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Process to purchase downtown parking permits announced

Those who frequent the Downtown Square will have to either pay to park or be the owner of a parking permit by Oct. 7.

During a recessed meeting held on Thursday, the parking permit purchasing process was announced.

Matt Davis, the City’s director of parking, revealed a rollout plan that will include spreading the available times to purchase a permit over four days. The 240 permits will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We really mulled over the idea of how we wanted to do this,” Davis said. “We would rather think about the best way to do it before just implementing something out there. We’ve never had this before. … To ease the rush of everybody coming the same day, the same time, same website, we’re going to space these over four different days.”

Each of the four different monthly permits will be available on a different day, beginning with the 90 premium all-access permits on Sept. 30. All permits will be ready to purchase at 8 a.m on their designated day via the Tocite website and at City Hall. Once a permit type goes on sale, the permit will remain available for purchase online and in person until all of that type are sold.

The next permit to go on sale will be the 30 premium weekday permits on Oct. 2 for $80. On Oct. 4 the 90 select all-access permits will go on sale for $70 with the final 30 select weekday permits going on sale for $50 on Oct. 7.

Residents are encouraged to go ahead and register their free account by visiting www.tocite.net/cityofoxfordparkingdivision/Portal by entering a name, address and a valid email address. Registering ahead of the desired day someone wants to purchase a permit will help speed up the purchasing process. The website is the same as the one used to pay a parking ticket, so if anyone already has an account due to paying a citation they are set to purchase a permit and do not need to set up another account.

With the amended downtown parking ordinance the City approved during their Sept. 3 meeting, there will be 399 paid spots available around the Square and the first floor of the new parking garage. Davis once again emphasized not everyone who had a permit is guaranteed a parking spot.

“These permits do not reserve you a space. People need to understand that,” Davis said. “It gives you access to these lots and you don’t have to go pay the meter as long as the permit is valid.”

The premium lot permits are valid for all parking spaces except the on-street metered spaces. Select lots are parking areas behind City Hall, the old DHS building, East Jackson and the surface lot around the parking garage. Weekday permits are valid Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and all-access permits are valid Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight.

If a particular permit is sold out before someone can purchase one, they will be able to sign up to a waiting list. If someone chooses to not renew a permit, the next person on the waiting list will be notified.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill stated the parking garage is still on schedule to be completed by Sept. 24, but also said that if the garage is ready before the new parking ordinances and permits go into effect, all levels of the garage will be free up to Oct. 7.