SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – If you pay to park in downtown Sioux City, you soon could be paying more. The Sioux City Public Works Department is proposing the increase to help pay for parking renovations.
The proposed changes are two-fold one would be an increase in the price for parking downtown and the other is an increase in the cost of the fine for a parking ticket. The city says 2007 was the last time meter rates went up, and 2010 was the last time it increased the fine for a parking ticket.
“Two times a month, I get $10 taken out of my account because we have to pay for it. I don’t know about any other businesses. Then on top of that, we even have some staff members that don’t even get to park in the parking lot we’re at because their supposedly full,” said Sarah Schmidt, a nurse in downtown Sioux City.
Schmidt has been parking at the Heritage Parking for the past two years. She says it’s a significant expense for her but it’s the only option for parking near work.
“On the same hand, that’s a lot of money coming out of your paycheck when you already pay for insurance and all your health benefits and everything. that’s just ridiculous,” said Schmidt.
The Public Works Department is in the process of trying to increase meter parking, parking fines, and the cost of its parking ramps. Many of those ramps are used by people who work downtown and the fees coming out of their pockets.
“The employees pay for the parking spaces and all we are doing is making all of our parking ramps the same rates so everyone is paying an equal share your not paying less if you’re in river landing or heritage or discover versus the people in the Martin Luther King Jr. ramp,” said David Carney
Director of the Sioux City Public Works department.
The goal of the project is to generate more revenue to pay for repairs to the parking ramps to keep them structurally safe. It would also to help purchase new meters for downtown that is a part of a 14-year plan.
“I believe it’s in 2022 our parking fund would start to go negative, so that’s why we are looking at rate increase at this time because of our upcoming meter replacement and our upcoming projects on all of our garages and structures,” said Carney.
“It’s not just me that’s being affected its everyone in the community cause there is a ton of business that come out of there every day,” said Schmidt.
What the Sioux City Public Works department is not saying is exactly how much the increase will be. They say that’s still being decided.
Currently, phase one of the Heritage Parking repairs is underway, and new parking meters are in the process of being bought and installed says the Public Works department.