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Parking proposal opposition off the meter

A proposal for an official downtown resident parking program was debated at City Council on Monday, leading several council members to indicate their support for a public forum on the issue before any action is taken.

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At the council meeting Monday, several members stated they had been contacted by many members of the downtown business community on the proposed program and found a majority are opposed to the program.

The proposed program, which has gone through two committees with several changes, would allow residents of downtown apartments to park in any metered spot without payment, though a $20 monthly fee would be required after five years of the pilot program.

One business owner discussed his concerns with the already limited parking, saying he is fearful the program could lead to more problems and requesting the council have further discussions on the issue with business and property owners.

3rd Ward Councilman Bryan Pope said he has been contacted by tenants, merchants and owners, and each group has a varying opinion on the issue, but a majority of the feedback received has been opposed to the program.

“I have yet to have a call saying ‘we’re in favor of this,’” Pope said.

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