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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Plan for Free Parking

Owen Sound | by James Greensmith  

DIA says a tax levy for merchants would replace revenue from parking meters.


Parking meters may soon be a thing of the past in downtown Owen Sound.

In a new report, a Downtown Improvement Area committee recommends making the switch to a free parking system.

DIA Chair Peter Lemon says the loss of parking meter fees would be offset by a tax levy for downtown merchants -- at a cost of less than a dollar per day.

Lemon says the DIA has taken issue with the current parking structure for years now, and it's time for a change.

He notes now is the time to act, because the city is faced with a half-million-dollar cost to replace 400 old and deteriorating parking meters, as well as 55 Pay-and-Display machines.

This new system would require purchasing just 12 Pay-and-Display machines at a savings of over 380 thousand dollars.

Lemon tells Bayshore Broadcasting News the complimentary parking plan is based on the model currently used in Brockville -- and he feels it can work here.

He says the DIA recently conducted a survey of 150 businesses and 84 consumers in Brockton, and everyone favoured the complimentary parking model.

Lemon adds the DIA committee will soon bring their report to the board for adoption, and then to City Council -- likely within a few weeks time.


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