Parking meters to be bagged in downtown FD

Temporary change intended to draw people

People who come to downtown Fort Dodge this holiday season will be able to save their coins to help pay for presents instead of feeding them into parking meters.

The City Council on Monday voted unanimously to suspend use of the parking meters from Nov. 25, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2020.

The meters will be covered with bags for those weeks. But that does not mean there will be no time limits for on-street parking. Parking at what is usually a metered space will be limited to two hours.

While the moratorium is in place, the city will lose between $2,000 and $3,000, City Manager David Fierke wrote in a report to the council.

The parking meter moratorium was proposed by Main Street Fort Dodge as a way to entice more people downtown during the Christmas season.

”What we’re seeing now is that people aren’t coming to the downtown,” Kris Patrick, the executive director of Main Street Fort Dodge, told the council.

”We really want a friendlier downtown,” added Jim Bird, the president of Main Street Fort Dodge.

Councilman Kim Alstott said there is a perception that downtown isn’t friendly, and the parking meters contribute to that perception.

Councilman Jeff Halter said the moratorium ”doesn’t make us have the tough discussion and answer the tough question, which is are we going to expand the meters or are we going to get rid of them?”


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