The days of free parking in three city lots are over.
Butler soon will offer a $20 monthly parking permit for the Center Avenue, Farmers’ Market and Quarry Street parking lots.
The permits accompany the city’s rekindled interest in monitoring the lots.
“It’s been a long time since anyone put money in those meters,” Mayor Tom Donaldson said at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
The Quarry Street lot, which does not have meters, will be permit parking only.
Donaldson was particularly concerned on the Quarry Street lot.
“There are 50 spaces down there and they’re always filled,” he said. “Why should they be parking there for free? It’s like a garage down under the bridge.”
Donaldson said the city will begin towing violators in the Quarry Street lot which is under the north end of the General Richard Butler Bridge.
“If you’re parking there and not paying, I’m in the mood to tow your car just like they do in Pittsburgh,” he said. “Then you can pay the ticket and to get your car back.”
However, the city must post signs and pass an ordinance before it can tow violators. While it likely won’t be on this month’s agenda, the change is something the new mayor wants to happen soon.
Donaldson said after the Quarry Street signs are installed, the city will explore adding signs to the Center Avenue and Farmer’s Market parking lots as well.
The city expects to make various announcements, including putting flyers on the windshields of the cars parked in the lot to warn people of the enforcement.
Management over city parking lots is divided between the city and the parking authority.