Parking at two downtown parkades will remain free on Saturdays, at least for now.
On Tuesday, Coun. Mike O’Reilly made a motion to delay charging fees on Saturdays at the Lansdowne and Seymour street parkades once the city assumes management of them in the new year.
Since 1975, the Kamloops Downtown Parking Corporation had been operating the city-owned parking structures.
City community and protective services director Byron McCorkell told KTW charging on Saturdays would bring the parkades in line with the rest of city downtown parking, including lots at Heritage House at Riverside Park and at the former Kamloops Daily News property, which the city purchased from Glacier Media in 2014.
Adding pay parking in the parkades on Saturdays would also net the city between $62,000 and $78,000 per year in parking revenues, money that would go toward future parking equipment needs, such as kiosks, gates or repairs.
O’Reilly, however, said the increase should align with a citywide parking management plan, which is expected to be completed July 2020.
“It makes sense for us to do it at one time,” he said.
Council agreed, with the motion to defer passing by a vote of 8-1. Only Mayor Ken Christian was opposed, arguing parkades will see changes in the new year that need to be funded.
The Seymour and Lansdowne parkades will be changing from a kiosk-attendant system to an automatic-gated setup. McCorkell said that, under the current management group, the parkades have a maintenance reserve that is utilized. As for the parking management plan, he said the city is currently working with a consultant. The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association and business community will be consulted in the new year about needs and concerns, with a draft expected in June and the plan to be ratified the following month.
In supporting the deferral, Coun. Arjun Singh said he does not wish to delay the issue again next summer, with council continually kicking the issue down the path. Council also elected to defer the issue of parking rate increases downtown, awaiting the parking management plan.
“Every successful downtown has a parking problem because it’s successful,” Singh said.