Town Council meets Wednesday night in closed session to discuss what, if any, further action to take after the court issued a permanent injunction against the town’s towing and cell phone ordinances.

As an olive branch after he won his lawsuit, the owner of George’s Towing put up new signs in the lots he monitors to make it absolutely clear that people who try to sneak in some free parking in the lot of a business they aren’t patronizing at the time do so at their own risk. Some people may pay dearly to learn that business owners are serious about providing free parking only to their customers. But word will spread, and the problem will resolve itself in short order.

The town has much more important problems to spend its time and money on than appealing this lawsuit. Liking fixing the Community Development Block Grant activities that are out of compliance.

A couple weeks ago, the town received a letter from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development informing that although HUD had worked closely with CDBG grantees over the past nine months “to obtain and document resolution” of issues identified in an audit conducted by the Inspector General, “a significant number of activities remain inadequately documented or incomplete.” If these points aren’t rectified by Sept. 30, HUD will “advise” the town to pay back the grant money.

During budget discussions in the spring, Gene Pease asked about the status of compliance issues that had plagued some agencies in the past. He was assured that progress had been made and he needn’t worry about them anymore. No word yet on how much this would cost the town or which agencies are noncompliant.

On a totally unrelated note, does anyone know when the town began using parking meters? The question came up as I was working on a story for the 100th anniversary issue of Carolina Alumni Review, UNC’s alumni magazine. Two people I contacted at the town’s Parking Services division didn’t know. Even the town’s ever-resourceful public information officer, Catherine Lazorko, couldn’t ferret out an answer. I’m hoping some longtime resident may recall even the decade when parking meters first appeared. To jog your memory, parallel parking replaced angle parking on Franklin Street in 1965. Were parking meters in use then? Let me know what you recall.
– Nancy Oates

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  1. PhSledge

     /  August 20, 2012

    Check with the CHPD, they have archives on their documented history from an exhibit down on them by CHM.They monitored the first meters and it was likelyin the late 50’s or early 60’s.

  2. Nancy Oates

     /  September 6, 2012

    Even Flora Parrish at the CHPD couldn’t find the answer. If anyone knows people who have lived in town since the 1960s, see what they can remember, and please pass along what you learn to me.

  3. PhSledge

     /  September 6, 2012

    You need to talk to Chris Blue…somewhere in their building are boxes that hold all of the exhibit that CHM did on the CHPD. FLora didn’t work on that
    project so she wouldn’t know about it. There are photos of the one “meter” cop that walked the “meter”
    beat. Also, archived is a great selection of letters that
    accompanied payments for those that let those first meters run out. All were from the 1960’s. Mr. (Captn?
    Lt?) Gunther also worked on the exhibit and could tell you more, too.