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Daley Announces Parking Meter Lease Deal

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Chicago Mayor Richard Daley today announced the city reached a deal to lease its parking meters.

For the next 75 years, the City of Chicago will hand the parking meters over to some private companies under the name Chicago Parking Meters. In return, Chicago gets $1.2 billion. Mayor Daley says privatizing the meters is a creative way to raise money while the economy is in a severe slump.

DALEY: The funds for this historic parking meter agreement will strengthen our city finances for the long-term, give us the ability to continue investing in people’s needs, and most importantly protect our city and taxpayers from a very worsening and difficult economy.

Still, Daley says he expects the city to have a budget deficit of $200-million for each of the next several years. The parking meter deal means motorists will see some stiff rate increases. Hourly rates are expected to go up to $6.50 an hour in the Loop in the next five years and $2 an hour in Chicago’s neighborhoods. The city council is expected to consider the deal on Thursday.

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