New parking rates downtown will go into effect Jan. 1, but the timetable for modernizing the city parking decks has yet to be determined.
The Joliet City Council last week approved higher parking rates for downtown decks, meters and lots.
Revenue from the higher rates will be used to turn around a $300,000 deficit in the city’s parking fund as well as fund future repairs and modernization of the parking decks.
The city in recent years has updated meters and lots for credit card payment and other conveniences. But the two decks on Ottawa and Scott streets still operate on a cash-only basis.
“We’d like to automate the decks so you when you come in, you get a ticket, you leave, you can pay with a credit card – the things that modern facilities have,” Public Works Director James Trizna said.
The decks also are in need of structural repairs, Trizna said.
“We’ve known that for years,” he said.
But there is no timetable yet for the repairs and modernization.
Staff will seek approval in the 2020 budget for a $3 million bond issue that would fund the work.
Trizna said the city will likely start planning and engineering for modernization of the decks in 2020. He did not know if work would start next year.
The council voted, 7-1, for the parking rates with council member Jan Quillman voting no, suggesting the city do an analysis to determine what operations are making money and losing money.
But the big issue is the parking decks.
Trizna said that’s where the city plans to spend money for repairs and updates.
The decks were built in 1979.
The following rate increases were approved:
• Street parking meter rates in Zone A would increase from the current hourly rate of $1 to $1.50;
• Street parking meter rates in Zone B would rise from the current hourly rate of 50 cents to 75 cents;
• Parking deck hourly rates would go from the current 50 cents to $1, and monthly passes would increase from the current $40 to $60;
• Riverwall Parking Lot monthly passes would increase from the current rate of $15 to $20;
• Commuter parking lot daily rates would increase from the current $1 to $1.50;
• Mayor Art Schultz Parking Lot daily rates would increase from the current $4 to $5.