City councilors approved the first reading of a proposal to designate 10 parking spaces in the Beaver Street lot as two-hour parking Tuesday, April 2.

Eight of the 10 spots that could be designated as two-hour parking would be located directly behind the Opera House with the two other spaced located in the middle portion of the lot on the end closest to Beaver Street.

The Beaver Street lot has 53 available parking spaces, but City Manager Joseph Slocum estimated that at least 20 of the spots are occupied year round. By designating some spaces as two-hour parking, it would help the businesses located in the Opera House, as well as ones located at the bottom of Beaver Street.

If approved, the two-hour time limit for the 10 spaces would be in effect from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Sundays and holidays.

Slocum explained to councilors he drafted the proposal with the intent of getting feedback about how to proceed. Councilor Mike Hurley said one of his concerns with the proposed parking spaces is that some of the spaces behind the Opera House are too small for larger vehicles to pull into or out of easily.

Slocum explained that the city has discussed repaving the lot, which means the parking spots would also need to be repainted. He said it would be possible to adjust the size of the spaces at the time.

As discussion continued, Hurley suggested adding an additional handicap parking space, which Councilor Roger Lee agreed would be a good idea.

The first reading of the proposed parking change was approved unanimously.

In other business:

Wayne Marshall provided an update on the state of the Harbor Walk project. Marshall said he had met with the contractor Tuesday, April 2, and said the contractor could begin breaking ground as early as April 15.

Councilors approved allowing the Belfast Farmers Market to use a portion of Main Street on the first Friday of every month from May through October.

A request from Central Maine Power to remove 17 trees that are dead or either interfering with utility lines was approved.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.