City considers switching to free downtown parking during the sum - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

City considers switching to free downtown parking during the summer


Menomonie (WQOW) - Menomonie is looking at making the switch to free downtown parking during the summer, hoping to draw more business to one area of the city.

As a test run, the city offered free downtown parking from June through August. About 230 meters had bags placed over them to notify drivers. The city of Menomonie says it lost about $10,000 in revenue. Local business owners were happy to see the parking spaces filled at no cost.

"I think it was a great idea just because it brings camaraderie into town, it brings excitement...people don't feel like they have to pay to come downtown and just go shopping. They can see what downtown has for them," said Lisa Anshus Frank, who is part owner of Anshus Jewlers in Menomonie.

The city council has decided to postpone a decision on switching to free parking for the time being. They are hoping to hear from more local businesses about the financial impact. It will be discussed again at a meeting in November.

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