DRAFT

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:      
ALEX BELENSZ, NORTH COUNTRY COUNCIL
ANDREW DORSETT, TOWN MANAGER
AUSTIN BAILEY, MEMBER

RON HEMENWAY
JIM MCMAHON III, VICE CHAIR

               

MEMBERS ABSENT:        
JIM ALDEN, CHAIR
MARY MENZIES
WAYNE MORELLO, ALTERNATE
CHAD STEARNS, MEMBER
TONY ILLACQUA, ALTERNATE
 

Meeting called to order by Vice Chair McMahon at 4:43PM. Meeting Minutes from September 5, 2018 were reviewed and approved by Austin Bailey and seconded by Ron Hemenway.

 

Town Manager Dorsett provided an update from the NH Attorney General regarding the Rails to Trails.  Additional information is required to proceed with the track removal. A funding application for Northern Boarders in cooperation with NH Bureau of Trails was submitted for the DOT-owned maintenance lot on South Street lot for development for development of scenic vistas, parking lot/access point for Rails to Trails and interconnections of Riverwalk and sidewalk. The DOT Transportation Alternative Program project for upgrades and extension of sidewalks along Cottage Street, Mt. Eustis Road, Bronson Street, and South Street will be an open forum and may include bump outs and on street parking.

 

Town Manger Dorsett reports that the River District and Littleton Area Chamber email lists are being used for notification of parking lot closures during the construction of the utilities within the River District from Schillings to Saranac Street.

 

Alex Belensz presented a schedule for the reporting for the parking study.  There is a short review time expected from NHDOT for the parking count data. The timeline for the Parking Study Report includes a local forum and business forum next month, followed by a public hearing and public drafts of the Report online for review.  Public and business owner focused forum would include an open house style format with small workgroups reviewing topics or and maps at different tables. Feedback would be taken at that time and tentatively scheduled for last week in October. Alex will review the Town and School schedules and provide a tentative date at the next meeting on October 5th.  More discussion on open forums would be nice and note-takers.  North Country Council may have staff available for that.  A March 2019 completion of the Report is realistic. The Committee agreed that it is best to wait until the Report is finalized before purchasing properties or warrant articles for 2019 deliberative session.

 

Alex Belensz asked the Committee to consider drafting the Vision Statement for the Report, an example “improve parking such that the public has less than walking distance of 1 minute, etc.”   V. Chair McMahon offered a more generic language to improve “parking level of service” within the downtown area and Ron Hemenway suggested safety to be included within the statement.  

 

Austin Bailey was asked about how Littleton’s parking meter rates compared. He responded meter rates could increase slightly on Main Street as he has noticed it is much busier over the past 5 years. Littleton’s meter rates are the lowest in the area. Meter usage is down during winter months January & February. Town Manager Dorsett added that meters are to encourage parking turnover and any additional revenue to the Parking Meter Fund offset costs for enforcement for sidewalks and parking maintenance. Austin Bailey added he sees a need more free parking, but suggested meters on Main Street towards Meadow Street.  Ron Hemenway suggested zoning for different areas with different meter rates.  Austin Bailey suggested prime areas for parking should be more per hour to encourage turnover.

 

Ron Hemenway asked about the gravel parking area and farmers market on Murro property, are there any plans to obtain the lot?  Town Manager Dorsett said there was an application for funding to obtain an easement on or purchase a portion of the lot for the parking area for activities such as farmers market, wellness park, covered ice rink/pavilion, trout pond, recreation center (but not desirable due to lack of funding), or public open green space on undevelopable portions of the lot within the flood plan. Rails to Trails project would be able to access the back portion of the lot.

 

Austin Bailey asked about Green Street parking improvements, which were originally part of the River District project. The parking area was cut from the project and Town crews were working on it as time allowed to improve the gravel area and create a defined paved parking area with striping. Drainage and sewer work is done by Town maintenance crews. Town Manger Dorsett reports the finish grading and gravel base materials were installed last week. Paving will happen two weeks from now. No parking signs will be added along the AHEAD property and the Committee suggested to continue the sidewalk extension along ahead building, possibly adding a painted white strip along the edge of the property to delineate the walkway along Saranac Street and the side of AHEAD property.

 

Town Manager Dorsett reports Mascoma bank parking lease, now reduced lease to $1 from $1,000. Improvements will make parking area more safe for employees for downtown businesses. Lighting and general lot cleanup are to be included. Ron Hemenway suggested the police department should be asked for suggestions for determining police presence at the public parking lots, especially at night. Some new businesses (restaurants, bars, opera house) have later hours than the historic downtown which closes earlier.   

 

Town Manager Dorsett asked how Basecamp software is working for the Committee. The Committee said it was working good and worked well for accessing documents and reviewing minutes. Alex will upload his notes and any revisions to the Parking Study Report Schedule.

 

No public input taken. Next meeting set for October 3, 2018 4:30pm at Community House Dining Room.

 

Motion to adjourn by RH, seconded MM. Meeting adjourned 5:35pm.