Stillwater considers extending parking relief for downtown businesses

The Stillwater City Council on Tuesday is expected to extend a coronavirus-relief measure that waives fees for businesses that rely heavily on street parking.

The city usually collects about $25,000 a year in parking-mitigation fees from downtown businesses that lack sufficient on-site parking. The council earlier this year voted to waive the fee through Nov. 1. They’re now considering extending that waiver through the first quarter of 2021.

The 23 affected businesses include the Water Street Inn, LoLo American Kitchen and Craft Bar and the CherryBerry Self-Serve Yogurt Bar. All rely heavily on the city’s public-parking system because of an expansion or change of use since 1999, Community Development Director Bill Turnblad wrote in a planning report.

The fees go into the city’s parking enterprise fund, which pays for parking improvements downtown. The city collected just $5,510 this year because it invoiced for only the first quarter, Turnblad wrote.

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