At their May 5 meeting, council members discussed the issue, which has been something of a sticking point for restaurateurs in the downtown. The resolution, which was first introduced when the town released its economic stimulus package in March, would place a two-year moratorium on the fees.
This is expected to allow restaurant owners with the capacity for outdoor seating to utilize the space without being hit for the additional fees.
Mayor Newell Arnerich said he feels the resolution will ultimately help business owners get through the difficult economic times. He added that this also provides assistance all throughout the town because having the businesses in the downtown provides sales taxes and jobs to residents.
Councilman Mike Shimansky questioned whether changing the parking in lieu fees would have any effect on projects currently under way. "Do we have anything in the mill right now that would be affected by this?" he asked.
Staff members said they did not believe any incoming projects would need to change in order to utilize the moratorium effectively.
Councilwoman Karen Stepper gave the resolution her support, saying she felt the town has the necessary infrastructure to support the additional traffic. "Our parking survey showed that we have adequate parking."
Council members gave their unanimous approval to the resolution.