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Price to park in Chambersburg will go up next year

April 26, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - It will cost more to park in Chambersburg's metered parking lots next year as the Chambersburg Borough Council on Monday night approved the first increase in fees since 1994.

The council voted unanimously to raise the cost of metered parking, which will take effect in January. Not affected will be the rates for on-street parking meters, which will remain at 25 cents an hour, according to Assistant Director of Finance Casimir Rzomp.

"We've gotten to the point where receipts are flat and the expenses are going up," Rzomp said of the reason for the increases. The parking meters raise about $100,000 a year in revenues that pay for maintaining and repaving the parking lots, as well as for the personnel to collect meter receipts, issue tickets and repair the meters.

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The Downtown Parking Committee finalized its recommendations last week to present to the council. The new rates affect so-called "prime" meters generally located nearer to shopping and streets, long-term meters that allow parking for up to 10 hours and the rates for monthly parking permits.

The prime meter rate will double to 20 cents an hour, according to the recommendation. Motorists without exact change will be able to put in a quarter, but it will still only be good for one hour of parking and the limit for prime parking will remain two hours.

Long-term parking will go from 10 cents an hour to 25 cents for two hours, Rzomp said. Of approximately 1,100 parking meters in the borough, Rzomp said 315 are for long-term parking.

The cost of a parking permit will increase depending on its location. The committee recommended the price of a monthly permit in the Capitol Lot be increased from $10 to $12; from $13 to $16 in the Chambers Centre, Dice, East Point, Municipal, Rosedale and Spring Street lots; and from the current $18 to $22 for reserved spaces in the Hoffman-Minnich and Shoppers lots.

Fines for parking meter violations will be increased from $3 to $5 beginning Jan. 1, according to the committee's recommendation. Prior to the last increase in 1994, a parking ticket for lapsed meter was $1.

The committee also recommended that the cost of a parking ticket for most other violations be increased from $10 to $15. The exception is for illegally parking in a metered space reserved for handicapped parking, which will increase from $10 to $25.

Councilman Robert Wareham, who is chairman of the Downtown Parking Committee, said representatives of local businesses asked that the new rates not go into effect until 2006 because employees had been hit this year with the new emergency and municipal services tax.

That $52-a-year tax replaced the former $10 occupational privilege tax. The additional revenue can be used for police, fire and ambulance services and street work, according to the law.

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