Parking restrictions are set to be enforced at Fountain Square

| 22 Feb 2012 | 07:58

    But the owner of the Inn vows to sue if cars are ticketed in front of his pub By Tom Hoffman SUSSEX - If you’re planning to park in the Fountain Square section of Sussex Borough, be warned: beginning this week, you could be ticketed if you park for more than two hours or between 3 and 5 a.m. Last Summer, the Sussex Borough Council began making plans to enforce the same parking restrictions that are applied on Main Street to Fountain Square. The square is physically an extension of Main Street but considered a separate thoroughfare. Those plans were temporarily put on hold when Donald Elston, who owns the Fountain Square Inn, objected to the parking restrictions. He cited a deed from 1905 in which he claims the inn’s property extends a few feet beyond the curb line, thus exempting the inn’s patrons from the town’s parking regulations. Since then, the borough hired Franklin-based Gardell Land Surveying to survey the property around the Fountain Square Inn at a cost of $2,400. After conducting a title search and reviewing the results of the survey, borough attorney John Ursin reported at the Feb. 3 council meeting that the “municipality has a legitimate claim to enforce parking regulations there.” When contacted by phone at his Sparta law office, Ursin said “the Borough owns the parking spaces in front of the Fountain Square Inn.” Onward with parking enforcement At the Feb. 3 meeting, borough council unanimously agreed to have its parking enforcement officers issue warnings to motorists who park illegally at Fountain Square between Feb. 4 and 10. However, beginning on Feb. 11, tickets will be issued. Ursin said he sent a letter with the council’s decision to Elston’s attorney, Jennifer Kovach. Calls by The Advertiser News to Kovach at her Sparta office were not returned by press time. Elston said he will sue the borough over the issue. He contends that Sussex Borough Mayor Christian Parrott, who owns the rival Sussex Inn, is the force behind the imposition of parking restrictions in Fountain Square in an attempt “to damage my business and be the only bar in town.” Parrott has said at past council meetings that the borough is merely trying to provide uniform parking restrictions across the town’s business district. Main Street has two-hour parking from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and parking is prohibited between 3 and 5 a.m. there. The same restrictions will apply to Fountain Square. Parrott didn’t vote on either the Fountain Square parking ordinance or on the council’s recent decision to issue warnings since each vote was carried by a majority of council and the mayor’s vote wasn’t needed