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Friday, February 03, 2006

City of Fort Wayne and More Downtown Disincentives

Richard's Administration Recommends Doubling Parking Fees

Sara Eaton in the Journal-Gazette reports this morning that the Fort Wayne Board of Public Safety has recommended a doubling of parking meter fees.

It seems nonsensical that the City claims it wants to see downtown become a vibrant place again while endorsing disincentives to that happening.

The explanation given is that there isn't enough money being made off the meters to pay for the costs of the City's Parking Control and Enforcement.
[Associate City Attorney Taylor] was not able to provide specific numbers to show the exact difference between how much Parking Control and Enforcement gains in revenue as compared to how much the department costs to operate.

Figures compiled in the city’s 2006 operating budget plan show the department earned $201,903 income from parking meters alone for the 2004 calendar year while $411,318 was spent in connection with the meters.

Figures showing how much fine money the city earned from motorists whose meters expired could not be found, but according to previous information given to The Journal Gazette, the city earned more than $400,000 in parking meter fines in 2004.

The operating budget plan shows the parking enforcement division is approved for a $528,683 budget for 2006 plus an additional $74,100 for capital improvements that include replacement of at least one vehicle, a police radio and other hardware the ticket writers use daily.

A message to City Clerk Sandy Kennedy to explain some of the figures was not immediately returned late Thursday.
The original goals of parking meters and parking fines was to ensure that scarce parking resources would turn over often enough so as not to impede commerce in the downtown area. It was an attempt to have citizens pay an economic cost for the "rental" of parking space.

The purpose was not to self-perpetuate a parking enforcement apparatus.

Fort Wayne has a downtown? Hmmm...
I think the mayor might have let his judgement become clouded by his position. He must have forgotten that an overwhelming majority of Fort Wayne citizens are cash-broke, credit-card-maxing, bankruptcy-declaring fools who only live here because it's cheaper than living anywhere else. You know, the folks that think Red Lobster is a fancy place to eat good seafood...and then STILL wear a banged-up old flannel shirt and a trucker's cap when they eat there...?!?! If you take the "cheap" away, Fort Wayne will not have a lot going for it in the eyes of a lot of those people. For those of us that DO have two nickels to rub together, parking meters are simply a nusiance tax we have to pay when we want to park in a convenient spot. I really don't see how it will effect my bottom line at the end of the year.
I just hate it when politicians come up with stupid ideas like doubling the parking meter fees.

The City of Fort Wayne has increased the following fees in the last six months:

1. $1 more per month for garbage.
2. A 65% increase for stormwater fees.
3. A 25% increase for water fees.

What is truly sad, is that voters believe that both The Mayor AND and our City Council are fiscal conservatives...

Read the article Indiana Parley posted and look at the numbers carefully. The City of Fort Wayne would LOSE money if it were not for the ticketing process...

If our City government truly wants to grow downtown, they should eliminate parking fees entirely.

According the the JG article Indiana parley refers to making parking free would cost the City a MINIMAL amount of money.

Heck, if Fort Wayne would not have spent 2.2 MILLION dollars to seize Belmont Beverages we would have plenty of money for free parking for many years to come. Instead, the City owns a piece of land and they have no idea what they want to use it for.

It is no wonder that Fort Wayne was labelled "The dumbest City in America" last year...

We keep electing these politicans and they just blow our money every year.

Mike Sylvester
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