Fort Wayne City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday in favor of installing new parking meters downtown.
City Clerk Lana Keesling says the current meters are virtually obsolete. Eight hundred new meters will cost the city nearly $800,000. Keesling says her department’s budgeting between last year, this year and next provides enough funding for all of the machines.
For services like transaction fees for credit cards and mobile capabilities, Fort Wayne residents shouldn’t rule out a rate increase. But Keesling says residents deserve more reliability in downtown parking meters.
“The meters we have are years old, and the reliability of them is very low; we’re out in the field repairing them every day,” Keesling said. “Hopefully those on the street park faster and find a meter that works as opposed to one that does not.”
The City will conduct a parking study in 2018 to determine how much of a rate increase may be necessary to help fund the meters. Keesling projects residents could pay as much as $1.25 an hour with an increase, but that won’t be known until the study is complete.
Sixth-district councilman Glynn Hines was the lone dissenting vote; he was against the idea of raising rates and suggested the city should focus on making parking more affordable. Hines noted the idea of advertising on meters to help offset some costs, an idea Keesling said she was open to.