The new parking garage on Miller Avenue with 254 parking spaces, but most of the time, less than 10 percent of them are filled by cars, according to a report by Marty Van Duyn, assistant city manager.
That also means revenue from the garage is less than 10 percent of initial projections, according to the staff report.
In order to turn the garage around, staff is recommending that the city council cut all parking fees in half across the board. This would mean:
- Hourly parking rates would drop from $1 an hour to 50 cents an hour.
- Daily parking would drop from $3 to $1.50.
- Monthly parking permits would drop from $40 to $20.
- Annual parking permits would drop from $440 to $220.
The parking garage was meant to feed people to downtown businesses, but residents say it's overpriced, the payment system is confusing, and it's hard to find, according to the staff report.
Staff also plans to install better signage explaining the payment boxes and work with downtown businesses to help promote the garage with fliers.
The Parking Place Commission approved the new rates at its Feb. 14 meeting. The city council will vote on whether to amend the master fee schedule at its meeting tonight.