BAY SHORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Are new parking meters in one suburban community a cash cow for the town and turn off to shoppers and restaurant goers?
Members of the greater Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan on Monday that what’s going on is unfair. A parking meter pilot program began in 2016, first on Main Street. Then meters expanded to the local Long Island Rail Road station and then the Bay Shore Marina, for vehicles headed to Fire Island. Finally, meters appeared in lots behind Bay Shore restaurants and shops.READ MORE: 80-Year-Old Man Struck By Stray Bullet In South Bronx
“It’s unjust. It’s unfair. At 6 p.m. every day and all day Saturday and all day Sunday my employees have to put money in the meters to go to work,” Chamber president Donna Periconi said.
The town of Islip has 18 hamlets. Bay Shore is the only one with parking meters. Officials promised other hamlets would follow, but that hasn’t happened.
The business community is fighting back by circulating petitions and suing Islip for failing to direct meter revenues directly into their community, instead earmarking it for the town’s general fund.
“We’d like to just have that money stay within Bay Shore, only used in Bay Shore and exclusively,” said Michael McElwee of the Bay Shore Restaurant Committee. “We’ve asked to sit down to work that out and have been told no.”READ MORE: Police: 71-Year-Old Woman's Hair Pulled, Head Punched At Herald Square Subway Station
Petitions target the town supervisor and two board members up for re-election who support the meter program. They declined to speak with CBS2 on camera, but in a statement said many lots are meter free. Meters are the solution to employees and ferry customers controlling parking spaces.
This makes it fair for shoppers and tourists.
“We’re staying on Fire Island. We’re just having some lunch here,” one person said.
The town said revenues collected from meters will be used in projects improving the quality of life for all.MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
The town said it is using meter money for infrastructure repairs, but the petition claims those improvements are really the result of state and federal grants.