A simple request from the Creston Lions Club for the Town of Creston to allow the use of parking meters to collect donations for local projects is becoming more complicated by the day, town council learned at Tuesday’s regular meeting.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it on a large scale this year, but we could try a one meter pilot project,” said town manager Lou Varela. “One concern is that if we do this for one group, we are going to get requests from others.”
Varela cited a number of complications the proposal faces. She said she does not favour using meters on existing parking stalls because it could confuse visitors, making them think that paid parking exists at other stalls.
“And the meters are all opened with a master key, which is quite fragile,” she said. “We couldn’t just give out a key (so the community groups could pick up the donations). It would have to be done by staff.”
Varela said staff members are busy with higher priorities, like the Official Community Plan.
“I am in favour of the Lions Club proposal, but I don’t know why we (the town) would be collecting the money,” said Coun. Joe Snopek.
“I didn’t think we wanted to get involved in collections,” said Coun. Jim Elford. “I think we just hand them (community groups) a meter and let them take care of everything. May the meters can be re-keyed or re-locked. We could just give out one or two per group. The posts should all be the same colour and there should be consistency in the signage explaining their purpose.”
“I think we should just leave it for now — there is no point in a half-hearted effort,” Coun. Karen Unruh said.
Council moved to delay the Lions Club request until fall, and then heard another view from Regional District of Central Kootenay Area B director Tanya Wall, a former town councillor.
“We had this issue before us when I was on council and there are other options,” she said. “There is no need to use the existing meter heads — I did research on this and you can get ones designed for this purpose that are individually keyed. I will go into my files and bring you the information.”