Morrisville parking plan

The Morristown Select Board is considering a plan to add angled parking spots in front of the Noyes House Museum and at the intersection of A and Lower Main streets.

Manufacturing Solutions Inc. has broken ground on a new 62,000-square-foot building off Stafford Avenue, and the Morristown Select Board has changed its zoning and subdivision fee setup after it determined fees for the new project would be exorbitant.

The old scale charged a $100 fee for any commercial project, plus 20 cents per square foot for any new buildings.

The zoning fee for MSI would have totaled nearly $12,500, town administrator Dan Lindley said.

“It’s not intended to make money,” Lindley said about the town zoning fee. “It’s intended to offset the costs of the permit process” to the town.

Lindley told the board that he and Todd Thomas, town planning coordinator and zoning administrator, agreed that town staff would not put more than $5,000 worth of time and energy into the permitting for any one project.

“We’d be hard pressed to have more than $5,000 in administrative costs,” Lindley said.

The new setup caps the total fee for any one project at $5,000. The board unanimously approved the new fee structure, which takes effect May 1; the cap will apply to MSI’s new project, too.

Angled parking

Morristown has again changed its plans for angled parking. Now, it won’t be in either of the locations previously discussed.

On Monday night, the Morristown Select Board heard a new plan: Try angled spots at the intersection of A Street and Lower Main and in front of the Noyes House Museum.

Plans to try angled parking on either side of Lower Main Street, considered over the past two years, now appear to have been set aside.

The board has been pondering ways to add parking in a busy part of downtown Morrisville.

Last month, the board appeared to favor a tryout for 45-degree spots on the north side of Lower Main, from near the Union Bank to Thompson’s Flour Shop, but there was considerable opposition from local police and highway workers, and the net gain would be only two spaces beyond the parallel spots already there.

Now, the new plan has emerged. Working with Ruggiano Engineering, Community Development Coordinator Tricia Follert and Town Administrator Dan Lindley have drawn up plans for half a dozen angled spots on what is now part of the lawn at the town-owned Noyes House Museum and another half dozen or so on a nearby parcel owned by Peter Bourne that’s currently home to an abandoned red building.

The new option would likely be safer since, compared to Lower Main Street, far fewer cars travel A Street or the slip road in front of the Noyes House Museum. The plan could add 10 spots beyond the current two parallel spots in front of the museum. The three angled spots in front of the News & Citizen offices, across from the police station, would also be left in place.

Some fill would be needed on the Bourne property, Lindley said, and the town and Bourne need to reach an agreement for using the space, but he believes the new plan is the best option to remedy the shortage of parking in Morrisville’s downtown.

“This is a win-win for the town,” Follert agreed.

“I think it’s a great improvement,” said Morristown Police Chief Richard Keith. Keith was one of the main opponents to angled parking farther up Lower Main, saying it is unsafe and requires drivers to back out into traffic, which puts them at fault in the case of an accident.

“I think the safety would be reasonable; they do slow down coming through there,” Keith said.

“I like it,” said Eric Dodge, a select board member who was also opposed to angled spots on Lower Main.

The board plans to review the new plans for angled parking with the Morrisville Village Board of Trustees before moving forward. Lindley would like to try the new parking setup later this year.

Skatepark closing

The select board has decided to close the town-owned skatepark in Oxbow Riverfront Park.

The skatepark has fallen into disrepair and is a liability issue for the town government at this point, Follert told the board Monday.

The park was expected to close Tuesday, and the board wants to hold a hearing in late May to hear from residents who use the park or are interested in helping to rehab it or build a new one.

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