To the Editor:
This is the summer we have all been waiting for, but it may also be the season of discontent – between the selectman, our business community, and the Hull Redevelopment Authority parking lots.
Some facts for why the selectmen should not close the HRA lots are provided below. (Disclosure: I am the state-appointed member of the HRA board. I am not speaking out as a member of the board, only as a concerned pro-business citizen.)
The HRA should abide by the same rules and regulations as the state Department of Conservation and Recreation parking lots.
This is still a seasonal community, whether some of the selectmen want to except that or not. People will still converge on our beautiful beaches when the temperature rises.
The selectmen should know by now that we have auto congestion problems only a few weekends out of the whole summer season.
I can only imagine the traffic problems in the nearby neighborhoods if the HRA parking lots are forced to close. “They will still come.”
If all other parking lots in town are not closed, it would simply be a case of discrimination against the HRA.
The businesses in town, and the workers they hire each summer, are the ones that will potentially suffer the most. That income is what they count on each summer to make it through the year.
This has nothing to do with COVID-19 restrictions. The town has no idea what the new state rules will be this summer.
Without the seasonal parking at the HRA lot, the town will also suffer financially. The HRA not only gives the town a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) of $65,000 each year, the HRA has also funded numerous projects and initiatives over the years.
If the selectmen choose to close the HRA parking lots, they would be curtailing the HRA’s ability to collect revenues, and our town would have missed out on approximately $3 million in grants over the years, directly from the HRA.
For those selectmen who want to close down the HRA parking lot as an experiment to teach the “out-of-towners” what it may look like in the future, I say they are being short-sighted, irresponsible, and just plain mean to the people who help our businesses stay sustainable. They should be ashamed of themselves.
It would be a slap in the face if the selectmen go against the recommendations of the Hull Nantasket Chamber of Commerce, the catalyst for the social-economic factors that can benefit all the citizens of Hull.
Some selectmen are not the pro-business people we think they are. Saying so does not make it true; it’s the action you take that tells the real truth.
“Don’t listen to what they say, but watch what they do.”
– Jim Tobin