Vernon council extends free downtown parking - InfoNews

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Vernon council extends free downtown parking

May 11, 2020 - 4:43 PM

If you plan to park in downtown Vernon for the next month and a half, you won't need to plug the meter.

After much debate, Vernon city council voted today, May 11, to extend free parking in the downtown core until July 1.

The City originally suspended the enforcement of parking meters and two-hour parking zones April 1, to encourage individuals to support the local businesses in the downtown that remained open. The suspension was again extended to be reviewed May 11.

Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming proposed for the free parking be only extended until June 1.

“I’d rather it wasn’t being used for staff parking and there’s lots of evidence that it is,” Mayor Cumming said.

City staff told council they had received six complaints from downtown business owners saying their customers could not find parking because other people were parking all day outside their businesses.

Councillor Scott Anderson argued small downtown businesses needed all the help they could get and the free parking should be extended until July 1. Councillor Brian Quiring supported his colleague saying July 1 was a better date.

Initially, councillors Kari Gares and Dalvir Nahal agreed June 1 was a better date.

However, as 350 meters are currently out of action due to vandalism and the City agreed earlier to spent $225,000 to revamp the parking meters it was ultimately decided to suspend parking fees until July 1.

Work to replace the meters is expected to start sometime at the beginning of June.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City had estimated revenue form parking meters in 2020 would be $950,000.

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