Plan to charge for parking at Waterfront Park to be voted on thi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Plan to charge for parking at Waterfront Park to be voted on this week

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The plan to charge for parking at Waterfront Park is up for a vote this week.

The fee would fill a major hole in the park's budget, but some members of Louisville Metro Council said they don't want to see the Waterfront Development Council move forward with the plan.

“We think it's time for the park to step back and say, 'Let’s take another look at this,'” District 9 Metro Councilman Bill Hollander said.

After Gov. Matt Bevin pulled state funding for the park, it has been struggling to make ends meet to cover maintenance and other events.

“Gov. Bevin actually vetoed a $420,000 annual appropriation for park operations,” Hollander said.

That's why the Waterfront Development Corporation asked Metro Council for help and the council agreed.

“Back in June, we were asked to approve an appropriation of $210,000,” Hollander said.

Now, members of the council said they're confused why the Waterfront  Development Council is voting this week to charge for parking five days a week in the Waterfront Park lots.

“It was a surprise to us,” Hollander said. “It was a surprise to, I think, everyone on the budget committee that it's back up again just two months after we had made that $210,000 transfer.”

WDRB News spoke with Waterfront officials who said their story hasn't changed. The $210,000 was needed to cover a deficit from last fiscal year. That money was never supposed to be a permanent solution. The park needs more for this year, and park officials said that's where parking fees will help.

“If you go to the splash park in particular, the Big Four, or really any place on the park, you'll see people for whom $3 a day is a serious burden,” Hollander said.

Hollander adds he hopes the Waterfront Development Corporation and Metro Council can find a different solution, even if it means dedicating more city money to the Waterfront Development Council.

“I think there could be an additional city appropriation,” he said.  “We need the state back as a partner.”

The Waterfront Development Corporation is scheduled to vote on Wednesday.

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