By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Last year’s hike in parking meter rates in Center City may have irritated drivers — but officials at the Parking Authority say some of the extra cash is heading to the struggling School District.

The Parking Authority Board on Monday approved a new budget for its fiscal year that begins April 1st.

Executive Director Vince Fennerty says that budget predicts about $13-million in revenues going to the school district, and $37-million going to the city itself. The total, $50-million, is about $4-million more than the current year.

“That’s primarily derived by the increase in the meter rates, which were done last year by City Council and the mayor, and other efficiencies, which the Parking Authority has established.”

Fennerty points out that his agency’s costs are not rising, so the extra revenue goes to the cash-starved school district and city government.

“Every little bit helps. Every teacher’s aide that can help a teacher educated our children, is a very good thing in Philadelphia.”

Fennerty says the Parking Authority’s costs have held steady at about $64-million. On-street parking rates in Center City and University City were raised in 2009 and then again in July of last year.

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