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Carlisle takes steps to open outdoor seating, parks and parking spaces for businesses
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Carlisle takes steps to open outdoor seating, parks and parking spaces for businesses

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Carlisle Borough Hall

As downtown Carlisle restaurants get ready for limited reopenings Friday, Carlisle Borough Council took measures to give them more flexibility for outdoor seating.

On May 27, the Wolf administration changed some guidelines for dining in the yellow phase, allowing outdoor dining beginning June 5. For these businesses, the guidelines say indoor areas must be closed to customers except for thru-traffic and customers must be seated at a table.

Cumberland County is currently in the yellow phase.

The council waived the permit fee for business looking to use their sidewalks as an extension of their business. Businesses are also allowed to use adjacent sidewalk areas if they have the approval of neighboring property and business owners.

Businesses have been given until the close of business on June 19 to submit applications for sidewalk use, a sketch of the planned use and a certificate of liability insurance. Businesses are expected to practice COVID-19 prevention measures as outlined by the state.

Parking will remain free at meters downtown and at the Pomfret Street Parking Garage. Bagged parking spaces will still be available for businesses offering curbside services, but the council noted that parking supply and demand will be monitored on a weekly basis and modified as necessary.

The council will also allow small businesses to use borough parks for business activities.

All three of these measures are effective immediately.

“These are the first steps that we’re going to phase in. We’ll continue to explore options, and we continue to receive input from the small business community and encourage more of that,” said Borough Manager Susan Armstrong.

Armstrong added that “nothing’s in stone” and the borough will be relying on small businesses to tell them what is working and what isn’t to accelerate the recovery for downtown businesses.

“These actions can be tweaked very rapidly,” said Deputy Mayor Sean Shultz. “Under the emergency declarations, these recovery actions can be seen as actions that can be amended on the fly by the borough manager and the borough manager staying in consultation with council.”

The borough is still working out the details on how it will use an expected $150,000 in economy recovery funds from the CARES act.

“That information will be shared in the near future with the businesses,” Armstrong said.

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Inspire Pandemic Workforce: Alfredo Iannuzzi - owner of Marcello’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
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Inspire Pandemic Workforce: Austin Stoltzfus - Delivery driver for Grand Illusion Hard Cider
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Inspire Pandemic Workforce: Joanne Fortney - Food program manager at New Hope Ministries

Email Tammie at tgitt@cumberlink.com. Follow her on Twitter @TammieGitt.

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