Cary sets aside more downtown parking

CARY – Periwinkle Florist owner Sue Jensen’s employees sometimes have a hard time figuring out where to leave their vehicles downtown.

Employees need a place to park, as do customers, and most days parking spots are filled, Jensen said.

Parking is especially troublesome Fridays and Saturdays, which are busy with restaurant crowds.

“If people come in, get what they need and go out, it’s not too bad,” Jensen said. “The places that are more sit-down restaurants, [customers are] there for a little longer. But those types of places bring people in.”

The village, however, has plans for more parking for downtown businesses.

A lot north of BMO Harris Bank on High Road will be converted from a commuter lot to free public parking, effective Oct. 15. The lot has 26 spaces – a 21 percent increase in free public parking for downtown, according to village documents.

Currently, the lot is used by Metra commuters for a daily fee of $1.50.

Village staff believes the majority of commuters who currently use the spaces will switch to a different portion of the lot, according to a memo to the Village Board.

The lot brings about $9,500 a year to the village.

In April, the village hosted a downtown business roundtable where downtown representatives expressed concerns about parking.

To discourage commuters from using the lot, the free parking will have a six-hour time limit that will accommodate patrons of downtown businesses and part-time employees, according to village documents.

“At least they’re trying to tackle the problem and do something about it,” Jensen said.

In other action, the Village Board on Tuesday approved moving forward with a water and sewer rate study for $16,400.

Trilogy Consulting of Hartland, Wis., will perform the study.

The study will evaluate operating expenses, short- and long-term debt obligations, and expected future capital needs to ensure the overall financial health of the water and sewer enterprise funds, according to village documents.

A study of rates is recommended every five years. The last study was completed in August 2007, according to a village documents.

The study is scheduled to be completed by December.

New phone system

The village is looking to update its office phone system, according to village documents. The village is paying ClientFirst to be a consultant on determining necessary upgrades and selecting a vendor.

The village is slated to pay ClientFirst up to $8,725.

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