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January 23. 2013 10:57PM

Dover temporarily rescinds overnight winter parking lot permit requirement

DOVER - The city is trying to save residents and officials some time and money by doing away with overnight parking passes in municipal lots until April 1.

As of Monday, drivers may park overnight in city-controlled lots without a permit. This measure does not change the policy with on-street parking, which is banned between 1 and 6 a.m. until April, or any parking regulations during the daytime, according to the city's parking manager, Bill Simons.

Violators could have their cars towed or be issued a $15 fine.

For the past few decades, Simons said drivers have been required to obtain winter parking permits to keep their vehicles overnight in public lots. The main purpose of the permits was to provide contact information in case the car or truck needed to be moved during the snow-removal process, Simons said.

"We've had three major storms (this winter) and there's still a lot of snow on the side of the road," Simons said.

Officials initiated this measure based on the recommendations of Simons, members of the parking commission and Police Chief Anthony F. Colarusso, according to a release from the city.

Simons said snow removal crews spend most of their time clearing the streets and sidewalks, which are a greater priority than parking lots.

"We're able to find people if needed," Simons said, adding around 200 drivers acquired winter permits, including visitors who were only spending a night in the city.

Simons said the change will save officials and drivers both time and money.

"Saving upwards of 200 visits a year to the police station lobby and not needing to collate and store all the permit applications will go a long way toward freeing up staff time for other duties," Colarusso said.

Simons said the city will evaluate whether to resume overnight winter parking permits this summer.

After April 1, he said the city will determine whether to impose or remove parking requirements on a "storm by storm basis."

Anyone with questions may contact the Parking Bureau at 516-2277 or by email at parking@dover.nh.gov.


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