Government Grants — Help or Anathema


Government Grants — Help or Anathema

I wonder what the mayor would have done in June if the new parking garage had to pay for itself, rather than being paid for by two grants from the Feds and the State?

The Mayor of Fitchburg, MA decided to give away the parking for a month "to get people interested in using the garage." DUH.

They would become really interested if parking there was cheaper than parking on the street. Raise the street charges, people will naturally park in the garage. You win both ways.

My guess is that the "free" parking in the garage will do little to change the good citizens of Fitchburg’s ways. Those thrifty New Englanders will see right through the con and park where they want.

Now, if the city really needed the parking and decided to build the garage and fund it out of revenue generated by the garage, then their attitude might be different. Set the rates so the revenue covers the cost of the parking, and then use the money for infrastructure related upgrades.

Sometimes free money actually costs more than you think.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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