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Parking rate increase could drive people out of Harrisburg

Updated: Wednesday, October 2 2013, 07:04 PM CDT
Reported by: Chris Papst

HARRISBURG -- Now that the Harrisburg Strong plan has been approved, parking rates are expected to drastically go up -- and that will not only affect those who play in the city, but also work.  And some may even have to leave as a result.

“There are a lot of days we won’t make the money we should while paying for our parking. So we’re almost going to work for nothing. I think it’s going to have a negative impact on the local economy,” said Gary Tyber, a bartender at the Sturges Speakeasy on Forester Street.

“It’s definitely going to put a little problem to us,” Rena Harden, who runs the Tater Harden’s Curb Side Grill, said.

Both Tyber and Harden work in Harrisburg and both will be greatly impacted when parking rates increase.

“I just hope they consider all those that want to do business in the city of Harrisburg and with paying the parking meters it does get a little costly,” said Harden. 

“It’s not only going to hurt the employees, but the business owners as well because there’s going to be a cut back in business. There has to,” Tyber said. 

Under the current proposal, downtown parking meters would increase from $1.50 per hour to $3 per hour, and run for 11 hours instead of nine. Plus, Saturdays will no longer be excluded.

For Harden, she rents two spots a day to sell her food. If rates double, she has to find a way to absorb that cost without passing all of it onto her customers.

For Tyber, if the rates go up that much, his days of working in Harrisburg may simply be over.  

“There will be some people who are commuting to the city with their cars that this may stop them from working here. They may have to find other options,” admitted Tyber. 

“I love my city,” said a prideful Harden.  “I’m not leaving. I’m not leaving. It’s just going to be a little challenging.”

The exact amounts of the parking increases still have to be determined.  The rates are supposed to go up Jan. 1, that could change.

Parking rate increase could drive people out of Harrisburg

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