KAMLOOPS — You'll still be paying $1.25 per hour to park downtown next year.
That rate was slated to rise to $1.50 as of January 1, but Kamloops council has delayed that increase for a year at the request of downtown businesses.
The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association (KCBIA) had requested the delay, saying promised parking improvements funded by previous increases have not materialized.
The 25-cent increase was projected to add $230,000 to the city's parking reserve fund in 2018.
"I side with the KCBIA on this," said Councillor Denis Walsh. "I think they know their market. I think this just a case of 'it's not the time.' You really need to justify this increase, and I don't think we have justified it."
"We have a reserve fund right now that has over $300,000 with no direction, no plan and no vision," added Walsh. "To add another $230,000 takes that money, that disposable income that could be spent by those people who are visiting downtown in the businesses. I think that's far more beneficial at this time without having a clear vision."
(It should be noted Walsh owns Movie Mart, which is located downtown.)
Corporate Services and Community Safety Director David Duckworth told council the city's contract with Precise ParkLink, the company who supplies and services the electronic kiosks throughout downtown Kamloops, already includes the programming the 25-cent increase into kiosks on January 1.
Duckworth says reprogramming the devices to delay the increase may cost the city up to $25,000.
Meantime, Duckworth says issues proposed to be studied in a comprehensive parking and transportation study requested by the KCBIA will be included in future studies by city staff.
A $100,000 parking study proposed by the city in November failed to move forward following a 4-4 deadlocked council vote.
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