BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - Despite the ongoing battle between North End Restaurants and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu over a fee the city will charge restaurant owners, dozens of eateries still applied for the seasonal program.
The fight is over a $7,500 fee required for restaurants in the North End to open their doors for the outdoor dining season. Restaurant owners said because no other part of the city of Boston is required to pay, the fee is unfair to their neighborhood and businesses. Mayor Wu has said the fee is to address concerns residents had about seeing an increase in rodents and trash on the street.
The mayor said she recognized the concerns from businesses about the fee but wanted to make sure that residents' quality of life issues were being addressed as well.
In addition to the $7,500, restaurants will be charged $458 a month for each parking spot used in outdoor dining areas.
The city is offering hardship waivers for businesses that fit certain criteria but some restaurants have promised legal action.
The city says they've received 67 outdoor dining applications and 28 hardship waiver applications from restaurants in the North End. 23 of the hardship waivers have been granted.
"We are looking forward to a safe and vibrant outdoor dining season in the North End and the rest of the City. The Mayor and City staff are grateful for the continued partnership of the North End's residents and business owners." The city said in a statement.
Outdoor dining for the North End begins May 1st, while the rest of the city has already been enjoying eating alfresco
WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports