Time to plug the meter?
On-street parking rates are ticking toward expiration as City Council on Tuesday approved a public hearing for April 2 to consider an average hourly rate increase of 43 percent.
The composite rate would go up from 42 cents an hour to 60 cents an hour.
The new rates are expected to increase parking revenue for the city by $141,320 annually as well encourage turnover downtown for the benefit of businesses and sales-tax collections.
The revenue would help the city plan for projects, such as more public transportation and a new parking garage. The Transit Center is designed to be supplemented with a 400-space parking garage.
The new meters are supposed to be more user-friendly, taking payment from credit cards, smartphones and pre-paid cards as well as coins.
The current meters are so old that they are beyond their service life and electronic repair parts are no longer available to keep the meters in operation, according to a city memo.
The new rates would be effective in summer when more advanced meters replace the old ones.
Parking citation fees are not proposed to change.