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Parking meters are coming to downtown Caldwell

Christmas lights hanging from trees, bushes and other things in downtown Caldwell
FunGi_ (Trading)
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Winter Wonderland in downtown Caldwell. On Tuesday, city council members narrowly approved installing parking meters early next year.

Visitors to parts of downtown Caldwell will have to pay to park beginning early next year.

The issue split council members, though not over the actual issue of installing parking meters, leading to two tie votes.

Councilwoman Diana Register tried to postpone the vote until mid-January. She said not enough businesses in Caldwell were notified of the proposed changes.

“Our community deserves to be heard and it is absolutely our job to shape our vote on what information our constituents give us,” said Register. “This is not a dictatorship and what happens in this city should not solely be based on the preferences of mayor and council.”

During Tuesday’s hearing, Christina Rock, the owner of SpectaGals, a downtown optical shop, said she was never consulted about the plan.

Parking meters, she said, aren’t a bad idea. However, the speed with which the proposal has progressed concerned her.

Rock asked councilmembers why they didn’t enforce a three-hour parking limit for the area.

“We have people that have parked there all day long and we’ve done nothing about it,” Rock said.

Supporters of the meters argue multiple meetings and workshops were held for businessowners and residents to give comment.

Mayor Jarom Wagoner had to break those two tie votes in favor of implementation.

“I think we’re going to have people in favor, people against regardless of how long it goes on and I think it is time to make a decision and to move forward,” Wagoner said.

Rates will range from 50 cents to a dollar per hour. Daily rates will also be available, as well as monthly passes in certain lots.

The new parking rules won’t be in effect until Jan. 15 at the earliest, according to Wagoner.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

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