The need for additional parking in our downtown business district is abundantly clear. Through discussions with current business/building owners, potential investors and community members, we must address this issue to attract new businesses and support our current ones.

What may seem to be adequate available parking in our downtown area is not the case. Parking permits held by current retail, residential and office space tenants absorb over 50% of all available space. A recent parking study of our downtown district conducted by Gateway Engineers confirms a need for additional parking now, and even more so as our town expands.

So, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? The situation is now being addressed from both sides, equipped with feedback from the community and field experts, along with a forward-thinking council. Investors are actively being pursued, resulting in the recent purchase of multiple buildings in the downtown district with renovation plans. At the same time, new parking is being created to accommodate this activity and the new commerce and residents to follow.

Parking is the foundation of a healthy and thriving business district. Our town will soon be alive with restaurants, shopping, and activities.

Stay tuned … great things are in the works. By addressing our parking needs now, we will ensure the successful future of our businesses and community.

Scarmazzi is the borough’s economic development director.

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