Council Says Add Three Months to the Meter Before Restarting Paid Downtown Haverhill Parking

Haverhill City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The Haverhill City Council says now is not the time to restart paid parking in the downtown area.

Council Vice President Colin F. LePage said Tuesday night the purchase all new equipment and signs is in the works but he said any plans to reinstate paid parking before that equipment is in place would be a mistake.

“So they’re looking to get all new parking kiosks, meter heads and such and do signing with the new hours and the new rates, but that won’t be in place until three months from now,” he said.

LePage said it is his understanding Mayor James J. Fiorentini is considering reinstating paid parking before the new equipment is in place.

Council President Melinda E. Barrett added that paid parking now would likely make it more difficult for restaurants to recover from the past year, while Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan agreed he doesn’t want to rush into anything.

“It makes perfect sense to wait and do this at one time, when the new system is in place. to be able to properly advertise and get the word out there. It’s commonsense to roll this out once, not twice,” he said.

Councilors voted unanimously to send a strongly worded letter to the mayor asking him to wait at least three months before implementing parking rate changes.

In another matter, the Council voted to make minor changes to the city’s zoning ordinances. The bulk of those changes were simply to make items more easily referenced. Last November, the Council approved a number of sweeping changes to the city’s zoning laws.

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