Firefighters Enforcing Parking in Carbondale

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CARBONDALE -- The City of Carbondale is looking to make more money by tapping an old resource, parking meters.

And they're enforcing parking by using an unconventional method, firefighters can now write tickets.

All was quiet inside the Carbondale Fire Department on Tuesday, but if a fire call comes in and a parked car blocks the way for a fire truck the firefighters can write you a ticket.

Fire Chief Tom Brennan says the new authority will save firefighters a lot time and make money for the city.

It's just one part of the mayor's plan to bring parking enforcement back to life in Carbondale. In December, the city put in new meters, increased the hourly price, and made parking tickets 10 dollars more.

"Regulating traffic and the enforcement of laws is just part of what a city needs to do. And with more people coming to downtown Carbondale, we needed to enforce those laws and meter our downtown parking district," said Mayor Justin Taylor.

Business owners in downtown Carbondale say they're doing all they can to make sure their customers know the parking meters are being enforced.

At McDonnell's Restaurant on Main Street, there's a sign saying where people can park for free. Other businesses hung up signs with parking meter hours.

"I can see every city's wanting to make more revenue, but on the other hand if there isn't any revenue coming into the town via business, what do you really gain?" said Barb Hughes of Carbondale.

Many business owners say since there aren't many other parking options downtown, it's driving people away all together.

But, Mayor Taylor disagrees. He says the city's now averaging $1,000 a week in parking meter cash.