Lafayette council signs off on increases
By RICHARD BURGESS
October 27, 2012
LAFAYETTE — Fees for city parking meters and the downtown parking garages are going up Nov. 1 under new rates approved by the Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday.
The council also approved increases in some recreation fees.
The fees for two-hour parking meters, the most common in and around downtown, will rise from 60 cents to $1 for the full two hours under the rate schedule approved unanimously by the council.
The fee for the maximum time on 30-minute meters will rise from 25 cents to 35 cents, and the fee for the maximum time on 1-hour meters will rise from 40 cents to 60 cents.
There are 611 parking meters in Lafayette, and the fee increases are estimated to increase annual parking meter revenue by about $42,000, from $200,000 to $241,871.
The most-recent parking meter increases were in 2008, according to information from the city-parish Traffic and Transportation Department.
Fees are also going up at city-parish government’s downtown parking garages, with short-term parking rates going from 25 cents to 50 cents for 30 minutes.
Long-term fees will rise from $35 to $40 per month for parking inside the garage and from $15 to $20 a month for rooftop parking.
The parking garage fees have remained unchanged since the 1980s, and the Nov. 1 increase will bring in an additional $45,000 in annual revenue.
The Traffic and Transportation Department has also recommended phasing in additional parking garage fee increases in 2013 and 2014, but those recommendations would come back to the council for review during budget hearings, said Transit and Parking Manager Mike Mitchell.
The council approved the increases with little discussion.
The only public comment came from resident Dale Brasseaux, who said city-parish government should find a way to work with existing parking revenue rather than increasing fees.
Other council business items included the following:
PARKS AND RECREATION: The council on Tuesday unanimously approved a request from the Parks and Recreation Department to increase fees for some youth sports programs and the rental fees of facilities and sports fields.
The new fees are estimated to bring in an extra $180,000 in annual revenue to help close a recreation budget gap.
Parks and Recreation Director Gerald Boudreaux said in an interview earlier this month that he would likely be forced to scale back recreation programs if fees were not increased.
The fee increase comes as city-parish officials are considering asking voters in April to approve an increase in the property tax that funds the Parks and Recreation Department.
The department now relies on a subsidy from other areas of the budget — about $3 million — because revenue from the existing recreation tax has not kept pace with the growth of recreation facilities.
The recreation property tax is now 1.92 mills.
The lack of recreation revenue led to cuts in next year’s recreation budget, and Boudreaux has said the department is planning to reduce the days and hours of operation for the city’s 10 recreation centers to save on utilities and staffing expenses.