- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) - Downtown McComb business owners want the city to remove the two-hour restrictions on parking spots on Main Street.

Michelle Sones, owner of Soigné Merle Norman Salon and Cosmetic Studio, told the board of selectmen this week the restriction hurts her business and others.

“A lot of my customers have been receiving tickets while they were in with their services, and some of our services may last up to four hours,” Sones said. “It’s affected my business.”

Sones said she has lost customers who have received parking tickets as well as employees who can’t get clients to return. Police Chief Scott McKenzie said a parking ticket is $25 for a two-hour violation.

The Enterprise-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1tej38d ) the city board took no action on the request.

Mayor Whitney Rawlings said the two-hour time limit for parking on Main Street was instituted a few years ago at the behest of downtown business owners because people were leaving their cars in the same spot for the majority of the day. The McComb Main Street Association surveyed business owners, and the best plan at that time was to enforce a two-hour limit for anyone parking on Main Street.

“This board put the parking restrictions in at the request of downtown,” Rawlings said. “What we were finding is that along Main Street, people who were working downtown were parking on Main Street, and all the parking was gone.”

Rawlings doesn’t see parking problems as a major concern if it means business is booming.

“Aren’t parking problems a good thing?” Rawlings said. “That means there’s life in downtown again, and that’s what we were interested in doing.”

David Varnado, owner of Topisaw General Store, said a similar survey today would generate different results.

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Information from: Enterprise-Journal, http://www.enterprise-journal.com

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