Mineola biz owner asks for parking changes

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Parking is a common source of discussion in Mineola. (Photo by Tom McCarthy)

A local business owner came to last week’s board meeting in Mineola to ask for a change in the days and hours of metered parking in the village.

Frank Venezia, the owner of Venezia Garden Center on Jericho Turnpike, said that other business owners had told him “everything is so aggressive now with the meters and we lost Saturdays.”

Venezia said he had met with fellow business owners and discussed issues with parking in the village. He asked the board last Thursday for two things: to eliminate metered parking on Saturdays and consider making the cutoff earlier than 9 p.m.

Village Clerk Joseph Scalero said metered parking on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. has always existed in Mineola, but issues of understaffing in the village’s code enforcement departments resulted in the code being less enforced. These existing regulations, Scalero said, are in place at the request of businesses in the community.

“Public parking has to be available to everybody,” Scalero said.

“I think it would make a lot of our businesses happy if we could get Saturdays back,” Venezia said.

He said he would be willing to host a meeting with the board and local businesses to discuss parking.

Mayor Scott Strauss was not present for the meeting. In June, Strauss said the board was considering implementing metered parking on Sundays to circumvent people parking in the village all day long to take trains into the city.

“Because we have free parking on Sundays and it’s a quick ride to New York City on the train, people from all over come over and park here all day,” Strauss said.

This idea, however, has not come to fruition at any board meeting since. Trustee Dennis Walsh had said in the past that meters are not installed to build profits, but to keep parking in the village fair.

“I know what you do is not easy,” Venezia said to the board.

“There are a couple of things that are really difficult for us and they’re not exact sciences for us,” Trustee Paul Pereira said. “Parking is probably the top of that list.”

In terms of changing parking regulations, Pereira said, “I think the suggestions you’ve made are certainly worthy of looking into and discussing.”

Pereira urged the Mineola Chamber of Commerce to “put something together” and reach out to the mayor in the near future.

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