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Almonte, Ont. hospital to introduce paid parking

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One of the last hospitals in the Ottawa region to offer free on-site parking is getting ready to ditch the luxury.

The Almonte Hospital says, beginning this fall, it will be charging $4 for parking.

"Initially we're thinking $4 a day, but we'll be working through all the details to make sure that it's appropriate for everyone going forward," says Brad Harrington, President and CEO of the Mississippi River Health Alliance.

The hospital says it has to make the change in order to afford at new CT scanner that was recently acquired.

"The government doesn't fund the equipment expenditures," Harrington tells CTV News.

"So these pieces of equipment are extremely expensive. They can be in excess of $2 million."

Harrington also says that once the new scanner is paid off, the parking revenue will continue to generate about $100,000 annually for the hospital.

It's a change not many can say they are happy about.

Hospital visitor Doug Anderson is glad the fee hasn't been put in place yet, as he's been at the Almonte Hospital every other day for the past week.

"It really is good and in and out privileges as well, because I do leave at times to go get a bite to eat or whatever," said Anderson. "Four dollars isn't too bad, really. I really don't blame them, but it is nice not having to pay, that's for sure."

Not wanting to speak on the record, hospital staff also voiced their displeasure to CTV News, as this change will cost them every time they come into work.

Residents living nearby the hospital also anticipate extra street parking and traffic when the change comes into effect.

"Cars are going up and down here with cars parked on one side of the road; they don't leave enough room for each other," says Spring Street resident Owen Bonvie.

"There's going to be an accident here one of these days."

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