There are still 78 days until Christmas, but the City Council has already begun discussing ways of accommodating everybody who wants to park and shop on Main Street during the holiday season.
Owners of businesses located on Main Street had expressed concern that available parking spots are being taken up by moviegoers during the evening hours. It was suggested that signs be posted during the holidays to limit parking in the evening to one hour, effectively barring moviegoers from parking on Main Street.That suggestion caused a heated discussion about the availability of nearby parking and the economic benefit the movie theater is to the city.
"The theater has revitalized downtown," said council member Lloyd Ash. "I don't think the ice cream store would have opened if the theater hadn't been there. The theater doesn't use parking spots in the day, but now they (other businesses) want to limit his parking at night."
Council member Bill West said he would support placing one-hour restrictions on parking along Main Street and having the restriction strictly enforced.
Ash said there has never been a night when Main Street was so busy that parking was not available within a half block, and said the theater is the only business that encourages patrons to park behind its building.
The council suggested that two parking stalls in front of Smith's Pharmacy be assigned a 20-minute limit to accommodate patrons of the drug store.
"It could be there are people who need access to the pharmacy, and are unable to walk a half block," said council member Dale Warburton.
The council suggested that businesses post signs asking patrons to park behind their buildings and to use rear entrances.
In other business, the council postponed making a decision on Laidlaw Waste Systems Inc.'s request for a 34-cents-per-month increase. Council members are still concerned about the difference in rates between Pleasant Grove and American Fork, and asked that a representative from Laidlaw be invited to the next council meeting to explain the need for the cost increase and the difference in rates between the two cities.