A proposal to raise the fine for parking overtime on Main Street in Manchester from $10 to $25 is up for discussion during a chamber of commerce meeting tonight.
The driving force behind the plan is the owner of Manchester Hardware, Bob Dorin.
"I'm the instigator," he said. "Unfortunately, people who work and live here are taking up customer spaces. We're trying to make those spaces available for customers."
He said he pays $18 per month for his employees to park in lots behind the blocks of stores on the eastern side of Main Street, lots where he hopes employees and tenants will park rather than pay the $25.
"It's going to be a lot easier when we are finishing the back parking lots and finishing improving our signage and our lighting and everything that we're trying to possibly do to get them to the back," he said.
Just up the street, at the Landmark Café, Elaine Hadge has had trouble with tenants in the apartments upstairs parking in spaces for customers, but she also is worried the mere threat of a ticket will keep customers away.
"It's a tough thing to be a downtown business with parking issues," she said.
Grace Mullen, of Vernon, used the free parking on Main Street at lunch time. She said she understands the need to raise the fine but she objects to a municipal lot charging $18 per month.
“I mean you want to charge to park, you go to Hartford,” she said. “This is a nice little place. -- You don't charge to park in municipal lots.”