Council members approve overnight, on-street parking permits
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — After much discussion, officials approved overnight and on-street parking enforcement for the city.
Following a 5-4 vote, officials did approve the use of overnight permit parking, which some alders expressed concern over. According to Alder Cathy Dugan, she believes the area should adopt a similar model to Wisconsin Rapids, and other surrounding areas, where there is no charge for overnight parking at all, and residents would not have to call the police for permission.
However, in 2017 alone, the county handled approximately 9,855 requests for overnight parking, with an average of 27 calls per night. This is a practice deemed inefficient by law enforcement that takes up time, and unnecessary resources.
Between costing locals money, to not having enough room to park multiple vehicles as is, questions were raised on these issues, as well as how this would be enforced by local law enforcement in cases where some residents may not have internet access, or if a parking situation rises after police department hours.
However, when the dust settled, the alders were split, but in slight favor of allowing the permit process to go through. Most notably absent from the vote was Alder Tori Jennings, and Heidi Oberstadt, who were both excused from the night’s proceedings. This poses a question whether or not their vote may have swung the decision in the other direction.
The approved ordinance now roughly states that permit will cost $3 per night, with the option to purchase up to three consecutive nights at one time. Enforcement will run from 2:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. After submitting personal information, the permit process would register their license plate with the police department. Permits may be purchased ahead of time at the police station during business hours, or through any existing parking kiosk.
The website for said permit parking purchases is below.
In other parking related news, officials postponed a related motion for updates to locations of multi-space parking kiosks close to the UWSP campus. This was done in effort for detailed discussion on the matter, including more time to properly assess potential pricing and premier parking locations. This was voted nearly unanimously, 8-1, in favor to postpone the decision to a special council meeting next month.