City Sets Parking Ramp Rates

January 14, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS — The city’s newest parking facility will carry a monthly parking tab of $111.50 when it opens in July.

City commissioners ratified that recently week for the Monroe Center 2 ramp, an $8.6 million facility going up on Louis Street between Ionia and Ottawa avenues. The ramp will have 550 spaces.

The commission’s vote was 6-1, with 2nd Ward Commissioner Rick Tormala the only dissenter. Tormala voted against the new rate because he felt downtown parking was too expensive and that cost was keeping people from coming downtown.

But Mayor John Logie, also a parking commissioner, pointed out that lower parking rates would likely mean that the city would have to subsidize the parking system. The sole source of revenue for Parking Services is parking receipts, as the agency isn’t allocated any tax dollars.

In a fiscal year where the city’s general fund is facing a fairly large deficit, Parking Services should finish in the black. The department is expected to close FY03 next summer with a net-income figure around $1.4 million.

The monthly rate for the new ramp is $10 higher than the Ottawa Fulton ramp, which is across Louis from the Monroe Center 2 ramp. That’s because each space at MC2 cost about $17,300 to build, while each stall in the five-year-old Ottawa Fulton ramp ran about $15,360.

The monthly parking fee for the MC2 facility is the same amount the city charges at the Louis Campau ramp, but is $10.50 less than the price the city gets at the Pearl Ionia ramp.

City commissioners also agreed to raise the fee for event parking from $5 to $6 at the Louis Campau ramp, matching what the city charges at the Ottawa Fulton ramp. The MC2 ramp will also charge $6 for parking at an event when it opens.

Parking commissioners approved the new rates earlier. Acting Parking Services Director Pam Ritsema told the Business Journal last week that the new ramp is set to open in July.

City commissioners appointed David Kammeraad and Lisa Haynes to the Automobile Parking Commission last week, filling the vacancies of Michael Ellis and Betsy Westman on the board. Ellis, president of the Ellis Parking Co., and Westman, co-owner of Westman Realty, completed their maximum terms on the commission in December.

Kammeraad owns the Preusser Corp., the parent firm of Preusser Jewelers at 125 Ottawa NW. Haynes is director of operations for Grand Valley State University.           

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