City Council Votes To Increase Parking Fines

READING, Pa. - Parking meter rates in Reading could be on the rise for the second time this year.

The Parking authority says the increase will help the city with its financial problems.

The price to park on the streets of Reading could be on the rise.

The Reading Parking Authority is contemplating whether to raise meter rates from $1.25 to $1.50. Some residents are not happy.

$1.50, are they crazy or what, asks Donna Manna. That's just too much money for an hour.

Officials say they're looking to bring street-parking rates to the same levels as garage rates.

You want your short-term parkers to park on the street at parking meters, you don't want your long-term parkers to be parking out there, because it inhibits business. said Larry Lee the executive director of the Reading Parking Authority.

The Parking Authority says the long-term is to raise parking meter rates to $2.00. But first they want to get rid of these old parking meters so you don't have to carry around of pocket full of change and can pay by credit card.

Under the ACT 47 financial recovery plan, the city's financial recovery plan, the agency is also trying to raise $2.5 million to contribute to Reading.

Parking Authority has been asked to provide as much revenue to the city as we possibly can and we're doing that, said Lee.

In fact, Monday night, city council voted to increase overtime fees at parking meters, from $15 to $20. The mayor signed the ordinance and it should take effect in about 10 days.

What we need to do is look at a balanced approach, said councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz. So raising parking rates is one way of approaching, rather than continue to go back to property taxes to generate revenue for the city.

If the Parking Authority decides to raise rates at meters this week, it will be a move that some council members support.

They're putting together everything that they need to do in order for us to cover the holes that we have thanks to ACT 47, said councilman Francis Acosta.

It's a decision of the Parking authority and we'll be supporting what they decide.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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