MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon residents questioned on Gramatan Avenue oppose a proposal to raise parking rates to $1 per hour to increase the city's revenue.
Deputy Parking Commissioner H. Gaylord Worrell proposed that the City Council buy approximately 1,200 parking meters at a cost of $177,600, as some of the old meters in the city are obsolete. Part of the plan would be to double parking rates from 50 cents per hour in most municipal locations.
"It's too expensive and we can't afford it," said resident Marlon Sinclair. "We've lived with the current rates for awhile. Raising the fees for parking is not going to solve the revenue problem the city is going through."
Though similar municipalities, such as Yonkers, White Plains and New Rochelle, charge the rate that Mount Vernon may implement, Sinclair said it would not be appropriate.
"They have more business in those cities," Sinclair said. "There is less spending in Mount Vernon. With these rates, people will take their business elsewhere."
Resident Antuerpia Telek said the city wastes enough money as it is and raising parking rates will not solve the problem. Telek said if Mount Vernon needs money, it should promote its small businesses.
"If these businesses grow, there will be more money that we can invest in the city," Telek said.
Resident Yvette Lee said raising parking rates is "not acceptable" because cost of living in the city is already too high. Lee suggested tearing some older buildings down and bringing more entertainment venues to Mount Vernon to bring in more revenue.
"We need things like a movie theater," Lee said. "That will help to solve the revenue problem more than raising the parking rates."
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