Chamber Considers Asking City of Dubuque to Eliminate Saturday Parking Fees

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa — The Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce is considering asking the city of Dubuque to do away with Saturday parking fees in downtown Dubuque.

Right now, the city requires drivers to feed parking meters six days per week. Dubuque Chamber President, Molly Grover says several businesses have been complaining the Saturday meter fees keep shoppers from parking downtown.

The city says each year the meters collect about $55,000 on Saturdays. That does not include the money they make from the fines they collect.

Candle Ready Cakes is one of almost 100 downtown businesses asking customers to sign a petition. Owners said they think they'd have more Saturday customers if it wasn't for parking fees. "They come in for a 10 minute deal to come get a cupcake and they have to walk right back out because you never know when the meter lady will show up, " said owner Beth Schrempf.

The Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce says that petition is part of a two week fact finding mission. "We are doing this so we have some way to evaluate is this a true concern or is this just a few people saying that it's an issue," said Chamber of Commerce President Molly Grover.

Grover said the organizations wants to figure out how Saturday's parking meters impact businesses as well as tourists. "We want to have a very good idea of what is the level of concern and that will simply be by the amount of signatures. "

City parking managers said if the city council agreed to get rid of Saturday meters, they'd have to come up with that money in other ways. They say that would likely mean raising the cost to park in ramps at meters during the week.
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