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Permit parking being considered for downtown Canton

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CANTON - Employees who work in downtown Canton would be required to park in a designated parking area under a proposal being considered by the village board’s street committee.

J. Bradshaw Mintener, 77 Main St., is advocating the measure. He and his wife, Marilyn I. Mintener, reside in the second floor of that building, and operate their businesses below, including The Pear Tree gift shop.

He argues that issuing weekday parking permits to downtown employers and employees would create more free parking spaces for customers and clients.

Mr. Mintener told the village board earlier this week that the free parking spaces in the upper municipal lot behind The Pear Tree is nearly always full with cars driven by those who work downtown.

“Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. there is no parking to speak of for clients and customers,” Mr. Mintener told trustees. “Those not on salary and who depend on who comes in the door would appreciate some sort of action.”

Mr. Mintener first raised the idea to the village board nine months ago, but no steps were taken.

He distributed photographs taken at 8:55 a.m. Dec. 17 that he claimed shows all 28 free parking spaces in the upper lot were filled with business employers and their employees. Several of the metered spaces were available.

By contrast, Main Street’s lower municipal lot between Hodskin Street and Riverside Drive had 71 free spaces available at 10:30 a.m.

Mr. Mintener suggested that the lower parking lot be designated for downtown employees. He passed out a sample parking permit pass that could be issued by the village to downtown workers.

He said he’s spoken to other Main Street business owners who are in favor of the measure.

Sylvia M. Kingston, a village trustee and Main Street business owner, said she supports the idea of setting up a designated employee parking lot.

“I would like to see us permit the lower parking lot to employees,” Ms. Kingston said.

Mr. Mintener said demand for municipal parking spaces will increase next year when United Helpers Inc. staffs the former Community Bank building on Main Street.

Also, additional NYSARC employees are expected to work downtown next spring when the agency moves more of its staff to its Main Street building.

Village Mayor David L. Curry agreed to refer Mr. Mintener’s request to the village board’s street committee for review. Trustees Joseph J. Frank and Mary Ann Ashley serve on the Street Committee.

Ms. Ashley said she would like to get input from Interim Police Chief Victor N. Rycroft and Village Superintendent Brien E. Hallahan.

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