City police chief speaks on proposed paid parking system

The public parking lot located at the corner of Haskell Place and Orchard Street in the city of Cortland. (Photo via Google Maps).

Cortland police chief Paul Sandy at last week’s Police Commission meeting briefly discussed the city’s plan to implement an electronic parking system in the downtown area.

Sandy noted his department’s approach to the new system will be the same as how they currently hand out parking tickets. He added that the difference is on the “management end” of the system.

“The system will help track record-keeping, who’s paying their fines and the need to send out notices of delinquency,” Sandy said, noting it will also keep track of appeals court appearances.

The Common Council at Tuesday’s meeting unanimously approved authorization for city mayor Scott Steve to enter into an agreement with Passport Parking Enforcement/United Public Safety Inc., which will help Cortland transition to an electronic platform.

The potentially new parking system will involve handheld devices scanning registrations on windshields to notify when and how long a vehicle has been in a certain spot. Sandy mentioned that individuals can use an app to pay for additional hours in a parking space.

City deputy chief David Guerrera said Main Street parking and other spots in the area will continue to have a two-hour limit. A majority of the parking lots throughout the downtown area will still have a three-hour limit, he added.

Steve noted at last Tuesday’s city council meeting that the city is currently working on a proposal that would provide an outline of the potential parking system. The proposal, he added, will include details on the fee schedule, long-term parking, handicap parking and more.

Steve is planning to bring the proposal to the Common Council at a later date, and hopes to have a plan in place prior to Jan. 1.