St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says he's happy with the decision by the city council a few weeks ago to extend the downtown parking pilot program.  The pilot program now runs through June 30 of 2022 and allows for parking in downtown parking garages for free nights after 5 p.m. and on weekends.  Metered parking on downtown streets in this pilot program requires payment 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Kleis says based on survey information feedback with people requesting more free surface parking options they have made some adjustments.  He says based on that data they have added 4 surface parking lots with free parking nights and weekends.  He says each parking location is marked and the information on which lots are free nights and weekends are listed on the city's website.

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Kleis says they have kept the premium spots in front of businesses downtown metered 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  He says they heard from business owners downtown that said they don't want people working downtown parking in the premium spots all day long.  Kleis says business owners want those premium spots for customers.  He says in the survey they also learned that people wanted safety in the ramps. Kleis says the parking garages downtown are well lit, there are cameras and they hired a private security company to monitor the garages.  He says they've been trying to get more people in the ramps.

Mayor Kleis says the city would be interested in seeing some of the downtown surface parking lots become developed.  He says the Lady Slipper lot would be a prime location.  Kleis says there has been interest in that location but the city would require parking for customers and employees which is no different than any other business in the city.  He says if this business would chose to build on the majority of that lot the city would require underground parking or a ramp.

If you'd like to listen to my 2-part conversation with Mayor Kleis it is available below.




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