Bloomington Parking Enforcement will begin ticketing for violations of newly installed parking meters Monday.
The city installed the meters this summer after having free street parking downtown for years. The meters have been online for about two weeks so downtown visitors could learn to use the new system.
“We’ve been, the last two weeks really, on an educational campaign, talking to people about how to people about how the meters work, helping them use their credit card, letting them know that they have some cheaper alternatives by parking in some of our parking garages, and we’ve been writing warning tickets,” says Director of Public Works Susie Johnson.
Johnson oversees several divisions that presented proposals at the last night of city budget hearings. Parking enforcement asked for $5.2 million in 2014. There are more than 1,400 parking meters in downtown Bloomington. During their first week of operation, the meters brought in more than $5,000 per day. Johnson says with students now back in town, that number is likely up.
She told the city council Thursday night she expects revenue from the parking meters will be $3.1 million in 2014. However, Johnson says the loan payment for the new meters and security cameras will be $500,000. Other meter-related expenses total an additional $700,000.
Per state law, parking meter revenue will be placed in its own, non-reverting fund.
Both Johnson and Mayor Mark Kruzan say the money will be used to beautify and improve downtown Bloomington. And councilman Chris Sturbaum says he hopes there will be a time when citizens see parking meters as a way to invest in their city.
Parking Enforcement will issue real tickets for violations starting Monday. They cost $20.