City and county officials are trying to find a way to convince employees in the new county and state government complex to park in the employee parking terrace, not on the street.
Mayor Joe Jenkins met with the Utah County commissioners Wednesday to discuss possible solutions to the parking problem in the area. Since the government complex opened a month ago, cars have been parking in front of homes for long periods of time and residents are not happy."We are getting pressure from the neighbors to do something," Jenkins said. "A pattern is starting to develop" and action must be taken.
The mayor said the city has considered an ordinance to impose a one- or two-hour parking limit in the area, but "I personally would like to leave it open."
If parking were restricted, neighbors would also have to comply with the parking limit in front of their homes.
Officials said another solution would be to open up the top four levels of the six-level parking terrace to first-come, first-served parking. The second level would be reserved for top administrators and workers who are in and out of the building during the day. The first level would remain one-hour parking for the public.
State and county employees are currently assigned a parking place in the terrace, but the building has no elevator and many employees refuse to park in their assigned place when parking is available on other levels.
Assigned parking "isn't really working," said Jeril Wilson of the Utah County attorney's office. "We may have to go with limited parking to solve the problem on the street. It's inconvenient, but that is the price we pay as the city expands."
Raylene Ireland, chairwoman of the city's Parking Committee, said, "They (employees) are parking on the street because they are in and out, and it's more convenient to them. We consistently spot the same people, but we have no enforcement powers."
County Commissioner Malcolm Beck said the parking terrace has 40 percent occupancy or less with the current policy of assigned stalls. He said they have notified employees and discussed the parking situation in various meetings, but employees are still parking on the streets.
"What's frustrating is that they've got a slot, but they park in the public lot day after day, and there is nothing we can do about it," Commissioner Brent Morris said.
Morris said the only employees who use their stalls on the sixth floor of the terrace are four security guards. The remaining 26 employees assigned to park there are parking somewhere else.
Jenkins said that when employees see vacant stalls on the third and fourth floors, they don't want to go up to their assigned spot on the floors above, so they decide to forget the parking terrace and park on the street because it is more convenient.
County commissioners are scheduled to take action on the parking issue in a meeting next week.