Meter break delay

A proposal to officially increase the free parking time at Bellevue parking meters may be delayed while more information is obtained.

Council was to vote next week on a motion to amend the borough’s parking fee ordinance to allow free parking at all meters in the borough after 6 p.m. daily, and at all metered spaces in parking lots on weekends.

Council member Jane Braunlich said that the borough already allows free parking after 6 p.m. and on Sundays because there is no enforcement at those times.

Mayor George Doscher and council member Mark Helbling, however, wanted to know if the recent trial period of free parking resulted in increased business on the borough’s main street.

“I’m all for it, but if it does nothing, we’re just giving up money,” Helbling said.

Doscher said that Lincoln Avenue businesses should be asked to quantify the percentage business increased -- or not -- during the trial period last summer. Braunlich said, however, that businesses were not even informed about the trial until it had been in effect for a month.

Council member Jim Viscusi said that he had visited a number of businesses following the trial, and that they all favored continuing the free parking program.

Director of administrative services Doug Sample said that the police department was supposed to be calculating how much money the borough receives from the meters on Saturdays.

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