York City might earn a good neighbor award from Family First Health after all.
Three months after moving into the city's new municipal building at 101 S. George St., York's administration has agreed to lease 24 spaces in the city's parking lot to its neighbor across the street.
The agreement lifts Mayor Kim Bracey's earlier embargo on renting parking spaces in the city's new lot. Bracey had said the city needed time to adjust to the new building and evaluate its parking needs.
That created a hardship for Family First Health, whose managers learned in January that their patient-parking
arrangement was about to fall apart. Since 2005, the clinic had rented 33 parking spaces for its patients from Sovereign Bank, the former owner of 101 S. George St.
Family First Health was notified by the city that its parking contract would end March 1, prompting the clinic's managers to worry publicly about patients' access to health care.
'A good compromise': As promised, the city has since re-evaluated its parking situation and determined "we weren't using all the spaces on a regular basis," said Jim Gross, the city's public works director.
"I think we came to a good compromise," he said.
Gross said the city would charge Family First Health the same rate charged by the bank, though he could not immediately recall the rate. The new contract begins July 1.
Jenny Englerth, executive director of Family First Health, said the clinic will likely reserve six of the 24 spaces for handicapped parking. When those spaces are filled, patients and visitors may continue to park at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 235 S. Beaver St., she said.
"We believe that it will be adequate parking for our patients' needs," Englerth said. "We're just extremely grateful that we were able to make this work."
-- Erin James may also be reached at ejames@yorkdis patch.com.