OXFORD — Oxford City Council recently approved the annual resolution allowing the Police Division to waive meter parking fees from Dec. 18 through Dec. 31.
The idea behind the resolution, according to Police Chief John Jones, is to encourage uptown business.
“It is generally well received. We put a bag over the meters, indicating free holiday parking. The two-hour restriction does remain in effect,” he said.
“Last year when we did this, a business owner came and wasn’t in favor of this and had concerns. Some of those concerns are that business owners and employees park there all day. Our enforcement of the two-hour restriction hasn’t been necessarily effective in the past. We are going to make an effort this year.”
He added, he hopes business owners will pass that message onto their employees. The parking is free, he said, but is not intended for the employees.
“There are plenty of options for employees with parking garages and 10-hour meters. This is designed for visitors to come uptown and park to do some holiday shopping.”
“How do you check the two hours? Is that chalking tires?” Mayor Kate Rousmaniere asked.
Jones answered, “This year it would be manually. Chalking tires and using their hand-held devices to mark that a vehicle was in a spot at a certain time. We will probably do that once a day, so we may not check someone who is there for three hours, but we may catch them if they are there for four hours.
“We will do our best to encourage that turnover. We hope to get voluntary compliance. However, the following year, we hope to be much more effective with new equipment we are buying. Such as, a license plate reader that will be in next years budget. In that case, that enforcement will be much more effective then the manual checking.
“We hope to do a soft training on it this year. The following year we will really encourage people to move every two hours.”
Council approved the resolution.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH