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Officials discuss installation of parking meters in Downtown Pikeville

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - What is best for their local businesses? That is the question Pikeville City leaders are asking as they debate a major change to the parking system in downtown.

Some business owners like the current system while others are hoping for a change.

Downtown Pikeville could look a little different and it is not in the form of another construction project, but by changes to parking.

Administrator of City Operations Sean Cochran says, "We've been receiving complaints about parking downtown for some time. It is a difficult situation."

City officials say it is no secret there is simply not enough parking in the downtown area and that is why they are now discussing installing parking meters.

They say it is a good problem to have as it means there is plenty of traffic through town creating local commerce.

However, officials say the current two hour system, where parking is monitored and marked with chalk...is not working.

Cochran explains, "They move their car a little every two hours or erase the chalk from their tires."

Some business owners are leary of the idea like, Levi Coleman, who has been at his store on Grace Avenue for more than 20 years.

Coleman says, "We had parking meters before and I like it better without parking meter." He adds, "With meters I'd have to feed them all day long, and it would really be a hardship on our florist."

While other business owners want meters, saying it would create more turn over of spots for their customers.

Charles Pinson says, "You want the parking to circulate around and if it doesn't people will just park and leave it there all day. Then our customers won't be able to get in and out. If they can go other places and get in and out...they may not come here if all other things are the same."

Officials are looking at areas like Second Street, Carolina Avenue, and Grace Avenue.

Cochran says, "For our business owners these parking spaces are like gold."

City officials are currently gathering and reviewing information as well as input from business owners, before making a decisions.

Officials also say the city will not generate any revenue from the meters. They will simply pay for themselves and those who monitor them.

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