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Rules surrounding Midland parking machines to be revisited

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Parking machines have been the talk of the town in Midland for quite some time, and the topic is being brought up yet again.

The mayor of Midland said the Town is losing money with its parking machines and is $250,000 in the negative for 2023.

"We went from a plan that was supposed to generate $900,000 a year in revenue versus our break-even costs are around $450,000. So, there's actually money to be made on the original plan, but the way it was received, and the messaging didn't work well so then we walked that back and now we're losing money," said Midland Mayor Bill Gordon. "Our objective originally putting this system in was to become a profit centre to help offset people's taxes. At the very least, we need to break even, and we're not achieving that."

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Gordon said at this point, he's suggesting abandoning the entire process and making it free parking, which will cost in the long run.

"We pay taxes on these parking lots, we have to insure them, maintain them, there are real tangible costs to these parking lots," Gordon said. "So, what I'm suggesting is instead of charging users is that we go with an area-specific levy, effectively a tax on the downtown core merchants and their residents, and they will subsidize on a break-even basis parking for the downtown. Rough math worked out to $800 per property owner."

Gordon added another option is removing paying with coins, which he says more than 50 per cent of the users are choosing to do, which is ultimately costing the town money.

Various other options will be discussed at Wednesday night's council meeting at 6 p.m.  

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