Longer parking hours approved for downtown Flossmoor


  Motorists parking in downtown Flossmoor will have 
  more time to spend in local businesses after village 
  trustees voted recently to double the allowed parking 
  time.
(Photo by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 
Four-hour parking is coming to downtown Flossmoor.
 
Village board members have approved an increase in parking time for 52 spaces on Sterling Avenue and Central Drive. Currently, two hours of parking is allowed at those spaces.
 
Approving the new time limit was one of two parking-related actions approved by the board at Monday’s meeting. Trustees also voted to increase fees for commuters and merchants at the village’s two downtown parking lots.
 
The increased parking hours are for spaces on Sterling north of Flossmoor Road and for both sides of Central between Sterling and a north-south alleyway. On the east side of Sterling, the spaces extend to the north commuter lot. One the west side, the spaces extend to Central.
 
Police Chief Michael Pulec said owners of a several downtown businesses asked for the longer parking hours. 
 
“It was suggested that these spaces could be extended up to four-hour parking to better serve diners who wish to visit other shops in the area and to accommodate part-time employees,” Pulec told the board.
 
However, he added that the lengthening of parking hours provides “an opportunity for increased abuses” of the limited downtown parking by employees and commuters.
 
The ordinance regulating downtown parking was last amended in 2013, Pulec said.
 
Mayor Paul Braun said the new parking hours were worth trying.
 
“It’s their (the business community’s) request,” he said.
 
The board unanimously approved the new parking hours. Pulec said updated hours will go into effect as soon as new signs can be placed in the downtown area.
 
The Central Drive parking lot, located behind Flossmoor’s post office, will continue to have two-hour parking. 
 
Flossmoor maintains the commuter parking lots located north of the Metra station and south of Flossmoor Road. Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said parking rates for the two lots have not been adjusted since 2004.
 
The lots are split between areas that are totally controlled by the village and spaces that are governed in part by grant agreements. The village has separate budgets for the municipal-controlled areas and the grant sections. Revenue generated from commuter and merchant parking permits supports the costs of maintaining the lots.
 
Currently, Flossmoor charges $105 per quarter and $2 a day for commuters. Fees for merchant spaces in the north lot are set at $85 per quarter.
 
Under the current rates, the village is facing a deficit in the grant controlled portion of the parking lot funds. Wachtel asked the board to increase the fees to $120 per quarter and $3 a day for commuters, and $105 per quarter for merchant spaces. She said that would increase parking fund revenues by approximately $36,060 a year, which would be split between the municipal and grant-controlled sections of the parking lots.
 
Board members agreed with her proposal and unanimously approved the new parking rates.
 
“Where else can you park for $3 a day?” Braun asked.
 
In other business Monday, the board:
  • Named Kathleen Field Orr & Associates as the village’s law firm. Orr, whose firm deals solely with municipal law, was appointed on an interim basis last year during Edward McCormick’s illness. McCormick, the village attorney for 37 years, died Feb. 19. Orr is a Flossmoor resident. Her firm will be paid a monthly retainer of $10,000 for overseeing all legal matters in the village.
  • Approved a special use permit for renovations and an addition at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. The 2,100 square foot addition will be built along the east wall of the swimming pool area at H-F’s south building. The addition will be used for storage and classroom purposes.

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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.

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