Increased Parking Fees in Downtown Fresno

August 28, 2008 12:25:02 AM PDT
The city increased parking fees last month ... and business owners say now their getting complaints from customers. One city official said the cost to park is just a necessary bump to help the city pay off debt. Since July first drivers who work or visit downtown started digging deeper into the pockets to pay for parking.

Three dollars for the first hour then one dollar every hour after ... a 50% increase. Doloris Sulenta and her husband Walter said business at their bridal shop on the Fulton mall is struggling.

"It takes these brides two maybe three hours sometimes and then look at that. That's nine dollars for parking," said Sulenta.

Sulenta and other downtown business owners took their concerns to Del Estabrooke. He's the one who recommends to the city council what parking prices should be downtown.

Del Estabrooke said, "Parking fees are tough!"

Estabrooke said prices have increased due to debt from developing Chukchansi stadium, four new parking garages and one spiral garage.

"Hey we can make this work but unfortunately your first year is always your worst year because you got to get those prices up to market rate to at least make a dent into the debt," said Estabrooke.

Estabrooke said the fee to park is less than other comparable cities. Still superior court worker Irma Nunez, who pays the city monthly to park expects her bill to increase from $50 to $75.

"A lot of us are thinking of transferring to outlying courts or other counties because they pay more and pay for parking," said Nunez.

The parking manager said if sporting events and concerts continue to attract resident's downtown the debt will be paid off quicker and parking fees will lower.

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