Naples to write parking tickets

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Parking your vehicle in a no parking zone on the Naples Causeway might have the excitement of a night at Oxford Casino.

Instead, the payoff will be a parking ticket.

The Town of Naples likely will be writing parking tickets to the owners of vehicles parked in the crosswalk spaces and other no parking zones that are clearly marked, according to Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak.

But, those parking tickets will be written rather randomly.

Paraschak was hesitant to give a date this might happen.

“The town may or may not be putting parking violations out,” Paraschak said.

He advised anyone receiving the dreaded parking ticket on their windshield to come into the Town Office.

Selectman Bob Caron II said the town can enforce the ’96 traffic ordinance adopted by the townspeople.

“Parking is an issue. People are parking in no parking areas, marked for a reason [such as] line of sight, emergency vehicles,” Caron said.

“It may come down to hiring a seasonal constable on the Causeway,” he said, adding that person will be writing parking tickets “that the town can enforce.”

More or less, the decision is a remedy to a couple of specific vehicles which repeatedly park illegally or “save” parking spots with an orange cone.

“Just two vehicles. Safety is the biggest issue,” Caron said during the Naples board of Selectmen meeting.

“I wish everyone would please adhere to that.”

Chairman Grattelo took the topic as an opportunity to talk about compliance of many or all of the town’s ordinances.

“One of the problems the town faces right now is compliance. It is compliance, whether it’s liquor violations, inspecting boats, parking,” Grattelo said.

“We have no compliance whatsoever other than the town manager taking it upon himself to do this,” he said.

“If you go to Portland, they have fire inspectors. The police department will come in, check the liquor license and ID a handful of people,” he said. “We don’t have any of that in this town.”

For now, the illegal parking problem is something the town plans to enforce with tickets.

How frenquently the tickets would be written and whose job it would be — those details were not decided.

During the parking discussion, Naples resident Phillip Morton said the biggest thing is that some business owners park in the prime spots.

Grattelo suggested satellite parking. He said it is the policy of many businesses to not allow employees to park close by, leaving those spots available for customers.

He said first the town could have to “come up with a satellite parking lot” so vehicle owners who work on the Causeway don’t take up a spot all day long.”

In related matter, the board discussed the sidewalk issues. Selectman Bob Caron II asked about the replacement plan for the boardwalk on the west end of the Causeway.

“The state is willing to modify the agreement, give us some money to put toward refinishing the sidewalks, we repay them the balance,” Paraschak said.

The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) “said they are willing to sign the contract tomorrow. They are pushing it,” Paraschak said.

“That is a big centerpiece of town,” Caron said, indicating he did not favor signing the agreement without seeing what other option are.

“We don’t want option one: a check,” Grattelo said.

“This is going to be resolved at the commissioner level,” Paraschak said.

Grattelo asked if Selectman Rich Cebra could use his transportation committee membership to take the matter to MDOT’s commissioner.

Cebra said he was fairly likely to get the commissioner’s ear again.

“We are out of warranty,” Cebra said.

Bob Caron II advocated strongly for getting a better product from the state than what was originally delivered by a subcontractor on the construction project.

“I know we are out of warranty,” he said. “This has been happening since day one. And we held their check since day one,” Caron said.

It was vital “to do it right — compared to putting fill in there,” he said. “I know it is going to come to the point that we do the work ourselves.”

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