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Free 3-hour downtown ramp parking ends, city to charge $1 per hour



Parking in the downtown La Crosse ramps on weekdays will soon cost $1 per hour with no free grace period.

The city’s Board of Public Works approved Monday a policy change, dropping the three-hour free grace period in the ramps during business hours on Monday through Friday and, instead, charging $1 per hour.

The city of La Crosse had permitted some kind of daytime grace period in the ramps on weekdays for about 20 years.

Free parking will still apply at night and on weekends. 

La Crosse police argued for the $1-per-hour charge on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the board agreed.

Under the current system, vendors working with City Hall charge service fees for collecting payments by phone and electronic kiosks, and the city apparently loses money if it lets people park for free during daytime hours.

La Crosse Assistant police chief Jason Melby told the board that the service charges add up to about $14,000 a year.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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