ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Capital City Rescue Mission is located just a block away from Ash Grove Place in Albany. The same street where an employee of New Castle Paving LLC., which is a contractor for the city, altered no parking signs, resulting in several cars being ticketed and towed on October 20.
On Wednesday, New Castle Paving announced they would like to make amends for their employee’s actions by partnering with a local non-profit: Capital City Rescue Mission.
“We all make mistakes in life and I think it’s about when you make a mistake, you do the right thing, right? And this company is absolutely stepping up and doing the right thing,” says Capital City Rescue Mission Chief of Staff David Poach.
In their apology to the city, the company says it “did not direct or condone the actions of this employee to alter the emergency no parking signs.” The company also says it is “appalled and embarrassed” and that they believe the employee’s actions were a result of a “lapse in judgement”.
Capital City Rescue Mission says they welcome the help from the paving company. “We do up to 800 meals a day and it takes a lot of hands to prepare that.,” says Poach, “not just prepare it but serve it and hand it out then clean up. So we do 3 hot meals a day and 200 bagged lunches.”
New Castle Paving says it is offering to reimburse the city and those who were directly affected. The Albany Common Council’s public safety committee plans to discuss emergency no parking signage at a meeting on November 18.
According to Albany Parking’s website, Ash Grove Place was scheduled for no parking on October 19th, but the signs displayed on electrical poles were altered to say October 20.
Several cars were towed right as people were getting ready for work, says Dannielle Hille who recounted the incident to the Albany Common Council. “At 6:47 a.m. on the 20th, the contractor calmly walked around and changed all of those signs. There were probably two dozen cars parked legally,” Hille recounts, “they changed those signs to enforce an emergency no parking from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 20th. So approximately 15 minutes before these altered signs were to be enforced.”
A short time later, Albany Police arrive. They hand out tickets and eventually call for tows. Albany Common Council member Alfredo Balarin says the city is looking into ways so this does not happen again. One measure the council brought up at the November 1st meeting is the possibility of giving 72-hour notice of emergency no parking.
“People had an expectation of being able to park there and not have to worry about moving their cars in the morning. It was changed without any notice and that’s just wrong,” councilman Balarin says.