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White Plains Jumps Parking Permit Prices

The $15 bump in monthly parking permit prices at downtown White Plains garages has Sylvia Trejo considering how she’ll be able to afford her daily commute when the new city budget goes into effect on July 1.

“Our salaries don’t get any higher,” said Trejo, who parks at the garage near the Galleria mall. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to park here anymore.”

On Thursday night the Common Council unanimously approved the 2011-2012 budget, which nudges parking permit prices up five to 20 percent. The $160.5 million budget also introduces a flat parking ticket rate of $10, which will help the city save money by staffing fewer garages.

Beginning July 1 permits for downtown parking garages will cost drivers $105 a month, $305 a quarter, and $1,150 a year.

Trejo would consider using alternative commuting methods to get from her home in Yonkers to her job at the Westchester County Office if it weren’t for her children.

“I have two little ones at home and I’m afraid that they’ll call with an emergency and I’ll need to leave quickly,” said Trejo. “I guess I don’t have any choice.”

The flat $10 ticket fee also worries drivers like Nick Soriano, who has been parking at the garage by the Galleria for 20 years.

“Who would be happy about it?” said Soriano. “I practically get a ticket every day, a $2 one. If that goes up to $10, I might have to reconsider my plan.”

The new flat fee and $45 jump in his quarterly parking permit bill doesn't bother Robert Mayetta who said parking at the garage near the Galleria is still a good deal.

“It’s still cheaper than paying on a daily basis,” said Mayetta who commutes from Scarsdale to his office on Main Street. “All the towns are having a hard time. Some towns around here charge a quarter for 15 minutes on a meter now.”

Council members were pleased Thursday night for passing a budget that avoids eliminating any currently-staffed positions or making major service cuts. The budget calls for a 4.94 percent property tax rate increase. Nearly 75 percent of the 2011-2012 budget will go towards the city’s mandated pension and health insurance contributions over which local governments have no control.

“We have cut wherever we can without hurting services,” said councilwoman Milagros Lecuona. “I don’t think at this time that we could’ve done better.”

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