Burlington Town Center Proposes Dropping Free Parking

Published 05/12 2014 10:42PM

Updated 05/12 2014 11:22PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. - There might soon be an end to free parking at one Burlington parking garage.

The garage is owned and operated by the Burlington Town Center. Now the mall wants to stop allowing people to park for two hours for free.

The mall says the garage is falling in bad shape and the idea is charging for the first couple of hours here would mean money for repairs or even replacing the garage.

On Monday, the center's co-owner Don Sinex made his case to the Burlington City Council.

"We bought it not because of what's there today because of what can be there," says Sinex.

Sinex says nearly 80-percent of people who park here don't pay anything because they stay less than two hours. To end the policy, the town center needs the city to drop its requirement for the free parking.

"We're really talking about having a garage that sustains itself for the long term which is to everyone's benefit. It can not sustain itself under this policy," says Sinex.

In return, the mall says it will share parking information with the city and help plan the city's management of parking.

The co-owner says instead of the first two hours being free rates would rise to a buck or two.

Now the end of free parking would be contingent on the mall finding a new, main store. That could be announced within a month.

The city council is expected to vote on the dropping the requirement in the next several weeks.

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