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LA MESA -- The City Council meets today at 4 p.m. and will take up the issue of whether parking fees should be eliminated during the downtown Village streetscape project.
The topic has become a hot one since the pain of torn up streets and limited access to businesses has started hitting merchants' bottom lines.
Council members Kristine Alessio and Ernie Ewin won unanimous support of council in asking the city's Parking Commission to review the proposal and make a recommendation to the council.
However, the Parking Commissioners felt that if parking meters were turned off, a small number of motorists could tie up the spots throughout the day and limit access to the businesses.
Jim Wieboldt, one of the Parking Commissioners, said the panel discussed the issue for more than two hours and came to the conclusion that there was no compelling reason to lose revenue that, among other things, helped fund the streetscape project itself.
Wieboldt said that no members of the public and no members of the La Mesa Village Merchants Association attended the Parking Commission meeting to ask that parking charges be suspended.
"All we have is (the council) asking us to consider it,'' he said. "We did and we didn't think we would recommend that.''
Wieboldt said the commission also considered allowing two-hours of free parking with the meter enforcement staff marking the tires, but again came to the conclusion that just a few cars could tie up all the spaces and hurt business.
In the end the council makes the final decisions.
The meeting is at 4 p.m in the council chambers on Allison Avenue. Click here for the full agenda.