Nevada City parking meter fees return next week
For awhile, parking was free in Nevada City, if you could find it.
Now, after a few months of reprieve, people parking in Nevada City must fill their meters starting next week. According to Nevada City Police Chief Chad Ellis, after giving warnings for the last two weeks, enforcement will return Nov. 9.
In May, the city temporarily suspending parking meter enforcement, hoping to remove any friction from people wanting to patronize downtown businesses.
But now, with laid off parking enforcement positions returning, city officials are hoping the running meters will allow for more turnover and will increase available parking spots downtown.
According to Grass Valley resident Gail Hopper, short of quickly creating additional parking lots, this was the best step the city could take to increase spaces.
“I think it’s great, especially now as holiday season approaches and hopefully there are more people shopping and visiting downtown and needing parking,” she said. “There needs to be a long-term solution, too. We’ve always needed more parking options. ”
The city had created plans for a new parking lot off Broad Street, but major infrastructure improvements were put on hold due to budget constraints resulting from COVID-19.
Between fiscal year 2013-14 and 2017-18, the city averaged about $222,000 in annual revenue from parking meter enforcement and citations. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the city anticipated collecting more than $400,000 in fiscal year 2019-20 from parking meter enforcement.
While the move will help city finances, Nevada City resident Lori Doyle said she fears it could be bad for businesses.
“I was sort of getting used to just ignoring the meters altogether,” she said.
According to Doyle, she visits downtown at least once a week in support of local businesses and the return of parking fees won’t change that.
“You never know with how things are going now what will be the last straw for a business,” she said. “I’ll still come downtown.”
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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