GREAT FALLS – The Great Falls Parking Advisory Commission (PAC) is now recommending to the City Commission a new proposal regarding downtown parking meter rates and tickets.
The recommendation is to increase all meter rates to $1 per hour and to change the fee structure for parking tickets.
The new proposed fee structure for parking tickets will be for each license plate number: 1 lifetime courtesy ticket, $5 for the first offense, $10 for the second offense and $20 every time after the second offense. This will reset back to $5 after the new year to restart the fee structure.
The PAC is also recommending this new proposal to go into effect July 1, 2019 for the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Regarding the PAC meeting on Thursday, Planning and Community Development Director Craig Raymond said, “There was a lot of discussion on the different approaches to raise the needed revenue to operate the parking program.”
The reason for the increases is due to the current fiscal year budget being down about $100,000 a year and the PAC is proposing to raise an additional $100,000 a year for long-term maintenance to the facilities.
At the PAC meeting in March, they will formulate a plan for public engagement, where they go out and announce the recommendation and receive feedback from the public.
The PAC plans to go to a City Commission work session in April to relay the proposal and how the public reacted to it before the PAC takes it to the Formal Commission Action in May.
Raymond also said, “It goes through several steps and definitely the public engagement part is really important, I think the City Commission will want to know that it’s something the community will be okay with.”
Parking garages and surface lots will stay the same fee at 50 cents an hour.
Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News