The City of Rochester has decided, in response to public backlash, it won’t extend paid parking hours in downtown Rochester. Instead, the city is now planning to increase the parking fee rates.
In June, the city approved legislation to extend paid parking Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the city says it has heard the concerns from residents and businesses owners over the change and decided to reverse course.
The change was set to take effect starting July 1, but the city gave drivers a one month grace period to adjust to the new rules, where officials would hand out warning rather than tickets.
The city says the effort was part of a series of steps to close a budget gap of $47.6 million.
Now, if approved by council, the city will instead increase the parking rates from $1.50 per hour to $2.
Statement from Mayor Lovely Warren
“Our City continues to face significant challenges and it is important for us to find revenue streams that will help us maintain services and lessen the burden on City taxpayers. It is important for us to not only maintain a vibrant Downtown but to build safer more vibrant neighborhoods, better educational opportunities and jobs for our residents. Our City continues to provide 68 percent of the taxes we collect ($119.1 million) to our school district without an increase in state Aid to Municipalities Funding. As we are asked to do more with our limited resources, providing exceptional service to our residents is our goal. That is why I’m thankful that our community was able to come together to achieve a result that helps the City maintain its budget projections and helps our citizens at the same time. This is a win/win solution for our entire community.”