Nevada City doubles parking meter rates; expects more than twice the revenue |

Nevada City doubles parking meter rates; expects more than twice the revenue

Parking in Nevada City just got more expensive.

The Nevada City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to double rates for all parking meters in the city from 25 cents to 50 cents per hour, which will generate an estimated $276,000 per year. The meters drew $100,366 in revenue for fiscal year 2018-19.

The increase is effective immediately, though someone must change the rate on the meters to implement it.

The increase was based on recommendations from the recently formed parking committee, which was created after the city adopted a controversial parking meter rate hike to $1 in June only to suspend the increase the following month.

Amid backlash from the community and business owners who feared the increase would drive away tourists and customers, the council created a committee comprised of council members and residents to study the issue and put forward their recommendations.

During their first meeting, the committee recommended replacing the previous freeze with a 25-cent increase and agreed to look at larger parking issues in the future.

“I do want to acknowledge that the best thing that came out of this was the parking committee,” Council member Erin Minett said. “There are many other issues to look at around this.”

Minett, who serves on the parking committee and voted against suspending the original 75-cent increase, said she would continue pushing for a higher rate and is glad the city now has the committee as a resource.

“I’m grateful for the parking committee, but I’d still like them to consider increasing the fee 25 cents,” Minett said. “And I’m going to keep putting that out there.”

Parking committee member Paul Matson, who also serves on The Union Editorial Board, agreed that this recommendation is just the first step in tackling a variety of parking issues.

“This is the most important issue facing Nevada City,” Matson said. “Our committee is on the job and ready to go.”

Although some are looking toward larger issues, Nevada City Mayor Reinette Senum said finding parking meter rates that make everyone happy is still achievable.

“I do think we could definitely fine tune this,” Senum said. “It’s a step in the right direction, but we can definitely fine tune it to benefit businesses, visitors and employees.”

Due to an existing resolution, 10% of the parking meter funds will be set aside for creating additional parking spaces in the downtown area.

According to staff reports, Nevada City currently generates about $10,000 a month from its 237 parking meters and expects to raise that to $23,000 per month once parking meter machines are updated.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call (530) 477-4229.

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