After receiving letters from the borough detailing a new parking regulation that will have business owners, their employees and borough employees paying $132 per year for parking permits, businesses shared their reactions with Collingswood Patch.
Ridgway Grace, of Haddonfield, who owns the Collingswood bakery My Little Kupkake, located on Haddon Avenue, received her letter Wednesday afternoon.
"I have one parking spot for myself out back, but my employees don't have spots," she said.
According to Grace, My Little Kupkake employs two workers, who will both have to pay the $132 annual parking permit fee.
"I think (the $132) annual permit cost is really steep," said Grace. "All I know is that in Haddonfield, permits are $60 for a whole year. I'm not sure if that applies to residents or businesses, but $132 seems high regardless.
"The borough should've taken into consideration employees like mine," Grace said of her workers, who make hourly wages and do not receive steady tips. "The new yearly fee won't be so tough on business owners, but it'll be tough for their employees, who might want reimbursement."
Grace also said she felt the new fee was sprung on businesses without much warning. From Wednesday—the day Grace opened her letter—she and her employees will have 17 days to pay at least half of the permit fee. Enforcement begins on Saturday, Oct. 1.
"I think it would've been better to ask businesses to start paying this annual fee on the first of the year, so that everybody would have had enough time to prepare for it," she said.
The borough is also offering a permit that will be valid for the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012 for $165.
Tina Baer, assistant manager of All Fired Up, which is located on Powell Lane, said she and her coworkers also received their letter Wednesday.
"We were shocked when we saw it," said Baer of the letter. "It's been the topic of discussion in here today."
All Fired Up Manager Kim Raiguel said while the additional parking fees aren't necessarily being welcomed with open arms, they're understandable.
"It stinks, but if we worked in the city we'd have to pay it there," said Raiguel of annual permit parking fees. "We can't afford to buy (permits) for our employees, but some of them only work one day a week anyway, for as little as a three-hour shift, so it would actually make more sense for them to pay for parking with the kiosks."
My Little Kupkake owner Grace added one final concern about the annual fee.
"No one is going to want to pay this fee; no one's happy about it," said Grace. "I'm just worried (this new regulation) is going to create more problems—like people parking illegally to avoid paying for an annual permit."
To view Collingswood Patch's full story about the new parking permit regulation, click here.