Ardee pay-parking has been officially scrapped, but not without some hesitation from county councillors from outside the mid-Louth area.
In order to make the change over new bye-laws have had to be introduced and passed by Louth County Council.
Mr Joe McGuinness, Director of Services, said the pay-parking scheme in Ardee has been losing money and could only be brought back into profitability with a significant increase in charges.
He told the monthly meeting of the county council that the scheme has been reviewed a number of times. A pilot model was set up in 2012 - the one hour free parking scheme - but even this did not solve the situation.
New bye-laws were put through a statutory consultative phase. Submissions were invited. the gardai said they had no objections to these changes and no submissions were received by the public.
Fianna Fail Cllr Peter Savage: Why was it not profitable?
Sinn Fein Cllr Tomas Sharkey said that if there is going to be no pay-parking in Ardee, what will happen when the new mid-Louth municipal district is set up in May and they come in and say they don’t have enough money.
But Mr McGuinness said the charge of 40 cent an hour in Ardee was one of the cheapest rate in the country, yet the scheme was not paying for itself and that is why the council have brought back these bye-laws to end pay-parking.
The revenue raised by the pay-parking did n’t go directly into the town.
It was a contribution to the county council income.
Cllr Pearse McGeough said the move would not improve traffic gridlock in Ardee and asked if there was going to be an increase in rates in the town. He was informed that the matter is not linked to the rates.
The system was costing more to run than it was creating in revenue.
Labour Cllr Paul Bell of Drogheda was also against the dropping of pay-parking in Ardee because he did not think it would serve the interests of business in the town.
But it was the business people of Ardee who campaigned for the abolition of pay-parking.
Cllr Colm Markey said business people see it as an improvement and they are the ratepayers. “It’s not about traffic,” he said, it’s about people coming into Ardee.”