WILKES-BARRE — Nearly all of the 812 parking meters in the city’s downtown have been updated for higher fees, a move reflected in this year’s budget.
The hourly rate jumped from 75 cents to $1 — an action intended to raise $70,000 in additional revenue.
Those people parking in the spots will see the change by reading the fine print under the meters’ glass. It reads: “$1.00 Per Hour - Maximum Time Limit 4 Hours; 3 Minutes For Each Nickel, 6 Minutes For Each Dime, 15 Minutes For Each Quarter; Deposits Beyond Time Limit Will Not Add Time To The Meter.”
“Almost all of the meters have been reconfigured and the remainder will be finished by early next week,” Drew McLaughlin, administrative coordinator for the city, said Friday.
In addition, the cost of a parking ticket has doubled to $20.
They were among the fees increased in the city’s $44.9 million budget that also raised property taxes by 25 mills to 121.63 mills. Except for the property tax hike, city council last year approved Mayor Tom Leighton’s proposed budget. The mayor called for a 30-mill increase to meet the escalating costs of providing services to city residents.
The 2013 budget includes $450,000 in parking meter fees, up from $380,000 last year. The $225,000 budgeted for parking violations, however, remained the same.