Rochester City Council – Policing Reform & Parking Rates
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council will be discussing policing policies and parking rates on Monday.
Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin will be meeting with the Council during the afternoon study session to discuss the recent reform efforts of the police department. The presentation will also cover the progress that has been made since Franklin became the city's top law enforcement officer two years ago, including the ongoing process of reviewing and updating the department's policies.
The police department on Friday launched a new accountability "digital dashboard" to provide the public with easy access to a variety of statistics concerning policing in Rochester. Chief Franklin is expected to highlight a reduction in the use of force by police officers. Last year, there were 176 incidents involving police of force and through the first half of this year, that number has dropped to 64.
The City Council will also be presented with a report concerning parking rates. The consultant that developed the recommendations that resulted in increased parking fees and fines over the past several years is recommending no increases for contract parking and transient parking rates for next year to help the local economy recover from the effects of the pandemic. The recommendation does call for instituting the planned increases for on-street parking meter rates and parking violation fines in 2021.
The report indicates the timing and size of future increases will largely be based on whether the city decides to pursue the proposed construction of a new 1200 space parking ramp in the next 2 to 3 years. It's estimated the new ramp will cost around $38 million to build and would require 40-percent increases in contract parking rates in both 2022 and 2025, along with a 20-percent hike in parking meter rates in 2025. If the new ramp is not built, the report indicates another 10-percent jump in contracting parking fees would be needed in 3 years and a 10-percent hike in parking meter fees could wait until 2029.
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