January 12, 2016 - 10:30 AM
VERNON - There’s concern that free parking is coming at too high a cost in downtown Vernon.
Vernon city council has approved a number of free parking days for special events and initiatives, adding up to a total of approximately 15 days of free parking, Coun. Catherine Lord said at a meeting Monday, Jan. 11.
“Which on the face of it doesn’t seem like much, but it translates to about $53,000,” Lord said. “One of the things that worries me a little bit is we’re actually supporting businesses there, which is against the local government act.”
She says businesses that are not located in the downtown must pay for and provide parking for their customers.
“In this case, when we support free parking downtown, we’re paying for it, all the taxpayers are paying for it,” Lord said.
She said the city is getting more and more requests for free parking, and suggested a policy be created to ‘put a cap on it.’
Coun. Juliette Cunningham added free parking has other downsides, such as people taking advantage of the promotion and parking in the same spot all day.
“It stops the ability for cars to keep moving,” she said.
Coun. Brian Quiring agreed the situation is worth exploring, but said the Downtown Vernon Association should be brought into the discussion.
“I don’t want them to be out of the loop,” Quiring said.
The cost of free parking in Vernon
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