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Parking Meter Costs, Technology to Change

The cost of on-street parking in downtown Louisville is going up.

Starting in July, metered parking will cost one dollar per hour, marking a 25 cent increase. The Parking Authority of River City approved the change this week, and it’s expected to generate a half million dollars in additional revenue each year. But despite the shortfall in the city budget, PARC business administrator Tiffany Smith says the money can only be used by the authority.

“All of our operating revenue goes back into the PARC budget,” she says. “So it goes back to finance any of the parking garages, the surface lots, any of the equipment, the capital repairs, anything associated with the meters. Our revenues are not commingled with those in the general fund.”

Smith says the parking rate increase will be used to pay off debt on bonds for parking garages and to install credit card readers for on-street parking.

“We went into accepting credit cards approximately two years ago in our off-street locations. It’s been a great success. It’s been very well-received. And this will allow parkers that go to on-street parking that don’t have change, don’t have a smart card to still utilize one of the parking spaces,” says Smith.

Money from parking tickets and other citations goes to Metro Government. The structure of those fees was changed last year. At that time, more than $5 million in citations was uncollected.

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Local News Next Louisville

City Undecided On Appeal In Take-Home Car Case

Louisville Metro Government has been handed another legal defeat in its attempts to collect fees on take-home police cars.

In 2008, the city imposed a fee on police officers who used their city-provided cars off duty. The fees were increased over the years to help fill budget gaps. The Fraternal Order of Police challenged the fees, saying they violated union contracts.

On Wednesday, a Jefferson Circuit judge upheld a state Labor Cabinet decision in favor of the police officers, and blocking the city from collecting the fees. Mayor’s spokesperson Lindsay English says the city may still appeal the decision, but a decision has not yet been made.

“We are reviewing the judge’s order and we’re consulting with the county attorney’s office to decide what the next step will be,” she says.

The Labor Cabinet and the judge both said the fees are part of police officers’ compensation, and not the job perks the city claims they are. The judge said fees could be negotiated into officers’ union contracts.┬áThe judge did not rule that the city should repay fees that have been collected, though the city was encouraged to negotiate reimbursement.

English says the fees were not part of the current budget, so while the city may still appeal the decision, the budget will not have to be revised.

Most recently, officers paid $100 per month for their cars.

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Local News

Labor Cabinet Officer Opposes Car Fees

A Kentucky Labor Cabinet hearing officer says Louisville Metro Government should stop collecting fees from police officers who use their cars off duty.

Mayor Jerry Abramson created the fees last year and increased them this year to help overcome budget shortfalls.

The Labor Cabinet officer says the fees violate the police union’s contract and any changes to compensation must be made through negotiations. The ruling will go to the state Labor Secretary for a final decision.

Revoking the fees would  cost the city $500,000 this fiscal year and $1.4 million next year.

In a statement, Abramson said he’s disappointed in the decision since officers do not have to pay for gas, maintenance or insurance on their cars. He says he plans to work with the County Attorney to determine what to do next.