The City of Delaware is considering an ordinance to amend the schedule of parking fees and service charges in the city. During Monday’s meeting of the Delaware City Council, the first reading of the ordinance was held that would increase the rate from 25 cents per hour to $1 per hour or 25 cents per 15-minute increments.
According to the city, the rate increase would represent “approximately a three-fold increase in revenue from parking for the 2023 fiscal year.”
As part of the ordinance, city staff is recommending the parking rate be moved to the fee schedule to be reviewed every year with the budget rather than as a standalone section in Chapter 353 of the Delaware Code of Ordinances.
Alycia Ballone, the director of management, budget, and procurement, said of the ordinance, “When council had adopted the 2023 operating budget, appropriations were made from the Parking Lot Fund based on an increase of $1 per hour from our current rate of 25 cents per hour. So, before you tonight, staff is recommending that we move the parking rate fee from the parking chapter, 353, to the fee schedule so that it can be reviewed annually as part of the operating budget. And then we’re also recommending the rate change as well.”
Vice Mayor Kent Shafer said during the meeting, “As you know, we’ve been working for a long time to try and find ways to improve the use of our parking in a limited capacity. We’d certainly like to add capacity, but doing that at the surface level is not easy to do, and a parking garage is a long-term cost. So this is just one step in how we better manage our surface parking.”
Shafer noted there have been concerns from downtown business owners regarding the impact of increased parking costs on employees. To address those concerns, Shafer said he’s asked City Manager Tom Homan to allow him to work with Main Street Delaware and downtown business owners to try and find a way to provide affordable parking to employees.
Homan said of the city’s efforts to accommodate downtown employees, “We are taking a look at trying to secure more off-street parking for permits. Right now, our permit structure is such that you buy a permit but you’re not assured of a space. We’re trying to take a look at some existing surface lots that we might be able to work with the owners on to provide more dedicated permit parking for downtown to address some of the issues that have been pointed out.”
A public hearing has been scheduled to further discuss the proposed changes at the next council meeting, which will be held on Monday, Feb. 27, at 7:15 p.m.