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Feeding the meter

Anonymous • Apr 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM

My topic this week is the possibility of parking meters returning to downtown.

The meters may be a good revenue source for the city but at what price will the businesses have to pay if they are installed? It is a shame that the city might be entertaining thoughts of bringing the meters back after not having very much success with them in the past.

Some companies may install the meters, maintain them, and collect the revenue for the city for a certain percentage of the revenue. In addition, the city would have to employ an officer to monitor and cite the people for overdue meters. After paying out the company’s percentage and obtaining an officer to monitor the meters, what will be left of any kind of revenue for the city? If the city does a long-term contract and the meters are causing businesses to move out, then how do you break a long-term contract before the meters have caused too much damage to downtown? The company would want a long-term contract so they can redeem some of their costs in setting up the meters.

Would the study suggest we need another parking lot or possibly another parking garage? There is no doubt that the city would need more parking, especially if City Hall relocates downtown, which would place a huge strain on the downtown parking. Who would pay for the additional parking? Would the downtown study implementation possibly push the city’s other needed projects to the bottom of the list, once again?

I detest parking meters and having to remember when the meter is due to expire so I can get back in time to feed the meter more money, or possibly receive a citation costing me more money for my trip downtown. If the meters are installed, I will choose to say no thank you to the aggravation and hassle of it all and not patronize downtown. Meters may be fine in bigger cities, but could the meters possibly destroy our downtown after all the work that has been put into it to make it prosper once again?

Until next week, I hope the city will carefully weigh the recommendations of the study. It cost money to implement ideas that the city doesn’t have to spend. The city needs to evaluate projects wisely as to whether they are top priorities and worthy of spending money on them. Consideration of our debt of $67 million needs to be evaluated when spending any more money on major projects.

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