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Westport OKs Higher Train Station Parking Fees

Permit parkers at Westport's train stations such as Pat Foley will be happy to know they won't have to pay $400 a year for the coveted windshield sticker. However, the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday approved a $100 increase to the annual permit cost, bringing that fee up to $325.

This increase is $75 less than the increase proposed by the Westport Police Department, which oversees parking at both stations. Not wanting to burden commuters, Selectwoman Shelly Kassen proposed the $100 increase, saying such an increase was understandable. She and First Selectman Gordon Joseloff voted in favor of this increase.

Selectman Charlie Haberstroh voted against the $100. The last parking fee increases came in 2004, he said. So he proposed increasing the annual permit cost from the current $225 to $300 and suggested incrementally increasing the cost from there.

Permit parkers aren't the only ones who will be paying more July 1. The selectmen also approved a $1 increase to the daily parking fee to bring it to $5.

A decrease in railroad parking revenue is to blame for these increases. On Monday, Deputy Police Chief Dale Call said operating costs for the Railroad Parking Division have risen while revenue has declined from 2007 through 2010.

These new fees bring Westport's train station parking fees closer in line with surrounding towns. In Fairfield, for example, annual parking costs $340 and daily parking costs $6. At the East Norwalk station, parking costs $43 a month, which means commuters pay $516 a year. Also, there's no daily parking available at this station. At the South Norwalk station, parking costs $81 a month, or $972 a year. Daily parking at this station costs $8.

What do you think of the new train station parking fees?

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