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Some locals are pushing an initiative to get Caldwell parking meters on next year's ballot

Council members want ideas from the public on how they can change the meters
Posted at 10:07 PM, Jul 02, 2024

CALDWELL, ID — Community members and officials gathered at Caldwell City Hall on Tuesday night to discuss possible changes or removal of the parking meters installed in downtown back in May.

  • The council is looking for ways to change the current plan for Caldwell's downtown parking meters.
  • Some locals are putting together an initiative to put the subject on next year's ballot for the people to vote on.
  • To see what the current parking meter rules are click here.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

For months parking meters in downtown Caldwell have held a heavy presence in conversation. I'm your neighborhood reporter Alexander Huddleston at Caldwell City Hall where locals are still disagreeing with the May 15 installation of downtown parking meters.

"I absolutely agree that changes to the meters need to be made, if not removed completely," exclaimed one council member.

Tensions were high Tuesday night as local business owners and residents filed into the council chambers to discuss one of the biggest issues on hand. Several business owners who have spoken in the past relayed their frustrations in the room, many saying that the machines are hard to use, limit the areas they are able to park, and rush their customers who used to stay and shop around the downtown area, but now have to hit their errand and go.

RELATED: Residents and business owners express frustrations over parking meters.

Eric Phillips explained, "Other businesses talked about losing up to $25,000 since May and 20-25% of their business. Now tonight, we heard that there are businesses that are mentioning 32% profit loss. That will be unsustainable for a lot of these businesses."

The mayor posted a video on Instagram highlighting some possible changes that could be made to the meters in the future such as 30 free minutes instead of 15, as well as free parking on Saturdays. However, a two-hour-long meeting showed much of the same response from locals as well as council members.

The council member continued, "The general consensus was that the problem with the meters was the lack of communication with our stakeholders, taxpayers, and citizens, and the lack of a solid long-term plan.

"This is a small town. A farming community," said Phillips.

Phillips has been organizing locals to put together an initiative to help bring the power back to the people and make the meters an item on next year's ballot.

"But, if you're going to make a huge change, that should be something the citizens get the opportunity to vote," finished Phillips.

Phillips says he has to get 20 or more signatures from qualified voters in city limits before turning in the initiative to Caldwell city clerk. If cleared, the 180-day clock begins to gather the required amount of signatures to get the measure on the ballot.