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In Huntington, free holiday parking will have a shorter season this year

Main Street in downtown Huntington in March 2020.

Main Street in downtown Huntington in March 2020. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

The holiday from parking meter fees will be shorter this year in downtown Huntington.

The Huntington Town Board approved a resolution waiving metered parking fees in the downtown Huntington shopping area between Dec. 16 and 26.

In years past, the reprieve from the fees ran from the day after Thanksgiving until Jan. 1.

Town spokeswoman Lauren Lembo said Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci had proposed extending the fee break by one week — to end with the close of the Huntington Holiday Spectacular on Jan. 7 — but he did not get enough support from his board colleagues.

The free metered parking aims to "even the playing field" between local merchants and the malls and big box stores during the holiday shopping season, Lembo said.

Town board member Gene Cook, sponsor of the resolution, said there are several other incentives to attract people to come to the downtown and walk around to support local businesses, including shutting down Wall Street to vehicular traffic for the holiday spectacular for weeks.

"Waiving parking fees is a huge expense for the town," Cook said. "The town still needs to make its obligation; we want everyone to support everyone but we have a fiscal responsibility to the entire town."

Wall Street will be closed to motor vehicles between Main and Gerard streets through Jan. 14 for the Huntington Holiday Spectacular, including breakdown after the event, which starts Saturday. That closure began last weekend for setup.

The town board passed the measure 4-1 at its Nov. 18 meeting with Lupinacci voting no because he did not support the shortened parking fee holiday.

The board also approved allowing the installation of holiday lights and decorations in various business areas by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and Huntington Village Business Improvement District; the Huntington Station Business Improvement District and the East Northport Chamber of Commerce. The holiday displays will be up from Friday through Jan. 9.

There also will be a Hanukkah menorah and a Nativity scene on town property at the Northport LIRR station from Friday through Jan. 1.

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