It started out as what appeared to be a straightforward solution to increase revenue to the city, by simply raising the parking meter rate. The plan became a little more problematic when it was also proposed to increase the number of pay for parking spots in the city. Then the issue became inflamed when it was proposed that the rate be increased by an additional twenty-five cents per hour to develop funds to be used for fire clearance and vegetation management projects. So, before any changes could be implemented, the Chamber of Commerce organized a resistance opposing the increasses, and the city council moved to etablish a committee to review concerns and develop a recommendation on how to proceed. City Manager Catrina Olsen says the committee is meeting at 4:00 PM today.
Olsen says the first meeting is to set goals, strategies and timelines for recommendations on parking rates as requested by the council. She suggests meter rates be the priority.
Though she is not on the parking committee Vice Mayor Erin Minett is still asking the committee to consider the fire cleanup fee as part of any increases.
The issue with long time business owners and residents, is that revenue generated by parking fees is to only be used on parking solutions, not other public works projects.