Parking changes appear to be working

ALPENA – The parking issues that used to plague downtown Alpena are beginning to subside as the new parking regulations and penalties instituted by Alpena Municipal Council and the Alpena Downtown Development Authority seem to be working.

At the regular DDA meeting Tuesday, Executive Director Lesslee Dort told the authority board that most business owners are pleased with the results thus far and although there are a few minor issues, people parking downtown to shop are finding parking places easier. In order to be sure the trend continues the board approved adding an additional five hours dedicated to the patrol of the parking attendant, who will be joined by a second person monitoring city parking lots for violators. The 15 hours will be divided by the two attendants, but patrol hours will vary during the morning and afternoon.

“This will allow us to cover the parking lots during more hours of the day and spread out the hours more,” Dort said. “Most of the business owners are pleased and still in support of it and overall I think it has been very well received.”

In other business:

* Dort updated the board on the effort to continue pursuing Michigan Main Street Select Level designation. Dort said the effort has lost a little bit of steam and she is still trying to coordinate people for meetings and training sessions. The board instructed her to schedule a meeting with the steering committee and to try to promote more involvement.

* Thursday’s “Summer Stroll” downtown was a tremendous success according to Dort, as the businesses she has had correspondence with have indicated they made more money during the four hour event, than they typically do on a full Saturday business day. Dort said she is still receiving information from the businesses regarding the event, and she hopes they use the event as a model for future events.

* City Manager Greg Sundin updated the board on how the ROV competition went in Alpena over the weekend. He said everything went smoothly and the weather was perfect. He said the competitors and their families were impressed with Alpena.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at