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Issues Arise

Council Discusses County DMV Parking Again

The Jamestown City Council discussed options trying to alleviate parking problems at the county DMV location in the city, again.

On Monday, Tom Nelson, Ward 6 councilman and Public Works Committee chairman, discussed the letter Larry Barmore, Chautauqua County clerk, sent city officials with a plan to try to mitigate parking problems at the DMV, located at 512 W. Third St. Barmore asked city officials to place bags over seven parking meters along the West Third Street in front of the building and on three meters across the street. He said the additional parking spaces are needed to reduce the parking problems and accidents that occur in the lot on the west side of the building, where there are seven parking spots available.

In the letter, Barmore also told city officials he has been contacted by other building owners who have parking available for customers if county officials want to find a new DMV location. He said he moved the DMV to its current location in 2015 because he was told by Vince DeJoy, former development director, that city officials would look into possibly providing additional parking spots.

Nelson said Jeff Lehman, city public works director, and himself don’t recommend placing bags over the parking meters near the DMV because of several potential problems, which includes other businesses wanting the same free parking for their customers, and not be able to dictate who parks in the spaces, which would then be free, and how long they park there.

Barmore would like the bags on the meters for two months as a trial run.

Kris Brown, city traffic supervisor, said there are several free parking spots along Monroe Street and at a parking lot near the DMV. He said it seems the issue is that people don’t want to put money in the parking meters for parking at the DMV.

Anthony Dolce, council president, said city officials have investigated the situation and they are limited on what can be done to help county DMV officials.

“It’s not that we don’t want to help,” he said.

In October, Peter Larson, former city corporation counsel, gave a report on research he did into the legality of fulfilling Barmore’s request, which he also made earlier this year at a voting session meeting of the council. Barmore had proposed that city officials eliminate the parking meters and designating the spaces for the county DMV.

Larson said the council could vote to approve pulling the meters for free parking for a limited amount of time. However, he said there are some legal issues on whether the parking spaces could be designated just for the DMV because the building is not owned by a government entity. County officials lease the building from a private owner.

County officials moved the DMV to Third Street in 2015. The DMV was previously located along Pine Street at the South County Office Building, located at 110 E. Fourth Street.

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