Amidst a pandemic outbreak, residents of Richmond have noticed a parking enforcement officer driving throughout the city's downtown, which City Manager Rob Minerich said he has received backlash from.

However, Minerich, at Tuesday evening's meeting televised on Richmond local access channel (channel 378), reported the officer was simply issuing warnings -- not tickets -- in efforts to keep spots available for downtown businesses and restaurants.

"We have gotten some backlash about our parking enforcement officer being out -- he is not writing tickets," Minerich stated. "He is just writing warnings. What we have tried to do downtown is for especially for restaurants who have curbside delivery and pickup, we have allowed them to reserve three to four spots in front of their business. He is not writing tickets, he is writing warnings to try and keep people out from in front of those businesses so they can try to survive during this."

In a previous meeting and at the request of a downtown restaurant owner, the city made efforts to allow downtown parking spaces to be reserved for curbside pickup and delivery to help businesses to stay afloat during uncertain times.

"… If you can, please support local restaurants during this," Minerich said. "They need all the help they can get."

Commissioner Mike Brewer echoed those statements during the commissioners' discussion portion of the meeting saying, "Help businesses throughout Richmond. Anything we can do to keep businesses going, we appreciate it."

Other business

• After an executive decision to discuss personnel, the commissioners amended the agenda to include an ordinance reducing the rank of Michael Doty with the Richmond Fire Department.

• The commission voted to approve two ordinances that change the zones of properties on Boggs Lane and inside AshPark Subdivision. The first was for properties at 225 and 231 Boggs Lane from RC-1, single family residential, to B-3, or highway business. The second zone classification change is for AshPark Subdivision for property lots 105 to 109 changing from R-3, multi-family residential, to R-2, residential duplex.

• The first reading of Ordinance 20-08 was approved which would annex lots three through six at 156 Skyline Drive into city limits. It is currently considered property of Madison County.

The next Richmond City Commission is scheduled for April 7 at 6 p.m. Until further notice, all meetings are closed to the public, but can be viewed via the city's access channel on channel 378.

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter @TaylorSixRR.

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