Expired parking meters could cost you more in Burlington - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Expired parking meters could cost you more in Burlington

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When it comes to parking in downtown Burlington empty spaces can be tough to find.

"I go up to the mall parking lot," said Ian Gould.  "It's just so much easier to park there. You don't have to bring change every day."

Scrounging for change could become even more important – a proposed $3 jump for an expired meter means you would owe the city $15 instead of $12.

"I think that's still a fee that's within -- it's a pretty modest fee compared to some other municipalities," said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Vermont.

In Rutland, Vermont's second largest city, the expired meter fee is $30 -- or double the new proposed Burlington fine.  But for some, any increase is a bad idea.

"Oh well now they're just trying to up it to up it. They're trying to get more out of us," Gould said.

But Weinberger argues the current $12 fine is only $4 more than what it costs to park all day in a city garage -- and such a small margin isn't a deterrent -- so too many people are parking all day at expired meters instead of in a garage.

"I think this will encourage people to use the parking system the way it was designed," Weinberger said.

"The city has to balance its budget and if they choose to do it with another few bucks on a parking ticket, look you've made a mistake so you need to pay," said visitor Jim Harman.

But Weinberger admits getting people to pay up isn't always easy.  There aren't consequences until your fines exceed 49 dollars and that's caused a multimillion dollar backlog the city is currently working to collect. The parking penalty is set to go before the city council for a final vote next week.

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