Scott Hartlen, owner of Supplement King on Commercial Street since July, approached Truro town council this week with a complaint about staff in a nearby business monopolizing customer parking.
There’s “a salon that has numerous employees that are using parking spaces more than two hours, jumping spaces, rolling back the cars … it makes it harder for customers,” Hartlen said, referring to staff at Square Roots Hair and Esthetics on Commercial Street.
“It’s causing turmoil between us and the salon,” he said, adding he “did not open a business in Truro to see it fail.”
Hartlen asked council if it’s possible to have designated parking spaces for staff and customers. Mayor Bill Mills said it could potentially be looked at, but now the rule is a two-hour parking limit. Mills added staff parking issues has impacted the “whole downtown” for many years “to the detriment of paying customers.”
Truro police Chief Dave MacNeil, who was at the council meeting, said there are parking enforcement officers who can take photos of cars and return in two hours to see if the vehicle has moved.
“It’s very time consuming and very labour intensive,” MacNeil said at the meeting, adding the two-hour parking rule “is a nightmare to the force … people don’t follow it.”
Square Roots owner Michele LeBlanc told the Truro Daily News “the police told us if (we) can’t find a parking spot to shuffle around every two hours.”
LeBlanc said it’s not only her staff that uses some of the parking spaces, but employees of other businesses in the area as well.
“We went four times around this area looking for a spot,” LeBlanc said Wednesday. “There’s no where for us to park; there’s not enough parking, that’s the issue,” said LeBlanc, who has had Square Roots in Truro for four years.
LeBlanc said it’s also a safety issue when her staff has to walk, sometimes with salon items, at night to a parking space that’s farther away.
LeBlanc added she was told by town staff last week that someone would call her to discuss the situation. As of Wednesday morning, she said, a call was yet to come.
Mills said the town will talk to the Downtown Truro Partnership to see if anything can be done to alleviate the problem.