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Editorial: Lake Geneva should allow free Sunday church parking
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Editorial: Lake Geneva should allow free Sunday church parking


Over the last month or so there has been ongoing discussion about paid parking outside churches on Sunday.

The downtown Lake Geneva churches that are located in the city’s paid parking area include Lake Geneva United Methodist Church, Holy Communion Episcopal Church, First Church of Christ Scientist and First Congregational Church of Christ.

The city offered free parking to the downtown churches for several years as part of a verbal agreement. But verbal agreements only last so long and are not the best practice. City officials are now looking into how to make free parking for the churches official. That is not a bad idea.

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Many of the people who go to the churches are city residents and therefor are eligible for city parking passes, which allows them to park for free for up to three hours. But others may live in neighboring communities like Lyons, Geneva or Linn. Many are elderly and cannot walk more than a block.

The city should work with the four churches to figure out a system so that churchgoers don’t have to pay while they are at church. Maybe it’s making a certain area free until noon Sunday or having a permit sticker that can be handed out and put in car dashes until noon.

Some are worried it could be a slippery slope if you allow free parking for churches. In this case, if there has been a verbal agreement for years in the past it should be solidified in writing and added to the city’s ordinances. Then there is no question about it. As other situations arise, they can get discussed as well. But just because other things will come up is not a reason that this should be voted down.

Turn this over to the parking department and have them work out a solution with the churches and then make it happen.

The Regional News editorial board consists of General Manager Robert Ireland, Editor Stephanie Jones, Advertising Assistant Steve Romani and community members Patrick Quinn and Elizabeth Lupo DiVito.

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