City council approves reduced parking times downtown

Second reading required before changes take effect

Michelle Monroe

By Michelle Monroe

Executive Editor

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‘The hardest part of the day is when we’re managing the interests of shoppers, students, employees and those here for lunch.’

- Chip Sawyer, St. Albans City Director of Planning and Development

ST. ALBANS CITY — The St. Albans City Council discussed changes to the city’s parking program Monday night while working through the meeting’s agenda in half of the allotted time.

Also addressed were appointments to the Downtown Board and the Planning Commission, as well as water and sewer allocations for Franklin Park West.

Marty Manahan, the city’s director of business development, presented a proposal from the city’s merchants to reduce downtown parking on Main Street to 2 hours from 2.5 hours. The change would be from Stebbins Street north to Congress Street. Parking near the Welden Theater would remain 2.5 hours.

Currently, parking enforcement begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. The merchants would like to shift that to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The issue, said Manahan, is that currently someone can park on Main Street at 8 a.m. and stay there until 11:30 a.m., move their car at lunchtime, and remain parked on Main Street for most of the afternoon.

“The majority of the offenders are people who live and work in downtown,” said Manahan, along with students at Bellows Free Academy.

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