Could you soon have to pay to park at Waterfront Park? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Could you soon have to pay to park at Waterfront Park?

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's the epicenter for many of the big events that make Louisville the city it has become, and since its creation, utilizing Waterfront Park to play with the kids, take an afternoon run, or maybe have a picnic has cost nothing.

"Kind of a big thing that's nice for me is that it's free for us," said Louisville resident Eric Parker.

That could soon change. Waterfront Park could join the parking garages and meters around the city, making people pay to park.

David Karem with the Waterfront Development Corporation said there's a reason behind this.

He told WDRB his organization worked hard to get funding for the park. He even says there was bi-partisan support in the Senate and House to appropriate $420,000 for it. That was exactly what he felt the organization needed.

"The public expects them to maintain this park in a a quality way," Karem said. "We have to have staff to do that."

But, he said Gov. Matt Bevin vetoed it. After an increase to event fees, the Development Corporation is still looking at a $250,000 shortfall. A consultant hired to look into possible solutions suggested the paying for parking idea. 

"If we could go to a $3, three-hour fee, you could produce, after expenses, about $250,000," Karem said.

The proposal is by no means a done deal, but the idea has Louisvillians feeling anything but neutral.

"It's a nice park, it obviously costs money to upkeep," Parker said.

"It's like putting a price on happiness," Luis Rivera said.

Karem says he's open to other ideas, but as of right now, this one is parked on his desk and looking like a viable option.

The proposal is expected to get a "yay or nay" in about a month and a half.

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