Users of facilities operated by the Norwalk Parking Authority can expect to pay more for longer-term parking and permits. They will also see increases for on-street parking meters in South Norwalk.
The changes are "an effort to remain financially self-sustaining,” the Norwalk Parking Authority said in a statement released Tuesday.
Fees at lots and garages for monthly permit holders as well as for daily parking from four to 24 hours will increase by $1, and the on-street parking meters will increase by 25 cents per hour. However, the authority will offer a reduced rate to use the Maritime Garage for up to 12 hours during any 24-hour period Monday through Friday to encourage parkers to use the garage in hopes of taking demand pressure off the Webster and Haviland Lots.
"In these times, the Norwalk Parking Authority, like many organizations, needs to be fiscally responsible," the release quotes authority chairman John Federici. "We're taking steps such as reducing the budget by nearly 6 percent, mainly through staff reductions and operational efficiencies. The modest fee increases will also help the Authority to continue to be self-financed and not taxpayer supported, as well as enable us to reinvest in our facilities as we have done this past year with improvements to many of our facilities, most notably the South Norwalk Railroad station and the Webster Lot."
Federici said snow removal costs this winter took a deep bite into the Authority's budget, having surpassed the budgeted snow removal line item of $160,000 by more than $200,000. The authority is not financed by taxpayer dollars. It is a financially self-sustaining organization responsible for the operation and maintenance of the municipal parking system in Norwalk.
The Parking Authority has made more than $6.5 million in facility improvements since 2005, according to the release. Reinvestment activities have included repairs and energy efficient lighting at the Yankee Doodle Garage and The Maritime Garage, a customer service center at the Maritime Garage, repairs and a security system at the Haviland Lot, and lighting and landscaping at the Main Street and Wall Street Lots.
What do you think of the Norwalk Parking Authority's new rates?