With the Board of the Downtown Improvement Area's votes tonight, free parking is a step closer for Owen Sound. 

Although the details still need the approval of city council at their March 18 meeting, City Manager Wayne Ritchie said he would "stick his neck out" and order stickers announcing that parking was "compliments of downtown merchants and the  Owen Sound". The plan isto put the stickers over the coin slots of existing parking meters beginning April 1.

Street parking will be free for a maximum of two hours (with the exception of the 900 block of 1st Avenue West which is designated as a long-term lot) and city lots will be free for up to five hours.  Monthly passes will still be available - the board is recommending a price of $30.

The board also requested a review of the location of loading zones in the downtown area.

The Owen Sound Downtown Improvement Area (DIA) has committed $180,000 of its budget to the parking arrangement, and will be working without its own office or staff in future. The DIA is accepting nominations for its 2019 board of management.  The deadline is Thursday, March 7, and applicants need not be members of the DIA. Applications are available at the Clerk's Office in City Hall.