Merchants to City Hall: don’t raise paid-parking prices |

Merchants to City Hall: don’t raise paid-parking prices

by Jay Hamburger, of The Record staff

A majority of Main Street businesses responding to a poll last weekend indicated they opposed a City Hall proposal to increase the paid-parking charges on the street, the leader of the merchants association said midweek. Mary Black, who is the president of the Historic Main Street Business Alliance, said 61.8 percent of the businesses that took part in the poll opposed the increase, which would push the price of parking to $1.50 per hour on Main Street from the $1-per-hour charge now in place. City Hall wants to use some of the additional money that would be collected in paid-parking fees to partially fund an incentive package meant to keep the Park Silly Sunday Market on Main Street. City officials have indicated $40,000 each year from the additional paid-parking revenues could go to the Silly Market. The market’s organizers, in turn, would expand the Silly Market south to 5th Street in an effort to appease brick-and-mortar businesses that have complained that sales have suffered in the years the Silly Market has operated. Other monies collected with the higher rate would go to the business alliance and stay with City Hall itself. Black said the businesses that supported the increase in parking fees said the extra money could be used to fund free-parking programs during less busy times of the year, pay for holiday promotions and support the Silly Market. Seventy-one businesses responded to the survey, with Black saying a variety of industries from up and down Main Street and a section of Park Avenue submitted answers. The results of the poll were released on Wednesday, the day before a crucial Park City Council meeting with decisions about the Silly Market and the increase in parking fees scheduled. A large crowd is expected at the City Council meeting. It starts at 5 p.m. at the Marsac Building.