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Remote-pay parking system to be presented to College Station City Council Thursday

Mayor Karl Mooney also says the council made no major changes to the city’s proposed budgets during this week’s workshops
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:29 AM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - A new remote-pay parking system will be presented to the College Station City Council during Thursday’s meeting.

Parking in some spots in College Station can be a challenge, especially on Aggie game days, but that congestion and chaos could be a thing of the past. City staff will roll out a more regulated and structured parking strategy for council to consider, and Mayor Karl Mooney says he is excited to hear more about it.

“Parking is a challenge, particularly when Kyle Field is full, and that’s where we’re going to start. We’re going to start with game days,” Mooney said. “Not to say that we couldn’t at some point expand that to other big events that happen on campus.”

Mooney says that prospective parking customers would use an app or web-based platform to reserve a spot in certain residential areas. People would be charged an hourly rate for the spot for which they registered. The current proposal sits between $3.50 and $5 an hour.

“Someone will be able to get a parking space at a particular location, and we’ll be able to see that license plate is registered for this location,” Mooney said. “It will also be cheaper.”

Mooney says limiting congestion will make conditions safer in those areas, easing access for first responders should an emergency happen.

“We’re particularly concerned in neighborhoods where cars are parked, not necessarily just improperly, but where there’s too many cars parked,” Mooney said.

Mooney also said residents would be able to reserve parking spaces in front of their homes for friends or family free of charge. However, after that information ran on KBTX’s 10 p.m. newscast, the city contacted KBTX to say that is not a feature of the new parking system staff is expected to roll out.

Staff is proposing that each home in the parking areas will be allowed to register two vehicles as exempt from fees or parking on the streets. Other vehicles would need to be parked in the home’s driveway or pay the parking fees, the city says.

The city council will not receive full information about the proposed parking system until Thursday’s meeting.

It appears implementing this new remote pay system would cost the city about $30,000 to get it up and running, Mooney says, and that the money made from parking fees would go into the city’s general fund.

Mooney also told KBTX about what council discussed during their workshops on Monday and Tuesday for the proposed 2022 budget. He says council made no major changes to the draft that was presented to council on July 8.

One big reason for that is all the unknowns that still exist connected to the ongoing pandemic, Mooney says, and council wants to make sure the budget remains somewhat flexible.

”We’re not just saying, ‘Okay, it’s behind us, let’s celebrate and get careless,’” Mooney said. “We’re going to be very, very deliberate still, watching what we do, and like I said earlier, not counting our chickens until they’ve hatched.”

The city will hold two public hearings on budget issues, one of which is on July 27, before potentially adopting the budget as early as August 12.

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