September 06, 2018 10:35 AM
(ABC 6 News) -- After months of discussion, the Rochester City Council on Wednesday night approved a plan that would simplify costs at parking ramps but result in higher costs for those who stay for longer periods.
The plan will still provide users their first hour free, after which point they will be charged $3 for the first hour and $1 for each additional half hour, up to $12. From there, users will pay $2 per hour up to a daily maximum of $16. The rates take effect Jan. 1, 2019.
A plan considered, but ultimately rejected, by the council would have instead billed users by the hour instead of the half hour. That plan would've brought in an additional $70,000 annually, but the council felt it was better to charge by the half hour so users don't pay for a full hour they don't use.
"The benefit to the consumer with 30-minute increments in the rate as opposed to the hour, I think it's clearly the better plan," council member Mark Hickey said.
The city also considered eliminating free parking after 5 p.m. on weeknights and all day on weekends, but that was scrapped after objections from downtown businesses.
The rate changes are important to bring revenue in to the city coffers to expand and renovate parking options, the city's transit and parking manager Tony Knauer said.
"Parking is an enterprise fund; it's not tax supported," he said. "So when you go through those gates and pay for your parking, that's what provides the funds to operate it, to make improvements and to expand it."
Parking fines will also increase from $5 to $18 and parking meter rates will increase by 10 cents per hour depending on zone.
The council is expected to talk about changes to event parking rates in the future.
Updated: September 06, 2018 10:35 AM
Created: September 05, 2018 10:52 PM
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