POINT PLEASANT — Parking in front of the Mason County Courthouse on Sixth Street requires a stopwatch.
Recently, Point Pleasant City Council discussed enforcing an ordinance which limits the amount of time cars can park in front of the courthouse. According to the ordinance, all spaces along Sixth Street are 30-minute parking only, except for the two spaces near the center of Sixth Street which are 15-minute parking only. Though the 30-minute ordinance was already in effect, council recently voted to amend it to include the two, 15-minute parking signs.
With the two, 15-minute signs and the 30 minute parking sign (with no arrow pointing to denote it applies to more than once space), it can get confusing for a driver as to how long they have to do their business and leave.
The controversy, as it was, began a couple of months ago when Councilman Sam Juniper noticed a car with the Mason County Sheriff’s Department was parked along Sixth Street in the limited parking area all day long, nearly everyday. Juniper said it was his understanding these spaces were for residents who needed easy access to the courthouse for a short period of time. Council agreed and asked a letter be sent to the Mason County Commission advising them of the ordinance and enforcement.
Juniper suggested employees park in the courthouse parking lot at Fifth and Viand Streets or the lot between Fifth and Sixth Streets near the flood wall.
The City of Point Pleasant then sent a letter to the Mason County Commission asking it to make all employees aware that parking tickets would be issued to those in violation of the ordinance. All employees have received the letter though not all are happy about it.
Looking at the issue from the other side of the fence (and there are always two sides), it can be difficult, even with the county parking spaces, for county employees to find a parking space particularly on a day when court is in session. Some courthouse employees live in the City of Point Pleasant and therefore pay taxes for the upkeep (and use) of roads and streets (such as Sixth Street) and all courthouse employees (whether city residents or not) have likely spent money in Point Pleasant for lunch and gasoline, contributing back into the local economy. Despite this, they are asked to park it someplace else.
The Sixth Street debate has been parked (pun intended) into the ordinance book though a new chapter in the downtown parking debate may be opening soon. A discussion on parking limits through downtown was to be placed on the agenda for February’s regular meeting of Point Pleasant City Council.
Editor's note:In Thursday’s edition of The Point Pleasant Register, it was inaccurately reported Point Pleasant City Council recently voted in an ordinance to restrict parking to 30 minutes along Sixth St. in front of the Mason County Courthouse. The city already has an existing ordinance limiting parking to 30 minutes along Sixth St. in front of the courthouse. Council recently discussed enforcing this 30-minute limited parking ordinance and then voted to amend the existing ordinance to include two, 15-minute parking spaces along Sixth St. With the discussion about the 30-minute parking enforcement overlapping with the vote to amend the ordinance, the Point Pleasant Register misunderstood the motion which was voted upon, inaccurately reporting council voted to approve 30-minute parking limits. The Point Pleasant Register apologizes for the error.