INCREASING the price and introducing more paid parking in Orange would be a “retrograde step” and should not be an option to recoup the shortfall left by a change in Orange City Council’s parking contributions, according to councillor Glenn Taylor.
Cr Taylor said since the price of parking at the Ophir car park on the corner of Kite Street and Lords Place was decreased to $2 per day, overall revenue had increased as more people were using the car park.
“It’s got to be very affordable,” he said.
“It was pushing the $5 a day mark. Bringing it back to $2 has been an overwhelming success.”
A new policy, which would mean a reduction in parking contributions for businesses that change the use of their premises without providing enough onsite parking, will be placed on public exhibition on Saturday.
Cr Taylor said he was interested in public opinion on the new policy which indicates that council would have to fund the shortfall with a special rate variation on business rates, shifting costs to other development rates, or by introducing more paid parking.
“It’s a fine line between car parking contributions being prohibitive for businesses and affordable for ratepayers,” he said.
Development services director David Waddell said if the policy is adopted the council would be forced to “rob Peter to pay Paul” to fund the shortfall.
Cr Taylor said the Ophir car park had become an asset for the city.
“It’s half paid for itself and it’s an increasing asset it should be kept at an affordable rate,” he said.
Despite his vehement opposition to increasing current parking costs, Cr Taylor admits introducing more paid parking at other sites in the future was inevitable.