LACONIA — The city is giving a Weirs Beach nonprofit group the opportunity to again operate a city-owned parking lot in Weirs Beach during Motorcycle Week as a fundraiser.
Under a proposal from City Manager Scott Myers, the Weirs Action Committee will, as in past years, be able to collect the proceeds from people parking their vehicles in the lot adjacent to the public beach and Endicott Rock Park.
Myers had denied the committee’s request to operate a parking concession during the nine-day event, feeling it would create congestion, which the city is trying to minimize during the coronavirus pandemic.
Faced with Myers' decision, the committee took its case to City Councilor Bruce Cheney who placed the issue on the agenda of Monday’s council meeting.
“WAC does a lot of good. I hope we can support them this year,” Cheney said, asking that the council overrule Myers’ decision.
The committee, formed in 1995, is a legally-sanctioned public charity, which works to enhance the beautification of Weirs Beach. Some of its work, including the maintenance of hanging flower baskets along Lakeside Avenue, is funded strictly through the organization’s fundraising. Other projects are underwritten through a cost-sharing arrangement between WAC and the city.
Cheney’s motion to allow the committee to run the parking concession passed 4-3, with Mayor Andrew Hosmer casting the tie-breaking vote. The mayor then asked Myers to make a proposal to WAC that addressed the manager’s congestion concerns.
Myers on Tuesday said WAC would be allowed to operate the lot from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., but the number of parking spaces would be limited to fewer than the lot’s normal capacity.
Parking will be allowed in 52 of the lot’s 67 spaces and cars as well as motorcycles will be permitted to park in the lot. The fee that WAC will be allowed to charge will be $20 for a car and $5 for a motorcycle. Up to four motorcycles can be parked in one space. Unlike previous years, parking will not be allowed on the grass area adjacent to the paved lot.
Myers said that in past years WAC has raised up to $20,000 from the parking concession during Motorcycle Week.