Downtown parking meter fees will double – possibly for the first time in 35 years – under a plan that won unanimous approval Tuesday from City Council.
Under the new rates, which could get final approval from council Feb. 12, the cost for an hour of metered parking would double from 25 cents to 50 cents. Twelve minutes would go from a nickel to 10 cents, and 24 minutes would double from 10 to 20 cents.
City Attorney Carol Helton told council that city staff members could find no evidence of the rates increasing since at least 1978. In an informal survey, parking officials found that hourly meter rates in many comparable Midwest cities range from 75 cents to $1 an hour, said Colin Keeney, parking control supervisor with the city clerk's office.
"In a perfect world," Keeney told council, the new rates would increase annual meter revenue from just over $200,000 to about $400,000. The higher rates also could free up more downtown parking by encouraging more turnover, city officials said.
Aqua takeover ordinance held
Also Tuesday, council delayed action on a bill that would start the process of condemning Aqua Indiana's southwest-side water utility, giving city and Aqua officials more time to negotiate a purchase of the system.
Last week, Aqua and City Utilities officials asked council President Tom Didier, R-2nd, not to hold public debate on the issue because the two sides believed they were making progress in closed-door talks.
Tim Pape, an attorney representing the city, read a joint statement from the two sides:
"We want to assure City Council members that we are working diligently to resolve all issues and remain optimistic that a positive agreement can and will be reached. If and when a settlement is formalized, we look forward to presenting it in full to City Council and the public."
Council held the bill until further notice.