Jun 24, 2016 11:33 AM

Laconia City Council to consider putting parking meters downtown

LACONIA - Get your quarters ready. The city council is considering putting parking meters back in the downtown area.

According to the Laconia Daily Sun, the council meets Monday to consider a proposal to build a new, three-story parking garage adjacent to City Hall. Money for the project would come from metered parking in the new garage as well as along several downtown streets.

The city got rid of its parking meters about 40 years ago. But the closure of an older parking garage due to structural deficiencies brought the issue of metered parking back to the fore this fall.

City Councilor David Bownes from Ward 2 doesn't want to invest in the repairs to the old garage, estimated to cost about $3 million, and proposes instead to demolish it so the property can be redeveloped.

He's proposing a new garage for the lot adjacent to City Hall on Beacon Street East. In addition to charging for parking there, his proposal also includes metered parking in an area defined by Busy Corner, Beacon Street East and Beacon Street West, along with the parking spaces on New Salem Street behind the railroad station.

While downtown property owners and businesses are interested in adding parking capacity, several of them said they did not want the city to start charging people to park downtown.

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