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Oct 24, 2016 11:22 AM

Portsmouth councilor wants to get rid of free downtown parking during holidays

PORTSMOUTH — City officials and center-city business owners in Portsmouth are considering eliminating free parking during the holidays.

City Councilor Eric Spear wants free parking to go, but some downtown businesses say there are distinct benefits.

According to Seacoastonline, “Parking is a huge thing for retailers. I don’t think there’s a lot of other direct benefits that the city can offer to retailers (except free holiday parking),” said business owner Assiah Russell.

Spear told Seacoastonline, “The way to open up spaces is through pricing. You don’t want to have no spaces available.”

The councilor said Portsmouth could lose $160,000 in parking revenue in December if spaces could be had by shoppers for free.

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