Council member questions Waterfront pay to park decision

Council member voices concerns about paid parking at Waterfront

LOUISVILLE, KY -- A decision to charge for parking at the Waterfront is rippling through the city, and at least one member of Metro council is asking why taxpayers have no input on a project they're funding.

No matter where you're used to parking at the downtown waterfront you're soon going to be noticing signs telling you where to pay

Kiosks will soon be installed on every lot on the downtown Waterfront, but at least one city councilman is questioning why the money grab is necessary.

"We were disappointed at the decision,” said Bill Hollander.  “I think it's going to keep many people away from the park particularly people of low income.  We were also disappointed at the process this isn't the thing you should do without public hearings."

Councilman Bill Hollander says he was caught off guard by the Waterfront Board's decision to charge $3 for 3 hours of parking, not only due to public push back, but because he believes council made a pledge to help them bridge any financial gap.

"What we told them when we appropriated $210,000 extra on June 22nd and it went into their account on July 5th, that we were prepared to do more,” said Hollander.  “We thought paid parking here five days a week was a really bad idea for the community."

"That was extraordinarily helpful, and it allowed us to end last year with a balanced budget,” said David Karem.  “There was no commitment that going forward we could expect to have that same amount of money."

"Metro taxpayers put in $1.2-million almost for this park,” said Hollander.  “I think taxpayers should have some say in how this park is run, and I don't think we should close it to people except on Mondays and Tuesdays."

Karem says the pay to park plan will ultimately help the Waterfront break even.

"The estimate was a little over $200,000,” said Karem.

But it has parkgoers like Al Musinski questioning whether the waterfront will be worth the cost of admission going forward.

"It's just sort of like why do we have to pay now an extra $3,” said Musinski.  “It's just like the bridge $4 to get across it and $4 to come back.  It's getting pretty expensive."

Karem says that the Waterfront Development board will once again be asking the state to fully fund the waterfront.

Karem went on to add that if they do so the Waterfront board could reconsider charging for parking.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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