LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Depending on where you leave your car downtown La Crosse parking could soon cost you.

At its last meeting the Parking Utility Board passed a proposal that would include a fee for parking in downtown La Crosse ramps.

The plan calls for 4 hours of free parking, followed by a $.50 an hour fee during weekdays.

On weekends and holidays it calls for 8 hours of free parking, followed by the $.50 an hour fee.

The city says it needs the money for maintenance, cleaning, and repair costs.

However, the parking utility board wants to make sure people still have easy access to downtown businesses.

"We've been working to try to really balance the idea of keeping free parking on the street for customers and visitors and having some minimal charges in the ramps so that we can start to help pay for the cost of the maintenance and repairs that need to go on," says Tim Kabat, Parking Utility Board member.

Paid parking is not in effect now.  The city first needs to install fee stations in the ramps.