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Carbon County reduces JT parking fee on weekends

Published January 24. 2014 05:00PM

Motorists using the Carbon County parking lot can expect to pay less to park than in 2013.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted to adopt an ordinance that lowers the parking fee on weekends to $5, down from $10, which was adopted in 2013.

Cars will still pay $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends during October; as well as the St. Patrick's Day parade weekend.

The new weekend fee will go into effect Feb. 1.

The commissioners have heard a lot of complaints about the move to increase the parking fee to $10 on weekends and decided in December, that it should be adjusted again.

The county will now follow the monthly figures to see if the decrease has a difference in the cars parking over this year.

Business owners said that the increase in parking costs caused thousands of visitors to find parking along the streets, which caused parking nightmares for locals. They also said that fewer visitors made repeat visits to Jim Thorpe because of the fee.

In other matters, the commissioners said that they have not yet discussed an option in the recently signed state transportation bill, which gives counties the option to assess a $5 fee on vehicle registrations.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, said that the board does not have all the facts on it yet.

He said that he would like to see how it will affect funding for projects.

Commissioner William O'Gurek said that the county is waiting to get the details of the bill from state Sen. John Yudichak.

He noted that if the state is going to assess the fee regardless of what the counties decide, then he feels that the county should opt for the option and get the money to use on infrastructure, rather than the state keeping the money. As of right now, the county is not sure if that is the case though.

"If the state is going to charge this one way or the other, then I think you're going to see this board apply for it because we would rather see the money spent here than spent elsewhere," O'Gurek said.

Nothstein and Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard agreed with O'Gurek's thoughts.

"I agree 100 percent," Gerhard said. "If it is going to be used for infrastructure and it can help us then I am behind it 100 percent, but if they're going to charge the $5 and we don't get anything for it, then I would be opposed to that."

Gerhard also gave an update on the Old Mauch Chunk Train Station renovation project.

He said that the floor has been stained and clear-coated, but still needs to be buffed and reclear-coated.

"I think the floor looks fantastic," he said. "It's a much needed improvement."

The renovation project began early this month and is expected to wrap up in time for the borough's Winter Fest on Feb. 5.

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