The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Parking signs to remain

  • The police won't be enforcing the time limits, but the three-hour parking signs in downtown Leavenworth will remain in place, at least for six months.
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  • The police won't be enforcing the time limits, but the three-hour parking signs in downtown Leavenworth will remain in place, at least for six months.
    That was the decision Tuesday night of the Leavenworth City Commission.
    Commissioners were considering an ordinance to remove language about the timed parking in the downtown area and the parking enforcement officer from the city's Municipal Code of Ordinances.
    The City Commission decided earlier this year not to fund the parking enforcement officer position in 2014.
    Police Chief Pat Kitchens has said regular patrol officers from the Leavenworth Police Department won't be able to enforce time limits for downtown parking. But police will be able to respond complaints about things such as people taking up more than one parking space or illegally parking in a handicap space.
    He recommended the three-hour parking signs be removed to avoid confusion. He said someone likely will complain to police that the time limits aren't being observed. And police will have to inform the caller that they no longer enforce the time limits.
    Last week, Herschel Chapman suggested the signs be left in place even without the parking enforcement officer. He said some people still may feel obligated to observe the time limits.
    During a briefing Tuesday night, Wendy Scheidt, executive director of the Leavenworth Main Street Program, said downtown merchants wanted the signs to remain in place.
    "They want the signs left," she said. "They don't see a problem with that."
    When discussing the ordinance Tuesday, Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Preisinger said he had spoken with people about the issue.
    He recommended leaving the signs in place for at least six months. He said the police can provide an update at the end of that time.
    "Maybe the signs will have some impact," he said.
    Commissioner Lisa Weakley said she received the same calls and emails as Preisinger. She also supported leaving the signs in place and receiving an update in six months about the number of complaints received by the Police Department.
    "It wasn't broke, so why fix it?" Commissioner Davis Moulden asked.
    Commissioner Larry Dedeke said he also supported leaving the signs in place with a review in six months.
    "We'll see how it goes in the next six months," Kitchens said.
    Ron Booth, a downtown business owner, said commissioners had used common sense.
    "It's very positive for the community," he said.
    Commissioners still voted to approve the ordinance after City Clerk Karen Logan said it only addressed the removal of regulations for timed parking.
    But after approving the ordinance, commissioners discovered it also called for the removal of the signs.
    Commissioners then voted 4-0 to reconsider the matter and negate their approval of the ordinance. Mayor Laura Janas Gasbarre was absent.
    Page 2 of 2 - Preisinger said an amended ordinance can be brought back with "clean language."
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