City Council approves meter forgiveness

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The Hometown Holiday Hospitality will have many downtown businesses open later than usual. Photo courtesy of Downtown Chico Business Association.

Chico City Council and the Downtown Chico Business Association are working together on making the holidays in Chico less worrisome, at least on Fridays.

The parking meter forgiveness program was approved by the council Tuesday in support of the business association’s “Hometown Holiday Hospitality Campaign.”

Every Friday beginning Nov. 28 to Dec. 19, expired meters in the downtown area will not be ticketed due to the program.

Mark Orme, Chico city manager, clarified that parking will not be free. He said, for example, if a car is parked in a two-hour parking stall and the meter expired, a ticket will not be given as long as it is still within the maximum allotted time for the parking spot. If it goes beyond two hours, the car will be ticketed.

Last year, the council also approved the parking meter forgiveness for the holiday campaign.

That campaign was a success and organizers are making minor changes this year, such as having ‘“celebrity greeters” on Christmas Preview (Nov. 23) and the four following Fridays, said Melanie Bassett, executive director of Downtown Chico Business Association. Downtown businesses are also going to stay open late on Fridays.

“We’re trying to encourage people not just to come down for the events but actually to come down and take advantage of shopping locally in downtown on those days as well,” Bassett said.

Anna Sobrevinas can be reached at: [email protected] or @manilanna on Twitter.