Last week, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a change to the railroad parking permit process. From now on, anyone added to the wait list will pay a $35 fee (one time — not annually, as reported in the Westport News).
Of that fee, $15 is kept by the town. The other $20 goes to the company managing the online system.
Alert “06880” reader Bart Shuldman wondered why the vendor gets more than we do.
Foti Koskinas — the deputy police chief who also serves as director of railroad operations — was happy to explain.
The town’s portion will go toward capital repairs needed at Westport’s 2 stations. Each is projected at more than $1 million — for infrastructure, drainage and the like.
The $20 collected by the online provider goes to programming, maintaining and updating the database.
Koskinas stressed that the fee will be assessed only to newcomers joining the wait list. The 1650 folks already on it — now maintained on an Excel spreadsheet — will not be charged. They’ll be processed at no cost.
Koskinas says Westport will be the only town in the area where residents can access the list, see exactly where they stand, and add or remove names. Those on the wait list will also receive 2 or 3 email notifications each year, showing how far they’ve moved up.
Yes, “each year.” The current wait is close to half a decade.
But the process will be much smoother now, Koskinas says — and quicker. Now, when notices are sent out that a permit is ready, the response rate is low.
That will end soon. It’s your — or someone’s — $35 at work.