This photo shows the City and Borough of Juneau’s Marine Parking Garage. Parking fees will be increasing for the garage in July. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

This photo shows the City and Borough of Juneau’s Marine Parking Garage. Parking fees will be increasing for the garage in July. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Pricier parking: Downtown parking garages see a fee increase

As of July 1 monthly permits at both parking sites will cost $70 and annual permits $770.

A 47% increase for an annual parking permit at the Marine Parking Garage and a 15% hike in an annual permit for the Downtown Transit Center, plus additional increases each of the following three years at both locations, were approved Monday by the Juneau Public Works and Facilities Committee.

As of July 1 monthly permits at both parking sites will cost $70 and annual permits $770. The current monthly fees are $61.90 at the DTC and $47.62 at the MPG, and annual fees are $666.67 at DTC and $523.81.

The increases, the first since 2011, are necessary to keep the city’s parking management fund from becoming insolvent by June 30, according to an FAQ released by the Parks and Recreation Department. If adjusted for inflation the current fees would be $79 a month at DTC and $61 at MPG.

“The simplified price structure reflects the fact that both MPG and DTC serve the same downtown area and demand for each facility is similarly high on an annual basis,” the FAQ states. “Charging a different fee for each facility doesn’t make sense given strong demand, limited supply, and the fact that both facilities provide equivalent amenities.”

Operating and maintenance costs for the city’s off-street parking facilities has increased 33% since 2015, according to the department.

“These higher costs are due to significant increases in contractual services (i.e. enforcement, security, snow removal, and janitorial services), facilities maintenance costs, and property insurance rates,” the FAQ states.

The large initial hike this year is to ensure the parking fund’s solvency, according to the department. Subsequent 10 percent hikes means monthly fees as of each July 1 will increase to $77 in 2023, $85 in 2024 and $90 in 2025, with annual fees rising to $847 in 2023, $937 in 2024 and $990 in 2024.

“The current fees are far below market rates and do not reflect the extremely strong demand for parking permits,” the department’s notice states. “There is a waitlist for both facilities throughout the year, yet actual utilization is frequently low. This indicates that people are buying permits and not using them because the cost is so far below the market.”

The cost for hourly parking at the Marine Parking Garage, Shoppers Lot and North Franklin Lot is remaining the same at $.75 per hour.

Contact reporter Mark Sabbatini at Mark.Sabbatini@juneauempire.com.

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