CONWAY — Car stickers that will allow residents and second homeowners to park for free at several town recreation sites that will start charging out-of-towners come Memorial Day weekend will be available at Conway Town Hall starting today.
Residents can pick up the bright orange permits from the town’s general assistance officer, BJ Parker, at Town Hall — 23 Main St. in Conway Village — on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
In January, selectmen voted to put paid parking later this spring at Davis Park, the east side of First Bridge and Smith-Eastman Landing on Meeting House Road. They took this action because recreation sites have been overrun with tourists since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents — including apartment renters and second homeowners — who want to park in those areas will need to get a (free) parking permit. Everyone else must pay for a $20 day pass.
In March, selectmen added Conway Lake’s parking lot to the list of areas that require the permit to park. But the $20 day pass will not be an option.
Also, trucks with trailers, even those with permits, will not be allowed in the lot.
Asked if she expects to hand out a lot of stickers today, Parker simply replied, “Yes.”
Applications for the permits can be found at conwaynh.myrec.com.
“The application is short and can be completed on site,” said Parker.
All residents should bring their driver’s license and car registration which proves their residency
At the new town hall, the general assistance office is located up a short staircase on the mezzanine level. On the left will be cubicles for the finance department. Straight ahead will be a receptionist’s desk. Turn left at the receptionist’s desk and the general assistance office will be down a short hallway on your left.
Recreation Director John Eastman said he ordered 5,000 permits from Minutemen Press in North Conway and can get more within seven days. He said he will carefully monitor the supply.
Eastman also said, “If they (applicants) have a P.O. box as an address on their license, they would then have to provide a copy of their deed with their address which needs to match their registration. Renters will be required to show a copy of their lease/rental agreement along with their driver’s license. For second homeowners (who aren’t residents), a tax bill in the property owner’s name and present driver’s license and vehicle registration in the property owner’s name (out of state or another NH town).”
Eastman said the town will begin parking enforcement on Memorial Day Weekend, and it will include every weekend until Father’s Day Weekend (June 20). After June 20, enforcement will take place seven days a week through Labor Day weekend. Violators are subject to $100 fines.
Selectmen and Town Manager Tom Holmes said that as far as Conway Lake goes, there is some parking on Mill Street and after school lets out for the summer, people with trailers will probably be allowed to park at nearby Pine Tree School.
Resident and Realtor Greydon Turner came to the April 27 selectmen’s meeting to talk about Conway Lake’s parking and traffic.
Turner said there is a lot of traffic “congestion and confusion” in that area. He said the farther down the street that boaters have to park from the launch, the longer it takes for them to get their boats in and out of the lake.
“That bridge makes a hell of a bottleneck,” he said.
Holmes told the Sun that if the new parking system doesn’t work out, the issue can be brought back to selectmen for reconsideration.
In February, selectmen agreed with Holmes’ suggestion to have an attendant at Meeting House Road in addition to a kiosk. The attendant will teach people how to use the kiosk.
“This is sort of a beta test to see how well these kiosks work,” said Holmes. “Maybe we can put more around the town later as opposed to hiring attendants. Toe in the water, so to speak.”
There will be attendants for First Bridge and Davis Park but not kiosks, said Holmes adding a staff person will write tickets during the week and the police will be asked to do that over the weekends.
“We are starting at $16 per hour for the attendants and we are close to making the hiring decisions,” said Holmes. “I think we are hiring six people. Their salaries will come from the parking revenues and not affect property taxpayers.”