Rockford considers charging for street parking to balance budget

You might have to start paying to park on the street in downtown Rockford. 

That’s a proposal that comes from city’s financial task force.

Carrie Hagerty, the city’s finance director, says the task force came up with the idea to help balance the city’s budget. Right now, the city says it’s parking fund is operating roughly $400,000 in the red.

"We haven’t been able to make investment in repaving, some of the structural repairs at some of the parking decks," Hagerty says.  

City leaders estimate they’ll capture roughly $1 million to help fix those problems with paid street parking. However, not everyone is on board with the idea. 

Alderman Chad Tuneberg, R-3rd ward, represents most of the downtown area. He says he’s afraid if the city starts charging people to park, it might discourage them from visiting those shops or restaurants downtown. 

"Taxing and feeing our citizens more to attain a balanced budget isn’t the way to accomplish the city’s objective," he says. 

Ultimately, it’s up to the full city council to decide whether you’ll have to pay to park in downtown Rockford. That decision will likely come early next year. 

The city says if it moves forward with paid street parking, it would likely use an app based or pay station system– not meters. 

The city says it’s also looking to raise the rate for parking violations. 

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