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LOCKPORT – The city will hold a public forum on downtown parking June 18, Common Council President Anne E. McCaffrey announced Wednesday.

McCaffrey said the 6 p.m. meeting in City Hall will discuss a parking study currently being carried out by two University at Buffalo urban planning students.

They are driving through Lockport during peak traffic periods to monitor traffic patterns, McCaffrey said.

An online and paper survey of downtown business owners is being developed, but McCaffrey said, “Hopefully, we’ll get businesses along Main Street to come to the meeting.”

Parking has been a sore point in downtown Lockport for years, with businesses complaining there isn’t enough near their stores, thus hurting their efforts to lure customers who don’t want to walk from a municipal parking lot, of which there are several.

Another is supposed to be built soon, when the decrepit downtown parking ramp is demolished and replaced with a 42-space surface lot on Main Street. However, that project remains tied up in litigation over a foul-up during the bid opening process.

The case filed by Scott Lawn Yard, a Sanborn company that was the lowest bidder but was denied the contract because its bid was handed in late, is to be heard in State Supreme Court next Wednesday. The company contends its representative was instructed to hand in the bid in Buffalo, rather than in City Hall.

Also Wednesday, the Council approved a special-use permit for the Widewaters Drive-In on Market Street to host a private farm market and arts and crafts market on about four acres of open land next to the restaurant.

Co-owner Martin Oliveri said the drive-in will provide up to 25 buildings, measuring 10 by 15 feet, for vendors. Sellers also may have the choice of bringing their own tents, up to 10 by 10 feet.

Oliveri said he hopes the market can operate seven days a week eventually, but he will start with weekends.

“Within a week, we’ll have the stone in and the buildings almost in,” Oliveri said. The market may open in about two weeks, he said.

The city operates an official farmers’ market in a municipal parking lot on Walnut Street. City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri said only three vendors have signed up to operate there.

The Widewaters Market will operate from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The city approved a similar plan in 2010, but Oliveri said rainy weather on market days doomed the project.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com