Previously announced increases to metered parking and parkade rates by the City of Charlottetown will be delayed until at least Oct. 31 to allow time for discussion with the business community.
The increases were first announced in April as part of the city’s 2020-21 budget. In an effort to support residents and businesses after the province declared a public health emergency, council announced free parking from March 19 through the months of April, May and June. Enforcement of time-related meter violations and the issuing of parking tickets (aside from safety issues) were also suspended during that time.
The new metered parking and parkade rate increases were to come into effect on Oct. 1. Due to continued impacts from the pandemic and concerns raised by the business community, council voted at a special meeting on Sept. 17 to delay instituting the new fees for at least one month until the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation (CADC), the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Charlottetown Inc., and other partners can be consulted.
The revenue from parking meters and parkade fees goes toward the ongoing staffing and maintenance of the city’s three parkades, as well as maintenance, repairs and improvements to street infrastructure. The city is required by provincial legislation to have a balanced budget and must find revenue to offset expenses.
Due to the lack of revenue during the first few months of the pandemic and the unexpected expenses from increased cleaning, sanitation supplies and personal protective equipment, the city can’t afford the status quo, said finance committee chairman Terry Bernard
“To balance the budget, revenues need to return to some level of normal and that would include the increases to fees that were budgeted for this fiscal,” said Bernard. “That said, we recognize that we need to find a balance and work with our business community. It’s a financial predicament for all involved, which is why council has collectively agreed to hold off on the increases for now.”
Parking rates will remain at $1.50 per hour for parking meters, and $1.25 per hour, $8.75 per day, and $115 per month for the parkades. The new rates will come into effect on Oct. 31, pending discussions with the business community.