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UPDATE: Business Owners React to Annual Parking Fees

Local business owners and employees share their feelings about the borough's decision to charge them $132 for annual parking permits.

After receiving letters from the borough detailing a new parking regulation that will have business owners, their employees and borough employees paying for parking permits, businesses shared their reactions with Collingswood Patch.

Ridgway Grace, of Haddonfield, who owns the Collingswood bakery , 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 , 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 .

Porterincollingswood September 14, 2011 at 09:07 PM
How about we allow residents to BUY parking stickers that enable them to park where they want whenever they want, and therefore avoid these silly and inconvenient parking kiosks? 100% opt-in, if you still want to pay as you go, then fine. As a resident I should not have to walk down in the rain and deal with a kiosk that works maybe 50% of the time (garage one is unreliable at best) or buy an hour of time while I pick up sushi at Woksabi. That's a common sense approach that allows the town to collect a parking fee from me (upfront I might add) while making it convenient. Thoughts? As for businesses paying the parking fee, I guess someone has to pay for the empty condos at the Lumberyard.
Ed Wilson September 23, 2011 at 01:21 PM
the mayor has to do something to bring in money to cover for his mis-management of the Lumber yard and the Moody down grade. Let's face it the Collingswood recovery is now going down hill and is now a mirgage.
Porterincollingswood October 06, 2011 at 04:18 PM
Worksin Haddonfield. Did you even read the first paragraph of my post before writing that? I'd be prepaying the parking fees with the sticker. That clear enough for ya?
Shirley October 06, 2011 at 07:18 PM
While running errands this morning I realized I needed to pick up something. My dilemma: find a parking space on the Ave, scamper to the kiosk and pay for an hour of parking time, scamper back to my car with the pay and display slip (I guess this is still in effect), then go to the store for my $1 item OR stop at a shop in another town on my way home. I chose the latter. I don't want to deal with the kiosks.
marlene gagliardi October 07, 2011 at 02:35 AM
HOPE ALL BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONALPEOPLE WILL BE AT THE MEETING ON WED OCT. 18TH 8:00AM COLLINGSWOOD COMMUNITY CENTER. THE PARKING PERMIT SITUATION HAS TO BE DISCUSSED. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PRESENTED TO THE BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY BEFORE BEING AGREED TO. THAT DID'T HAPPEN. JUST SO YOU KNOW ...THE RESIDENTS HAVE HAD PERMIT PARKING FOR YEARS AND HAVE NEVER BEEN CHARGED FOR A PERMIT TO PARK. THEY CAN PARK ON A STREET WHERE THEY LIVE. AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED THATS DICRIMINATING. WE PAY TAXES JUST LIKE THE RESIDENTS DO AND NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE TO PAY FOR OUR PARKING BUT WE ARE ASSIGNED A LOT TO PARK IN THATS 4 BLOCKS AWAY FROM OUR BUSINESS. HOW FAIR IS THAT?

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