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Feeding the meter with more change?

It will cost you more to plug a parking meter in Kelowna beginning June 1. Council Monday approved an overall parking strategy in the city which includes a substantial increase in on-street parking. The hourly rate, which has not changed in more than 20 years, will go from 50¢ an hour to $1.25 an hour.

Fines will not change.

Further, the cost for short and long term off-street parking will also be going up.

"Current rates are too low to discourage long-term parking in short-term spaces or to effectively replenish reserve funds to support our parking and transportation infrastructure," says Parking Operations Coordinator, Dave Duncan. Current on-street parking rates have been in effect and unchanged for over 20 years and are well below market rates and the true cost of providing the service."

Councillor Maxine DeHart says she has heard from many tourists and people who move here from other cities who have commented how inexpensive it is to park in Kelowna compared to other centers in Canada.

She says she spoke with a number of people and had no negative feedback.

"I know it's tough...and it is a big percentage but if you look at the dollar it isn't and I'm very supportive of it," says DeHart.

Councillor Andre Blanleil says he would have gone with $1 for on-street parking as opposed to $1.25.

Blanleil slso says the parking policy should have a provision to revisit rates every three to five years to avoid large percentage increases such as these.

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