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People may have to pay to park downtown

People may have to pay to park downtown

YAKIMA, Wash.-- You might have to keep some loose change on you in the new year. City Council is considering installing parking meters downtown to charge for parking.

“It’s been something council has considered several times, reintroducing parking meters to generate a modest amount of revenue for the general fund,” said Yakima City Manager Cliff Moore.

He said this is something that the council has grappled with over time, but they're in need of a way to pay for the upkeep of parking lots the city's responsible for.

“The challenge that we've had is maintaining the parking lots that we do have, in good condition, well-striped, and resurfaced, and well lighted, and previously, the parking meter revenue did go to cover those costs, and subsequently, since parking meters were removed, we've had to take those costs out of general fund,” said Moore.

The lots where you may see parking fees are the Capitol Theatre lot, the lots across from and behind Second Street Grill, and the lot next to what used to be the Barrel House. Council is proposing one hour free, and then 50 cents per hour thereafter, from 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. during the week. Weekends and holidays would be free. Moore said implementing this could raise a sufficient amount of money.

“It could raise as much as $113,000 if there was 40 percent occupancy and the space turned over on a regular basis,” said Moore.

Daniel Baeza lives in Yakima. He said he doesn't like the idea of having to pay for parking. but it won't keep him away from the downtown area.

“No, I need to get stuff done around here, but in general, I just don't see it as a necessity,” said Baeza.

Parking meter revenue will be discussed tomorrow evening at the City Council meeting at 6:00 P.M.

The public is welcome to attend and comment.

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