Manhattan City Commissioners were presented with proposals Tuesday from city staff to begin paid parking in the downtown parking garage.

Since opening in 2010, the garage has been free but city officials say the present state of disrepair and misuse by undesirable transients and criminals have created a need for a funding source to pay for repairs and ongoing maintenance. Commissioner Wynn Butler…

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Commissioner Linda Morse says while the garage needs to be funded, there are other considerations to keep in mind.

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Commissioner John Matta says in addition to paid parking the city has to look into ways to help RCPD manage the misuse of the garage by the transient community.

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Commissioner Linda Morse says monetizing the garage based on overall usage would provide funding, but says free parking is a big deal.

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City staff are proposing a $2 hourly rate with a $10 daily max for the garage and charging full-time and part-time employees who work in Blue Earth Plaza separate monthly rates. Hotel guests would be charged $10 a day and the city would collect $5 a day from conference attendees.


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