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May 23, 1997     Cape Gazette
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May 23, 1997

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Vt'6" 10 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 23 - May 29, 1997 Resort Chamber begins "Smiley" parking meter change program Rehoboth officials seek businesses to sell permits The Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce is instituting a pro- gram this summer that it hopes will bring a smile to the faces of many a visitor. Parking meters will go into effect from 10 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week be- ginning Friday, May 23 and continuing through the second Sunday after Labor Day. In an effort to foster good will for visitors to the City of Rehoboth Beach, all mer- chants are welcome to join "The Smiley Crew," which will place a quarter or two in a parking meter when it is out of time or Rehoboth Continued from page 1 would be NO 40-foot buses enter- ing city limits. "We have a break- through on employee parking," he continued reiterating DTC's will- ingness to work in cooperation with the city. DTC will offer rear view mirror hangers, available beginning this week to all merchants in the Cape Region at the park and ride lot outside Rehoboth Beach, and to be distributed to their employees. Employees sporting the hanging tags will be entitled to use the park and ride lot at $2 per day - $3 less than it will cost the general public. It also will entitle that employee to ride buses on all routes the en- tire day. Lightfoot advised that the em- ployees may also acquire a receipt at the lot, giving the employer the opportunity to reimburse the em- ployee the $2 paid at the lot. City Manager Greg Ferrese also noted that the city's Parking Advi- sory Committee recommended to the Board of Commissioners that the city subsidize the cost of the park and ride lot at $2 for employ- ees working within the city limits. If the board approves the recom- mendation, Rehoboth merchants' employees could virtually park and ride free all summer rather than pay parking meters or pur- chase a residential parking permit. Ferrese explained that they would like to offer a nontransfer- able sticker for the employee's ve- hicle in order to keep track of the system and Lightfoot said he would work with the city. When Ferrese extended his ap- preciation for DTC's cooperation, the rest of the audience broke into a round of applause.. Lightfoot reminded officials from other resort municipalities that it is up to each individual town to work out its own plan. "We're willing to work with all of you on these efforts. We're going to make every effort at outreach with this late breaking news," Lightfoot said of efforts to inform merchants to persuade their em- ployees to use the park and ride lot. DTC plans to be able to issue between 10,000 and 15,000 of the tags. close to it. Merchants joining The Smil, opt to place a card on the wil vehicle it helped out, with an blazoned with Smiley the P chamber mascot, in a sailor ha a coin. The envelope will r Crew delivers the personal tou Inside will be a message: the Chamber of Commerce some extra meter time ... enough... If you would like to the Smiley Fund, stop by the \\; ter just across the street fron 501 Rehoboth Avenue. We'n here." Blank sheet style notes will able to the merchants. DTC officials also gave the group an update on its extensive marketing efforts to "Wave AwaY Traffic," as Rs porpoise mascot sporting sunglasses advises from the brochures, pamphlets, posters and advertising. They plan to mail packages of brochures to real estate offices and merchants free of charge and are urging those in- terested in displaying and distrib- uting the information to contact them at 302-577-3278. "We want to work with local businesses to develop joint mar- keting opportunities and create a customer friendly transit service, taking advantage of special events and joint venture opportunities," Lightfoot assured them. DTC Planner Bobble Geier told them that they plan to closely monitor this summer's service and keep local officials abreast of any information updates on ridership and operations. Another meeting of the group is tentatively planned for sometime during the week of June 23, so that they can attempt to iron out any wrinkles before the July Fourth Weekend. Lightfoot added that they would like to form a steering committee of five to seven people from this group to help devise a customer survey to be circulated during the summer. One resort businessperson in the audience, Karen Zakarian from the Rusty Rudder, asked if the transit system would operate into the fall, when they book large events and could use the trans- portation. Lightfoot said it is the first time.he's been confronted about shoulder season transporta- tion needs, and that while this year's budget requires that the system cease operation on Labor Day, it's something to consider for the future. Rehoboth Mayor Sam Cooper also pointed out that during the meeting with Canby, resort offi- cials were told that they would have input on the type of buses DTC purchases in the future, as there are concerns that the "big city" buses detract from the flavor of the resort area. Lightfoot replied that he would consult with his superiors on the best route to take in this matter. As they wrapped up the meet- ing, however, Bob Scala, a mem- ber of the Rehoboth Planning C( Gc W( fec be ter ye W 'rc pu m; m,' ci esl th ha re in' be Crew may hdshield of a nvelope em- orpoise, the and holding ad "Smiley :h." ;miley from bought you aope it was contribute to 'isitor's Cen- the 7-11 at glad you're lso be avail- It is hoped that these grateful motorists, who avoided getting a parking ticket, will stop by the chamber office and throw a few quarters, etc. in the pot to keep the "Smiley Crew" going. The chamber hopes to institute the "Smi- ley Crew" for Memorial Day Weekend. Another effort to facilitate parking in Re- hoboth Beach is the new change machine that is being installed by the city in the is- land at First Street and Rehoboth Avenue. Merchants sought for permit sales The city is still seeking merchants and re- al estate offices willing to sell weekly, weekend and daily residential parking per- mits as well. "We're not offto a very good start," City Manager Greg Ferrese said. As of May 21, Rehoboth Pharmacy, Star of the Sea and Main Street, along with real estate firms Lingo, Coldwell Banker, O'Conor, Piper and Flynn and Prudential Joy Gallo are the only merchants to sign up. Permits are also being sold at city hall and the parking meter department and at the three satellite locations - on Rehoboth Av- enue across from the Chamber of Com- merce office, at the island across from High's and on Bayard Avenue. The island location will only be open for Memorial Day Weekend until the end of June, when it will be open weekends during the summer. The permit system is in effect on all un- metered streets within city limits from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week through Labor Day. immission, told Lightfoot and ier that while "Canby got the ird on how this community ils and you responded and are ng very helpful, we're not con- ,t. We want to help draft next ur's plan and see the raw data. , want a dialogue set up on a sort friendly' bus design and rchase and we need you to tke the commitment Canby de on your behalf." finally, Scala advised, that "the amber of Commerce is not nec- ;arily the best representation for City of Rehoboth Beach. They re a lot of other interests to rep- ent. Make sure Main Street is olved, as they have the city's t interests at heart." He also told DTC officials the resort com- munity is unhappy with the adver- tising on the sides of the buses, es- pecially those extolling Dover slot machines, as the city prohibits gambling. "We want local adver- tising - it's a way to help each oth- er," Scala said, reinforcing the need for DTC to "stop patronizing US." Explaining he has been with DTC for only six months, Light- foot assured Scala "we want to be part of the fabric of the communi- ty - it's not easy, but it's not im- possible. This ongoing dialogue must continue so consensus is reached on the needs of the transit service. We need to accommo- date your requests or explain why we can't do it." Following the meeting, Dewey Beach Mayor Bob Frederick echoed the need to build a transit system for the shoulder season, especially September and Octo- ber, noting they had requested an extended season last year and got nowhere. Also following the meeting, Ferrese said that he would have to meet with the city's Parking Advisory Committee to learn if they still want to recom- mend that the city subsidize the park and ride lot charge and take it to the board. Meanwhile, Bunting has told them that he is also look- ing at the possibility of appropri- ating state funds to be used for the purpose. Spring is in the air and it's time to start thinking graduations, weddings, shipping college stuff home, vacation shipping, camp shipping, just to men- tion a few! 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