Drivers in Fredericton may see a 50 percent price increase at some of the city's parking meters in summer 2023. The proposed general fund budget for 2023 made recommendations that included parking meters, sidewalk patios and parking garages.
Alicia Keating, assistant director for corporate services and the city's treasurer, presented the proposed budget during a council-in-committee open budget meeting on Monday evening.
The discussion was not completed during the meeting's timeline and the City of Fredericton's communications manager Wayne Knorr said in an email that council did not make a decision and the discussion will be picked up on Nov. 21. In an earlier email, he said the 2023 budget will be formally adopted at a meeting currently scheduled for Nov. 28.
Parking price increase recommendations
The recommended rate increase for half-hour parking meters is from $1 per half hour to $1.50.
The one-hour and two-hour meters would see a 25 cent increase from $1.75 per hour to $2.
The four-hour rate would be increased from $1 per hour to $1.50. If passed, all of the meter increases would be effective July 1, 2023.
"These are to bring us better in line with what other municipalities charge for parking," said Keating during the presentation.
Recommendations for parking lot and garage rates were also presented. Parking lot rates would increase from $1.75 per hour to $2 and $1 per hour to $1.25 for parking garages. These changes would also go into effect July 1.
Keating also presented two recommendations which would go into effect Jan. 1, 2023. It is recommended that the maximum parking time be increased from two hours to three for the Tannery parking lot on King Street.
Another recommendation would impact businesses that rent sidewalk space for patios. The proposed budget recommends an increase from $422 per patio season to $500 for sidewalk rentals.
Last increased over 10 years ago
Charlene Sharpe, manager of transit and parking services, sent a report on the parking rate increase recommendations, dated Oct. 12, 2022, to Mayor Kate Rogers.
In the report, Sharpe says the last rate increase for the half-hour and four-hour parking meters was in May, 2010. The last increase for one and two-hour meters was in May, 2011.
The parking lot rate for the York Street Carpark was last changed in January, 2007. The other parking lots in the city have not seen a change since May, 2011.
According to the report, there has been an increase in parking maintenance costs over the years. Sharpe said in the report that supplies and snow removal also saw "substantial" cost increases in 2022.
"A rate increase will assist in offsetting some of this and previous year's inflation increases in these operational costs," she said in the report. The report says another parking rate increase would not take place until a meter replacement plan is presented to city council.
Sharpe's report said the parking meter increases in 2023 would bring in an anticipated $50,000 in revenue and around $15,000 for the lots, with an even greater impact in 2024.
If city council approves the recommended parking rate increases, bylaws would have to be revised in order to allow the increases. Those amended bylaws would then need to be approved by council.