Hagerstown parking deck rate proposal causes debate over student benefits

Maryland

After months of deliberating what to do with the parking rates in the City of Hagerstown, there is now a proposal on the table that could make it better for certain students.

“We’ve got to find a way to make it palatable for people, but also to make sure our parking fund is funded completely,” said Mayor Bob Bruchey. 

All sides in the discussion want to make parking affordable to the best of their ability. City Councilwoman Emily Keller says, she wished the Mayor’s proposal included other students in it.

“Right now Barbara Ingram School for the Arts and Award Beauty school are paying full price, so we kinda said hey, shouldn’t it be the same for all students, because I think it needs to be fair across the board,” said Councilwoman Emily Keller. 

Another piece of the resolution is to keep the discounted bulk rate parking in tact for businesses. If a business has 25 or more parking passes, they get a 25 percent discount on their parking deck fee. Mayor Bruchey says it’s all about bringing business downtown. 

“We are not trying to chase away business. We want business in downtown. We need to make sure we continue to entice businesses to come downtown,” said Bruchey. 

Keller says she is all about attracting more businesses downtown, but she wants to do it the right way, and look at the numbers to make an informed decision that will directly impact drivers in the area. 

“We weren’t given numbers as to what it’s going to do to our parking fund and I think that’s our responsibility as Council, is to make sure the parking fund is getting the numbers that it needs to not have tax dollars funding it,” said Keller. 

The City Council will vote on the parking deck rates during their next city council meeting. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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