Downtown parking improvements, increasing the age to buy cigarettes

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Topeka council members have two hot topics of discussion for Tuesday’s city council meeting.

One is increasing the age to buy cigarettes, the other is improvements to parking downtown. Council members say better parking would cost about $400,000. That includes adding software for downtown garages and paying meters with a credit card. However, council members said by placing yellow bags over some meters downtown, a lot of revenue has been lost. Now, they’re wondering if adding more meters would bring in extra money. Without additional meters, they’re thinking about raising the prices in the garages downtown. Another option includes adding more meters along Kansas Avenue and side streets plus increasing the prices of existing meters.

“From the outside, people’s view of downtown is ‘oh parking,’ Councilwoman with District 1, Karen Hiller said. “So we need to have something settled so everybody knows what to expect and it’s functional and easy.”

Council members will also be discussing raising the age to buy cigarettes for people 21 and older. However, anyone 18 to 20 years old can still have cigarettes in their possession.

“I think it sends a message to kids ‘yeah, you can smoke, but I’m not going to make it easy for you,’ Councilwoman with District 2, Sandra Clear said. “Anything I think we can do to make it a little harder for them to get those cigarettes.”

The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Follow KSNT News for the outcome.

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