Council voted unanimously to remove the nine remaining parking meters from the downtown core in Bobcaygeon, and local councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan couldn’t be happier.
“The meters have not worked in years,” Seymour-Fagan said. “They confuse the tourists. They are unsightly. They need to go.”
Aaron Sloan, manager of by-law for the city, presented three different options to council: removing the meters by May of 2021 after engaging the Bobcaygeon Chamber of Commerce and other downtown stakeholders, removing the meters without public consultation, or repairing/replacing the meters.
Sloan told council that since 2015 ideas around parking in the city has completely changed, beginning with the removal of all parking meters in Lindsay. Sloan reminded council that Bobcaygeon is the last location left in the city with meters. Sloan also pointed out that the meters in Bobcaygeon are almost two decades old and their internal components are obsolete and becoming difficult to acquire. Repairs have already been priced at over $9,000, and considering that the meters generate less than $1,000 a year in income, the investment for the city in repairing the units seems unwise.
Seymour-Fagan told fellow councillors that downtown businesses in Bobcaygeon have grown tired of providing change to tourists and answering endless questions about the non-functioning meters and how people can make them work.
Sloan suggested to council the option that would see the removal of the parking meters after community consultation no later than May 2021. That option was selected and meters are expected to be removed before the Victoria day long weekend.