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Saratoga tackles parking issues

"In this town, demand for parking exceeds supply," said York. "The free-market response is that you sell it. You put a price on it."

York said he wouldn't encourage parking meters, but instead a system of kiosks where attendants would issue timed permits for parking in all of the municipal lots.

Kim took this idea a step further by saying his department could issue all-day passes for city residents to park in two-hour lots so employees would not have to move their cars during the workday.

He said his department already has the technology to issue the permits " it would use the same hand-held devices that it uses to issue tickets. Kim also said the city would be better able to track parking trends in the city if cars were "tagged" with the permits.

Commissioner of Accounts John Franck was not convinced. Franck said he could not support municipal paid parking in any form from a revenue-generating perspective. The net revenue, he said, would not justify the administrative costs.

McCabe and Kim will revise the pilot, research costs and expected revenue, and have another proposal at the next City Council meeting.

McTygue also suggested the city attempt to purchase the Saratogian's property across the street from City Hall to generate 70 parking spaces. He said Kim could alleviate his department's space issues by putting jails in the building, arraigning prisoners there and sending them to the county jail.

Kim said there are very stringent regulations as to how large those facilities must be, and noted that attempts to talk with the Saratogian's parent company, the Journal Register Company, have been fruitless.

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