Public Square business owners protest increased parking enforcement

Public Square parking

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Some shop owners on Watertown's Public Square say the city's decision to hire another parking enforcement officer is hurting business.

Most of the spaces in Public Square are designated for two-hour parking.

Three people who work there told city council members at Monday night's meeting they have been receiving tickets and find it hard to find a place to park for their shifts.

They also said that customers have been complaining about tickets.

"Business in the Square for the past month has decreased significantly," Tarot Card Cafe owner Seth Hill said. "I have gone to various businesses on the side of the Square and they said there has been a dramatic drop -- everyone is saying 'I'd just rather go to the mall where I won't get a ticket.'"

"We just would like to know how the city is going to justify unfairly targeting business owners and employees of downtown and how we are supposed to move our car no less than four times during a 10-hour shift, said Kristina Pafford, who owns Bare Knuckle Tattoo.

"Parking spots in front of the businesses throughout the downtown are set up to be short-term parking to facilitate commerce," city manager Rick Finn said, "and that is the reason why they're set up for that."

Council members say they will work on helping business owners find alternative parking for the work day.

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