Dauphin County Commissioners approve resolution to bring back free Harrisburg parking after 5 p.m.
“This board is committed to strengthening Harrisburg’s economy and we’ve heard from many restaurant and business owners asking for this change,’’ said board Chairman Jeff Haste. “We believe the benefits of bringing more visitors downtown are worth the cost.’’
The resolution calls for making parking free starting at 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays for a one-year trial period to be determined by the Harrisburg Parking Authority. The county will use a portion of the hotel tax to pay its $110,000 share of the $270,000 annual cost to reimburse Park Harrisburg, the private firm that runs the city’s parking system. Harrisburg will also pay $110,000 and the Downtown Improvement District will contribute $50,000.
“A vibrant Harrisburg benefits our entire region,’’ said Commissioner Mike Pries. “Resuming free parking after 5 p.m. will make the city’s businesses more competitive and hopefully lead to more jobs and opportunities for residents.’’
Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III agreed that the move would have an immediate and positive impact.
“As the weather gets warmer, I look forward to seeing even more people taking advantage of the outdoor cafes and wonderful restaurants,’’ Hartwick said. “The return of free downtown parking makes Harrisburg an even more attractive option for anyone looking for something fun to do after work.’