The cost of parking in downtown Great Falls will increase after city commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday night.
The resolution goes into effect on July 1, 2019.
It will cost $1 per hour at any parking meter, which doubles the current rate of 50 cents per hour.
The resolution also includes changes to parking tickets.
There will now be one “courtesy ticket” per one license plate, versus one “courtesy ticket” per year, which is the current rule.
The next parking violation will be $5, the next violation will be $10 and the next and subsequent violation in a calendar year will be $20.
The parking ticket violations will then reset on January 1, restarting the fine structure back to $5 for the first violation.
The Parking Advisory Commission found current parking rates and fines are not providing enough funding to complete the maintenance and security projects that need to be done.
But downtown business owners are hoping the price hike won’t stop shoppers and diners from coming downtown.
Candy Masterpiece owner Angie Bruskotter said that parking meters are needed so that the people who do not work downtown do not take up all the spots.
Angie said, “Parking meters are always going to be a conflict, no matter what happens. Incrementally probably would have been better. I do hope that now, they will not increase this again for another decade or so. “
She added that change is always a problem for people in Great Falls, but we have an amazing downtown.
She added, “There’s all kinds of things to still do down here, we have to kind of overlook the negative increase and look at all of the positive, good things, that are downtown.”
Angie and other downtown business owners said they are now considering buying a space or two in front of their businesses just for their customers to use.
Klover, another downtown business, also reached out about the parking increase on their Facebook page: