Meter, garage fees to be discussed by city council

March 13, 1995|By Ellen Gamerman | Ellen Gamerman,Sun Staff Writer

The city council will hear proposals for new parking meter fees, garage rates and parking programs for Annapolis when it meets at 7 tonight.

The Downtown Annapolis Parking and Transportation Advisory Committee, which is supervised by the Planning and Zoning Department, will issue recommendations for local parking.

One set of parking rules will apply to the yearlong Main Street reconstruction project set to begin this month. The proposals are aimed at bringing customers downtown during this difficult period for businesses by offering lower meter fees and other parking incentives.

Some aldermen said they may try to revise the parking plan, which would cost $368,000 to implement.

The parking committee's most expensive recommendation is to offer free parking in the city's downtown garages during the Main Street project, at a cost of $204,000. The remaining costs would come from free shuttle bus service and promotions to bring shoppers downtown.

Currently, parking meter rates are 50 cents an hour. The parking proposal would raise them to 75 cents an hour after Main Street reconstruction.

The parking committee's report also recommends fines for overtime parking and for feeding expired meters. The fines would be $10, if paid within a day, or as much as $28, if left unpaid more than 22 days.

The report urges the city to write more tickets if the fines are to stay low.

The parking committee also will consider a long-term parking strategy to handle the anticipated rise in tourist traffic after the Main Street work is completed.

In other matters, the aldermen are likely to reject a proposed pay cut for city council members offered by a Salary Review Commission in January. The council also is considered likely to appoint a new salary commission.

The commission suggested that the mayor's pay be cut from $52,000 to $40,000 a year and council members' from $8,500 to $5,000. The commission, made up of former aldermen, also recommended eliminating the mayor's $4,000-a-year expense account. The new salaries would go into effect in 1997, after the next city elections.

The council rejected the pay cut proposals in early February but, because of a procedural error, aldermen must vote on the issue again tonight.

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