Finding parking in Barre has never been a huge problem but now with hundreds of workers relocated to the downtown area city officials are carefully planning a future with more parking.
The Agency of Education recently completed its move to the new City Place building on Main Street. Other businesses have also set up shop in the building creating a total of 400 new employees for the area. Another development at Blanchard Block is also in the works and will require an additional 100 parking spaces.
"That change causes disruption and it takes getting use to," Barre city manager Steven Mackenzie said.
Mackenzie has been paying close attention to the parking problem. A local parking commission has helped designate many spots to City Place employees that used to be for store front owners.
It's made a longer walk for many of them but merchants also want a better deal on their parking rates. Rates for merchants are $180 per year but spots for City Place and Blanchard Block employees are only $120.
According to Mackenzie, Tuesday night Mayor Thom Lauzon plans to ask the city council that merchants get a rebate that covers the difference and reduce their rates going forward.
"Those kind of adjustments we can make but we're trying to avoid knee jerk reactions that may solve a problem today and just create another problem tomorrow," Mackenzie said.
CITY PARKING PLAN: See how Barre designates spots in the pictures above.
While merchants are adjusting to their new parking locations their hope is that more employees in the area will bring increased business.
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