SYKESVILLE -- The town Police Department will begin stricter enforcement July 1 of the two-hour parking limit on Main Street at the request of Sykesville Business Association members.
Town Manager James L. Schumacher told the Town Council Monday night that the SBA complained of people parking for long periods in spaces reserved for customers.
"The problem is employees who have been parking there," Schumacher said. "The SBA even admitted it was some of their own people."
Parking along Main Street is limited to two hours Monday through Saturday; on Sundays and holidays, it is unlimited. "Two-hour parking" signs are posted on both sides of the street.
To accommodate Main Street workers and residents, the town put in two parking lots several years ago. Both are behind Main Street, one off Sandosky Road and one off Oklahoma Road.
While some employees apparently prefer to park in front of their businesses, others are more conscious of keeping Main Street open for customers.
"I like to keep the space in front of my store open so the customer can come in and run back out," said Charles B. Mullins, owner of Ace Hardware. "The businesses are hurting themselves if they're [parking in front]."
Carol Hall, a receptionist for Greenberg Publishers, said owner Bruce Greenberg lets his employees know parking is available behind the building.
"Employees are parking out front, and that's not what it's for," she said. "It should be enforced."
Police Chief Wallace Mitchell said his officers watch for parking violations in the area.
"We try to keep an eye on it as long as it's not blatant," he said. "If it's crowded or things are going on, we try to put extra effort into it to keep parking open for patrons coming in."
The fine for parking violations is $10.
At the request of Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr., police will give warnings to violators until July 1. After that, it's the $10 ticket.
The Police Department also will be checking on a second parking complaint: commuters who park all day in the lot at Oklahoma Road.
"We're going to look at that and try to determine if commuter parking is going on and probably do some type of signage to let them know it's not a commuter lot," Mitchell said.
The parking lot at Sandosky Road has posted "No commuter parking" signs and there have been few problems, the police chief said.