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Council to hear more on downtown parking

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Town council received an update on the downtown parking dilemma at Monday night’s regular meeting and is certain to hear some proposals in the near future, according to a report from Planning and Development executive committee secretary Rick Hallam.

Following a meeting July 22 at which town council looked at the results of a parking survey, and afterwards agreed that exploring alternative measures to enforce parking (and not parking meters) may be the way to go to solve problems, a meeting was held July 25 to discuss the issue further.

Town CAO Bill Naturkach, along with Planning and Development staff and Fort Frances OPP S/Sgt. Steve Loshaw, talked and decided to form a special committee featuring three Planning and Development staff and a member of the OPP.

The members of this task force will meet Aug. 19 to discuss possible solutions to downtown parking problems. Then they will meet again Aug. 22 with Naturkach to present the solutions to him, at which time the basis for a report to council will be formed.

The question of whether downtown parking meters are necessary as a source of revenue also is on the citizen satisfaction phone survey that is slated to start today.

The parking survey, conducted by the Planning and Development executive committee, showed 51 of 67 responding business owners felt parking meters were unnecessary.

Just 13 favoured installing them while three had no opinion.

When weighing the options of whether to proceed unilaterally with the re-installation of parking meters, to not proceed with the re-installation, or to explore other alternatives, council agreed to the third one at its July 22 meeting.

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