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Pleasantville's Parking Meter Holiday May Backfire, Officials Say

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. — A parking meter holiday in Pleasantville for most of December may be a nice gift for residents and shoppers, but it could cause problems for the village, officials said.

"There is an issue of lost revenue and also with parking management," Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer said. "Because when the meters aren't in service, it's harder to keep the people moving."

Late last month, the village Board of Trustees unanimously voted to suspend all short-term parking meters throughout the village from Dec. 1 through Dec. 25. Meters do not need to be filled with change, however, parking time limits will remain in effect.

Meter usage is suspended annually for Pleasantville in connection with its Chamber of Commerce to boost the business in local shops in the village.

The village will lose about $15,000 in revenue by suspending use of the meters for more than three weeks, Pleasantville Village Administrator Patti Dwyer said. But the benefit comes from the increase in sales, trustee board member Mindy Berard said.

"We cannot measure the increase in amount of money that this brings into our village during this time period," Berard said.

But residents abuse the time limits, which makes it difficult to find parking, trustee board member Brian Skarstad said.

"From what I see, it's more congested as soon as this starts," Skarstad said. "If anybody is under the assumption that this is going to free up parking for shoppers, that's wrong."

Despite approving the plan, the board agreed that the village may need to be more strict with its parking enforcement and possibly cut the suspension to two weeks for next year. For this year though, it's a gift to residents that may come at a hefty cost.

"It's obviously painful to give up any sort of revenue in this type of economic environment," Scherer said.

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