Downtown businesses have until Nov. 13 to weigh in on whether Grass Valley police should enforce parking in that area on Saturdays.
“We want to ask the merchants if they want to us to do it,” said Police Chief John Foster.
“If it comes back that they don’t want parking (enforcement) on Saturday, we won’t do it.”
Ever since Grass Valley eliminated its dedicated parking enforcement officer following the 2008 economic downturn, parking has been enforced periodically by volunteers, Foster said.
“I’ve even done it myself, but (the volunteer approach) was proving too inconsistent,” Foster said.
In the last two months, Foster has tapped into the use of police service aides from the Administration of Justice Program, which give law enforcement students credit toward class.
Those aides — essentially interns — help the department do everything from office work to parking enforcement.
“It give us a relationship with Administration of Justice students,” Foster said.
“It results in a long-term relationship with a recruitment pool for potential officers.”
While those aids have enforced parking on weekdays downtown for approximately a month, Foster wants business owners’ approval before expanding to Saturdays.
“We aren’t looking to target customers,” Foster said.
“We are looking to keep parking spaces free so people can come down to shop.”
“It is to prevent downtown staff, and some merchants, from parking in those spots all day long, because parking is a premium,” said Julia Jordan, executive director of the Grass Valley Downtown Association.
“Bottom line is that if someone can’t find a parking spot, they may not shop downtown at all.”
Downtown businesses wanting to weigh in can do so on the Internet at http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e8hfla3ehnp2e9nw/start. Polling ends on Nov. 13, according to Jordan.
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To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.