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Free parking set for Sewickley in December

| Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, 7:42 p.m.

Holiday shoppers visiting Sewickley's business district in December will be able to spend more money on gifts than parking.

At its Nov. 14 meeting, borough council decided to make parking free throughout the month.

The Sewickley Valley Chamber of Commerce donated $6,000 to the borough to offset the fact that the parking authority will not be making a lease payment to the borough in December. Sewickley averages between $32,000 and $34,000 a month in revenue through ticketing and parking fees.

Chamber President Brigitte Nguyen said the financial support was given on behalf of local businesses, patrons and the community.

“You can look at this contribution as an early Christmas gift for all the frustration faced with the new parking system implemented this year,” she said. “Our hope is that free parking will draw more customers to enjoy the shops and restaurants Sewickley has to offer this holiday season.”

Over the summer, Sewickley Parking Authority offered a free day of parking during the chamber's Christmas in July event, which, Nguygen explains, was one of the busiest days in the borough.

In 2016, solar powered pay stations began replacing Sewickley's 500 on-street and municipal parking lot meters, but the machines often malfunction, making residents and visitors frustrated. Earlier this month, the parking authority recommended that the borough nix December parking fees as a way to make amends for all of the pay station-induced headaches.

According to Sewickley Council member Tom DeFazio, who also is parking authority chairman, the pay stations are currently in working order.

“[Parking systems company] PSX has been inspecting all the machines for the past week or so and it appears we are in pretty good shape,” he said.

Kristy Locklin is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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