Thanks to KELOLAND TV we now know why there is free hourly parking in the 1st Avenue Parking Ramp. City Director Darrin Smith said, "We wanted to make sure that, especially in the month of December that customers Downtown go shopping, visiting Downtown was as convenient as possible for them so we've allowed them to park in the ramp."
Come on, if that was really the reason for not collecting hourly parking fees because of "a few setbacks in software issues communicating with the city's IT, then why not advertise the grand benevolent gesture back in late November when they knew the system was not capable of going live?
Why didn't the city do a press release letting the general public know that they were going to give the Downtown shoppers a Christmas gift in December? It's not like they don't know how to do press releases since there is at least a couple press releases a day coming out of City Hall. What a great way to let citizens and visitors to our great city know that they could park for free while visiting and shopping downtown.
Director Smith stated that the city parking lot delay is not costing the city money because it's saving money on the salaries of the people they let go. The hourly parking only brings in $50 a day, for goodness sakes. It's hardly worth the effort to collect the fees. If that is the case, it sounds like a nuisance fee to me. Maybe the Public Parking Facilities Board needs to just do away with that piddly, nuisance amount of revenue and let the shoppers and visitors park in the ramp free all the time.
Oh and by the way, there is a nice new business-like sign up on the parking fee machine instead of that tacky grey tape covering the slot. It now says, Please proceed. Upgrades in progress.
Another spin cycle out of City Hall after the cow left the barn. Mooooooooo!