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Public-parking talk will follow budget banter
Budget consultations may have wrapped up this week, but the public will get another evening with city council in February to discuss downtown parking.
Last summer, the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association (KCBIA) asked the city to look at raising meter rates and parking fines and switching from coin-operated parking meters to digital pay stations.
The KCBIA said the changes will encourage more people to use off-street parking, which is more expensive than the current meter rate.
The intent is to cut down on the number of business owners and workers taking up on-street stalls meant for shoppers.
A staff report on the changes is headed to council on Feb. 19 and the public will get a chance to weigh in on the new plan on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at Interior Savings Centre.
Mayor Peter Milobar said it’s not clear how the changes — which staff have previously indicated could cost the city upwards of $2.2 million, but would bring in an extra $1.2 million in revenue a year — would be funded.
If there is an upfront cost, Milobar said, council could decide whether to pursue the parking changes this year when it tackles other items in the supplementary budget in April.
At a council workshop in 2012, staff said the meter increase could double the cost of parking on most downtown streets to $1 an hour. On Victoria Street, the cost could rise to $1.50 per hour.
The KCBIA also asked the city to consider offering a third hour of parking at a higher price and to put 30-minute express stalls on the busiest blocks of Victoria.