Parking Meter Increases

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will vote to increase parking meter rates and to extend meter enforcement hours Monday night. Once approved, the changes will become effective on May 2. On-street meters will now be $0.60 per hour all around, that's up from an average $0.30-$0.50. The parking garage hourly rate will increase to $0.60 an hour, that's up from $0.50.

These rates will be effective for on-street meters until 9 p.m. and for parking garages until 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. That will make a big difference from what it is now, effective Monday through Friday until 5 p.m., especially for drivers who like to leave their cars parked overnight either in parking garages or on the street on Friday nights.

A major reason the city council is moving forward with these parking increases is so that they can finance the construction of a possible new parking garage at the corner of Walnut and Short Street. These rate and hourly increases will generate approximately $249,000 for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year and $597,000 anually after that.