White Plains weighs higher parking rates for city lots

An expired parking meter. (Feb. 8, 2012)

An expired parking meter. (Feb. 8, 2012) (Credit: Rory Glaeseman)

White Plains motorists may be digging deeper into their pockets to park in the city next month.

The city's Parking Commissioner John Larson recommended increasing the parking rates for municipal garages and off-street meters by 25 cents to $1 an hour. He proposed the increase in a letter to Common Council members earlier this week.

Karen Pasquale, a spokeswoman for Mayor Tom Roach, said the increases would be comparable to parking rates charged by other Westchester County municipalities. She said parking rates for city garages haven't been increased since 2007.

"If you look at other cities in the region, this is in line with what they are charging for parking," she said.

The new rates would have to be approved by the city's Common Council at it's next regular meeting in early April. If Council members approve the changes, they would take effect shortly after, city officials said.

Councilwoman Miligros Lecuona, for one, said she supports the higher parking rates, calling it long overdue.

"We haven't increased the rates in many years," she said Wednesday. "It's the right thing to do for the city."

Figures from the city show it collected more than $6.2 million from parking operations -- which include 8,500 spaces in 20 city-owned parking garages and surface lots and 1,600 off-street meters -- in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Larson estimates that the city would collect an additional $1 million a year from the higher rates.

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