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Parking in Lexington remains an issue in the State Capitol

Stu Johnson
file photo-Downtown Lexington

The Kentucky Senate is expected to vote on legislation pertaining to parking rates in the state’s second-largest city. The bill, sponsored by Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, would require Lexington’s City Council to approve the Lexington Parking Authority’s parking rate increases. Currently, the Parking Authority is an independent entity.

“I have a big problem when unelected boards can raise taxes and fees and spend money without being accountable to some sort of elected body,” said Thayer.

Thayer cited recent increases in downtown parking meter rates and the potential impact on businesses as a driver for his involvement. The Parking Authority and City ironed out a revised rate schedule that eliminated the initially proposed Saturday and weekend extended meter hours. Parking Authority Chair Jim Frazier said, in the future, the city will be notified of planned rate hikes 60 days prior to implementation.

“This bill, though, goes further. I have to get permission. I have to get their approval. That puts them back in the game with me. They’re now my business partner in the parking. And I don’t think that’s what that local government wanted,” said Frazier.

Under the bill, the Lexington Council would be asked to approve the Parking Authority budget.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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