Kleis; Why Parking Meters Are Necessary in Downtown St. Cloud
Parking meters are enforced 24/7 in downtown St. Cloud on street parking and on many surface lots. St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis explains why the meters are necessary. He says no matter where you are in the city someone is paying for parking. Kleis indicates it is either a metered system where you pay as you go, it is on the property tax or the business is paying for the parking. He says if the business is paying for the parking the cost accrued is passed on to the customers. Kleis says every business in St. Cloud is required in the city's ordinances or codes to provide parking for its customers and staff. He explains downtowns are unique because the parking for the businesses is a system setup and paid for by the city.
The parking ramps downtown are free after 5 p.m. weeknights and all day on weekends. Mayor Kleis says the parking garages were created to provide a greater capacity of parking with a smaller footprint. He explains businesses downtown prefer the requirement to pay for street parking with meters to discourage people from parking in front of retail stores or restaurants all day taking what he calls "premium parking spots". Kleis says retail wants premium spots to turn over quite often. He says St. Cloud has some of the lowest metered parking in the country.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Mayor Kleis it is available below.