State College

Council approves parking fee increases

The State College borough is increasing downtown parking fees to help offset the cost of upcoming capital improvement projects.
The State College borough is increasing downtown parking fees to help offset the cost of upcoming capital improvement projects. Centre Daily Times, file

Drivers in the State College borough will see an increase in parking rates over the course of this year into next year after council action Monday.

A raise in parking fees was proposed in February as part of an estimated $6 million in borrowing for parking garage updates. The funds generated by the fee increases would be used to repay the borrowing.

Council unanimously approved a general obligation borrowing Monday for more than $6.2 million to fund the capital improvement projects, including off-street parking facilities, completion of the Fraser/Beaver public space and streetscape improvements along South Pugh Street.

Parking garage maintenance and renovation will include exterior renovations at the Fraser Street Garage, borough Manager Tom Fountaine said, elevator work at the Beaver Avenue Garage and elevator and lighting work in the Pugh Street Garage. Renovation of the parapet walls in the Pugh Street Garage could be included as well.

The first change is slated to begin Monday, according to the borough fee schedule, as the fee for using metered parking facilities during special events will rise to $2.25 per hour, up from $1.75, and a $32 maximum 24-hour fee, up from $28.

Most rate changes are scheduled to begin July 1, including:

▪ $45 for on-street commuter parking permits, up from $40.

▪ Off-street parking garage special event rates at $2.25 per hour, up from $1.75, with a $32 maximum fee, up from $28.

▪ Beaver Garage 24-hour parking permit at $100 per month per permit, up from $90, and $85 for commuter-only per-month permits, up from $75.

▪ Fraser Garage 24-hour parking permits at $115 per-month per permit, up from $105, and $85 for commuter-only per-month permits, up from $75.

▪ Pugh Garage 24-hour parking permits at $115 per-month per permit, up from $105, and $100 for commuter-only per-month permits, up from $90.

▪ McAllister Deck second-floor permits at $100 per month, up from $90, and $85 per month for roof, up from $75.

▪ Railroad Lot at $75 per space per month, up from $65.

▪ Barnard Street Lot at $75 per space per month, up from $65.

▪ A $35 annual loading and unloading permit, up from $25.

More changes are slated to begin July 1, 2017, including:

▪ 25 cents for 12 minutes of on-street metered parking, down from 15 minutes.

▪ $1.25 per hour for use of metered parking facilities, up from 50 cents per half-hour.

▪ Between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., 50 cents for 30-60 minutes for off-street parking garages, and $1.25 per hour or portion thereof after the first hour, up from a flat 50 cents for each half-hour. The first half-hour remains free.

▪ Between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., 75 cents for 30-90 minutes for off-street parking garages, and 75 cents per hour after the first 90 minutes, up from a flat 50 cents for each hour. The first half-hour remains free.

▪ A $20 maximum 24-hour charge for off-street parking garages, up from $16.

Council members expressed a concern that the increases could result in a reduced amount of borough parking, resulting in fewer fees collected.

“We have an inelastic demand for parking,” Fountaine said. “We don’t expect a small fee increase to have a negative impact on the number of vehicles parking.”

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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