Council Likely to Postpone Downtown Parking Fee Increase Item

An existing downtown parking meter. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Resolution of a debate over raising downtown parking fees remains elusive as the Haverhill City Council is again expected to postpone what has been called a “compromise” plan.

According to Chief of Staff David S. Van Dam, a postponement will be requested, as Mayor James J. Fiorentini is unable to attend the meeting. On Oct. 6, the council postponed to Tonight’s meeting the proposed ordinance amendment to add a council representative to the Central Business District Parking Commission, raise rates, make fees and hours uniform across the downtown and add Saturday fees. The proposal, filed in September from the council’s Administration and Finance Committee, would also set limits on the actions the commission may take.

As reported by WHAV last month, Fiorentini said he needed more time to answer questions raised by Councilor Colin F. LePage, committee chairman. LePage suggested rate increases and other changes may no longer be needed since the city has changed to a lower cost parking vendor. LePage also raised a concern about a decrease in the purchase of parking permits.

Also, an online petition was launched, asking the Haverhill City Council to scuttle changes to the downtown paid parking plan. Linda Germain, owner of Germain Art Studio, 142 Essex St., Haverhill, placed the petition at, asking city councilors to “reject the parking proposal as written.” Germain told WHAV her primary goals are to raise awareness and encourage residents and business owners to take charge of their destinies. Specifically, petitioners seek to keep free parking on Saturdays and Sundays, stop increased rates and hours and “keep the decision making in the hands of the elected city councilors—not an appointed commission who is not accountable to us, the people who pay the fees and permits and fines.”

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in council chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

3 thoughts on “Council Likely to Postpone Downtown Parking Fee Increase Item

  1. So I guess the original planners of the metered parking must have really botched the plan if the mayor and council are already considering drawing more funds from the users of downtown parking. OR, someone sees a cash cow and wants to take full advantage of it.

    I’ll go with the second one.

  2. Linda Germain:

    Please provide a link on how to find the online petition you’ve started.

    And how does someone get in contact with you to discuss this issue? The telephone number that comes up online related to your business is not correct.