INCREASED RATES - City council voted to increase the parking rates by 25 per cent. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

City increases parking rates by 25%

Red Deerians expected to pay increase in early fine payments

Come July 1st, Red Deerians will see an increase in their parking fees.

City council decided on a 25% increase in parking rates in their second last day of operating budget deliberations.

Councillor Vesna Higham brought forth the motion, stating that when comparing themselves with the parking rates and fines in other communities, they are very comparable.

Against the motion were Buck Buchanan, Tanya Handley and Mayor Tara Veer.

Veer felt better about having the increase at 15% and said her reluctance came down to the recessed economy and the challenge for downtown retailers.

With many different zones in the downtown comes many different rates people can expect to pay.

Tara Lodewyk, director of planning services for the City said that rates for the metres and rates for the City’s off-street lots also vary.

“They range currently from 80 cents an hour to $1.50 for a half an hour unrestricted, and there’s only a small zone that has that,” she said.

With the 25% variable increase, the maximum amount a person will pay per hour in the City’s higher use areas is $2 per hour. And Lodewyk said that amount will be less per hour in areas that are longer stay or are lower use areas.

As an example, an area that is two-hour restricted is currently $1.30 an hour, and with the 25% increase, it would be $1.75.

“On something that’s an hour, it’s only going to be $1.25,” she added.

Council also passed an increase in parking tickets to $65, with an increase to early paid tickets being $30.

“If you come in within 10 days and pay that ticket, we reduce it by $35, so your total ticket would only be $30.”

Currently, if a person were to come in and pay their ticket early, it’s $20.

The reason for the increases is due to the City’s debentures on the current Sorenson Station.

Lodewyk said what the City generates from parking isn’t enough to cover the cost of those debentures.

The increased rates will see the parking revenue at $382,000 and the fines revenue at $235,000.

The increase will come into effect July 1st.

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