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City to consider tripling parking meter fees near baseball stadium

By: Genevieve Curtis

EL PASO, Texas-- The price to park downtown near Southwest University Park could increase.
On Tuesday the city council agreed to consider a proposal that would triple fees to park near the stadium, charge parking on Saturday and increase the number of meters near the stadium, among other changes.
Currently it costs 75 cents per hour to park downtown-; the new proposal would raise that to $2.50 per hour.
That means for a baseball game,  which usually last three to four hours, it could cost $7.50 to $10.00.
The new proposal also includes extending parking hours near the park until 10 p.m.; currently parking past 6 p.m. is free.
There would also be additional meters added and Saturdays would no longer be free parking.
Currently all parking meter revenue pays for the Plaza Theater debt.
The citys chief financial officer told KFOX14 they are seeing lower than expected parking revenues since the council decided to allow free parking on Saturdays.
City Rep. Lily Limon said she would not support the increased parking fees to pay for anything other than the Plaza debt.
This needs to go towards the payment of the Plaza Theater just like it was envisioned in the past, no changes to that, said Limon.
City Rep. Michiel Noe said its just a good business decision for the city to capitalize on.
To adjust in peak demands things like that, thats what any good business does, said Noe.
The city does have a revenue sharing agreement with Mountain Star Sports Group for gameday parking, but only when it comes to parking structures, not meters. Thats not to say the agreement couldnt be amended, however.
Still, for many drivers paying more to park isnt ideal.
The city's just trying to get more money. I understand that. Theyre trying to take advantage but its not right, said Chris Picket, of Central EL Paso. 
The city council will hold a public meeting on the issue next Tuesday and could take a vote on the proposal at that time.