Business owners concerned about downtown Palmerton parking
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Among those who voiced parking concerns along Delaware Avenue to Palmerton Borough Council on Thursday were, from left, Jan Kresge, owner, Jan's Barber Shop; Audra Doll, Jan's Barber Shop; Don Schaefer, and his wife, Tricia Schaefer, owner/spa director, True Spa.
As businesses in downtown Palmerton flourish, the number of available parking spaces continues to diminish.
That is the dilemma faced by several Delaware Avenue business owners, who expressed their concerns to borough council on Thursday.
Jan Kresge, owner of Jan's Barber Shop, 434 Delaware Ave., said her issue is a lack of available parking for her customers.
Kresge said the parking spaces in front of her business are being taken, specifically by a local business that has grown.
"It's sad to see the wives that bring their husbands in with their walkers to get them into the shop," Kresge said. "These are men in their 70s, 80s and 90s."
Kresge added "I know the problem isn't only my shop."
She then asked "Whatever happened to the two-hour parking in town. It's posted, but isn't enforced."
Kresge added that she believes "landlords should have to provide parking for their tenants. If parking dwindles away my customers, I'm not going to have my shop no more."
Don Schaefer, who along with his wife, Tricia Schaefer, owns True Spa Skin Care Center at 234 Delaware Ave., was more blunt in his approach.
"Do I stay in Palmerton, or do I pull my business and move on the outskirts of Palmerton," Don Schaefer said. "It's parking and tenants."
Schaefer added that the situation needs to be rectified quickly.
"In order for businesses to stay in town, there has to be parking," he said. "We're losing business because there's no parking."
Council President Terry Costenbader, who formerly owned a hardware store in town, said he understood their situation.
"That street's only so long and you can only put so many cars on that street," Costenbader said. "I'm aware of what's going on; I know it's full."
Costenbader said the situation will be monitored for two weeks. At that point, he said it will be given to a borough committee, and if the situation doesn't take care of itself, "we'll address the problem."
Kresge then noted that many of the parking spaces are taken up by customers of Dedicated Fitness, located at 450 Delaware, which she suggested should have room for parking behind its building.
Costenbader added "the laws on the books, the signs are on the posts."
Audra Doll, an employee of Jan's Barber Shop, said the business has had to address various parking complaints from its customers on a daily basis.
"A lot of these people have disabilities, and they come to our shop," Doll said. "We're looking out for them, as well as the business that we have."
In other business, council:
• Approved 2 p.m. Monday, April 8, as the bid opening for the borough's new fire station.
• Approved the PMRS contract renewal for the non-uniform pension plan.
• Announced that the borough's street sweeping program is scheduled to begin Monday, April 1.