Overnight Parking Discussion Continues, Budget Also on Agenda
The commissioners continued a debate Tuesday about scrapping or revising overnight parking regulations. The municipal budget was also scheduled for a vote.
The Haddonfield Board of Commissioners continued a discussion about whether to scrap or revise overnight parking regulations at a business meeting Tuesday at the Municipal Hall.
Commissioner Tish Colombi, the mayor, last week cited a survey on Haddonfield Patch to make her case for continuing the prohibition of cars parked on the street after 2 a.m.
The commissioners and the police have studied the issues surrounding overnight-parking regulations for several months. Commissioner Ed Borden, the director of public safety, who oversees the police department, has led the discussion on the challenges of enforcing overnight-parking regulations.
Some challenges include an antiquated county phone system that requires officers to call in to write down requests for overnight parking. Residents get seven request per household per month. Police officials say it often takes the better part of an hour to accurately record the information after 2 a.m. when cars without a permit must be off the street.
The amount of requests per household have to be recorded by other department personnel. There are fewer officers working overnight than during the day. After recording night-parking requests, officers usually have a little over two hours to write tickets before 5 a.m., when street parking is allowed again.
Commissioners discussed how to implement a different overnight system that might use voice recognition technology to record the information and relay it to a police officer without taking him or her off the street. They also discussed requiring the request be filed via the Internet.
Any new system would likely come with new costs, which might be a challenge with a shrinking municipal budget and rising tax rates.
In other business, the commissioners will vote on a $15.23 million municipal budget that will increase the local tax rate by 7.47 percent.
The increase will boost the average amount paid for local services by taxpayers to $2,304 yearly. That's a $134 hike for the owner of a home assessed at $491,359, the borough average.
The tax hike is largely fueled by a nearly $500,000 increase in the reserve for uncollected taxes, a state requirement. The increase will still keep Haddonfield under a state-mandated 2-percent cap on increases on the amount raised by taxes, or the tax levy. The projected levy will be $10,576,000, up from $9,992,651.