Ford City Says “Bah-Humbug” to Free Christmas Parking

FORD CITY – Charles Dickens in his novel A Christmas Carol created the fictional character Ebinizer Scrooge who expressed his disgust of the Christmas season with his response: “Bah Humbug!”

Ford City Mayor Jeff Cogley along with Borough Council members decided to fore-go free parking for the holiday season.

It has been customary for small towns to give free parking during the two weeks between Christmas and New Years in order to encourage patronage of small businesses.

However, Rae Maxim, owner of Rae of Color beauty salon on Fourth Avenue, told Council that free parking would destroy her holiday business.

“The Allegheny Health Network park the whole way up on Third (Avenue). If they open parking up, they are going to park in front of my salon because they are not going to want to walk. Then that will leave my customers with no parking because they will be parked there for eight hours. There will be no movement.”

Maxim said she had parking issues with Allegheny Health Network employees prior to Ford City hiring an enforcement officer.

The Ford City Planning Commission had requested free parking for the entire month of December as a gesture of holiday good-will and so they could analyze revenue. Council refused to take action. Police Chief Michael Greenlee was not in favor of changing rules for parking, stating it would require a change in the ordinance.

Kittanning motorists will not see this familiar face beginning December 18th through the end of the year. Borough Council approved Mayor Michael Rizzo’s request for annual free holiday parking. However, Ford City will continue parking enforcement during the holidays.