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Councilmember At Large
                           Parking Meters - Inflated Revenue Projections                         (Personal Commentary)  Am I the only one who hates these parking meters? I never have change and I find myself giving the city $1 for 15 minutes because the parking meters don’t give change. How about the meter attendants carry change for a dollar or better yet how about a free ticket for the first 15 minutes while I run in to Dunkin Donuts?  I can’t tell you how many times the parking meters took my money and did not print a receipt.  Do I need to skip the parking meter and chance a $20 ticket? (sorry, the ticket is now $40).  I am sure many residents have complained about broken meters, lack of change, excessive fines ($40), lack of ticket redress, and overly aggressive parking meter attendants.    In an effort to find a new revenue source and help balance the annual budget, the city installed sixty (60) parking meters at a cost of $600,000. In 2014, the city hired several parking enforcement attendants to write parking tickets as an additional source of revenue. Unfortunately, the projected parking meter revenues and tickets/fines  did not materialize. Year after year, the city administration continued to raise the revenue projections in order to balance the city’s budget.  As a result, the lower than expected parking revenues added to the overall budget deficit. This year is the same. The projected parking revenue for 2017 is approximately $1,592,000. Again, the parking revenue is  overly inflated in the amount of $240,000. I am sure the meter revenues are projected up again because the ticket fines have now doubled to $40 per violation. The parking fines double to $80 if the tickets are not paid within 10 business days.  The City of Poughkeepsie needs to develop a coordinated strategic plan for the overall operations of the parking lots and the street meters. The city needs to become more business friendly while trying to grow this revenue source. Serious thoughts need to be given to provide on-street parking passes, parking lot shuttles, and other alternative ideas to increase parking revenue.  The city cannot afford to miss revenue projections and/or increase the overall debt which now stands at -$13.7 million.              (Moody’s Report Dec. 23, 2016)
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