Here is a note staff composed explaining why parking rates are jumping. No one like it when something that they rely on increases in price, but in this case prices are being adjusted to reflect actual costs.
Please see the information below and attachment prepared by our municipal parking team as a response to some of the feedback on rate increases you’ve been receiving.
This week, monthly parking contract holders were informed of the new monthly parking rates for 2020. The new rates reflect an increase implemented as part of a 5-year rate plan which was unanimously approved by City Council on Sept. 5, 2018. A summary table for approved rate increases is attached.
The new rate structure was the product of an extensive rate study conducted by Walker Consultants in conjunction with city finance and Lanier Parking. The study included recommendations for surface, structured, and on-street parking as well as residential zones and enforcement. The primary concern of the study was to recommend the needed rate adjustments to keep the parking enterprise fund solvent over time.
Because municipal parking operates as an enterprise fund, the parking revenues must pay for parking operations, improvements and expansion. Funds are not taken by the city for other uses other than a small payment to the general fund in lieu of taxes. Financial policy dictates that the enterprise fund must remain solvent. The rate increases adopted by council were necessary to keep the fund balanced.
Though the approved rate increases are steep in some years, they bring the monthly contract price in Rochester more line with other municipalities. Best practices say that monthly parkers get about a 20% discount from the equivalent daily rate (calculated at 20 days X $14 (6-12 hour rate) = $280/month in 2019.) Monthly parkers in Rochester have been receiving a 50-60% discount in recent years. The 2020 rates reflect a 45% discount on the equivalent daily rate.
We appreciate the concern and understand that increasing rates can cause financial impacts to those who pay them. The City strives to use resources to invest wisely in parking services, parking and transportation infrastructure, public transit, and alternative mobility solutions to keep our downtown vibrant place to be and maintain convenient access to downtown for everyone.
Please let our team know if you have any additional questions.