Columbia residents oppose proposed parking fee hike
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents said Saturday they aren't happy about a proposed parking fee increase.
The proposed budget for the next fiscal year includes price hikes to various parking fees and fines.
Surface parking passes and fines from parking meter tickets would both increase by $5.
This means fines at parking meters would be $15 if the ticket is paid within 15 days or $30 after the 15-day mark.
Several Columbia residents, including Gary Hume, said they think this increase could have negative consequences for downtown Columbia. "I just think that's a bad idea because it drives people away from the downtown shopping and cultural arts," said Hume. "The more inconveniences that you have, the more people will go to other areas."
Hume said he thinks the increased parking fees could negatively impact earnings for downtown shops and restaurants.
City officials said revenues from the parking fees would help pay for hiring new police and fire department staff.
There is a public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall during a Columbia City Council meeting to debate these proposed parking fee hikes.