Although several residents spoke out against a move to abolish the free shopper parking at the lots on Deforest Avenue, an ordinance to do so passed 6-1 by the Summit Council on Monday night.
Councilman Pat Hurley was the lone dissenting voice calling the move risky since downtown shoppers only would have 30 minutes of free parking versus 2 hours.
"I can't support this," he said of the ordinance.
Councilman Dr. Robert Rubino, who voted for the ordinance, agreed that free paid parking was a topic of sensitivity.
"Thirty minutes might not be enough," Rubino said about the unpaid time shoppers would get under a new parking system. Rubino said he was glad the council was moving forward on the issue, but that flexibility was key. "We try to compromise," he said.
Effect on Residents: According to City Administrator Chris Cotter, improvements to the lots and the addition of a parking gate could be completed by the fall, with most of the work happening over the summer months. The council also approved , 6-1, a $750,000 bond ordinance for the work.