New hearing set on North Adams parking meter plan

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NORTH ADAMS — A plan to charge for parking on Center Street is not quite finalized.

The City Council's Public Safety Committee will give the public one last chance to weigh in on a plan to install meters in the Center Street parking lot.

Although the council voted in favor of the proposal last week, it must be approved a second time next to become official. In the meantime, the Public Safety Committee will hold another public hearing on Tuesday to hear last-minute concerns.

The proposed changes to the city's ordinances would result in a 25 cent hourly charge in the Center Street lot spaces that are currently free for the first two hours. A kiosk that was intended to charge after the free two hours has been broken for several years, essentially resulting in free parking with little enforcement.

Mayor Richard Alcombright has argued the installation of meters will allow for better enforcement of the lot and appease those who pay for full-time parking passes there. About half of the lot is for daily use, while the other half is reserved for individuals and businesses that have purchased parking permits.

Originally introduced to the council more than a month ago, the proposal has taken a curious journey. The council initially referred it to the Public Safety Committee, which reviewed and recommended it unanimously.

In a second full meeting, the council postponed voting on the proposal, but did not set up a committee meeting to review it further. Two weeks later, at its third trip before the council, the proposal was debated at length and approved by a 7-2 margin.

Now, the committee has agreed to hold a second hearing on the proposal to allow for more public input. The meeting will be held at 5:45 p.m. at City Hall.

The council is expected to take a second vote on the proposed ordinance changes when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376


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