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Commissioners Set New Parking Rates
GRAND RAPIDS — As expected, city commissioners ratified the rate changes last week passed by the Automobile Parking Commission last month — changes that will result in additional projected revenues of $114,300 for the Parking Services Department over the coming fiscal year.
Changes were approved for categories that include the half-hour rate, the daily-maximum rate and the monthly-parking rate. Of the 57 city rates, 40 percent remained unchanged; 33 percent were raised at the Consumer Price Index figure of 3.4 percent; 19 percent were raised above the CPI; and 7 percent got an increase below the CPI.
“Aside from a $4 increase in monthly parking fees proposed for two DASH facilities, and a $12.50 increase proposed for monthly parking at the Government Center ramp, the proposed rate schedule is, in general, unremarkable,” Parking Services Director Ted Perez told commissioners.
Perez added that it costs his department about $24 a month to maintain each DASH space.
Monthly rates at city-owned ramps and lots will rise by 2 percent to 25 percent. The smallest percentage increase, 2 percent, will occur at the Louis Campau and Pearl Ionia ramps. The largest, at 25 percent, will take place at the DASH West and DASH South lots. Both will rise by $4 to $20 a month and include a shuttle ride.
Later this year, DASH South is expected to be split in half; the northern portion will be priced at $30 for monthly parking, while the southern section will stay at $20.
Second Ward Commissioner Rick Tormala felt that the city shouldn’t charge a fee for evening parking. Free nighttime parking, he said, would draw more customers to restaurants downtown and more event-goers to DeVos Hall and the Van Andel Arena.
But the city’s biggest parking-revenue generators are also the most popular choices for event parking: the Ottawa Fulton and Louis Campau ramps. Both are projected to earn more than $1 million in revenue for the city in the upcoming fiscal year, and a goodly portion of that total will come from event parking, as both are prime parking sites for the arena.
In addition, the city will lose about $750,000 in annual parking revenue with the Grand Center parking ramp having been demolished for the convention center expansion project.
The new parking rates go into effect on July 1.