OCEAN CITY – An extension of the paid parking season was approved at this week’s Mayor and City Council meeting.
Earlier this year, the council agreed to change the date of the opening of the Inlet parking lot and the paid parking on the streets and in other parking lots from April 15 to April 1.
At this week’s meeting, Richard Malone, deputy director of Ocean City Department of Public Works, approached the Mayor and Council about altering the end date of the paid parking season.
“We were making our fall schedules and we realized the last day of paid parking fell on a Friday this year,” he said. “We remembered that in the spring we had adjusted the dates to gain the weekend revenue … we were wondering if the council would change the dates each year so we can gain the most weekend revenue.”
With so many special events occurring in the spring and in the fall, parking can increase the city’s revenue by keeping paid parking open.
“Last year the last weekend the parking lot was open in the fall was car Cruisin’,” Malone said. “The parking lot only made a little over $2,000 but the street parking made $13,000. So you got about $15,000 made in just those two days. … This year the last weekend, the 16th and 17th, the Corvette show is here. On Saturday, they will use part of the parking lot so the other half will be available for public parking and all day Sunday.”
Taking this into consideration, Malone asked the Mayor and City Council to establish the beginning date for paid parking as the first Saturday in April and end it the third Sunday of October each year.
“There is revenue here,” he explained. “There are some expenses. About $500 a day to run the parking lot because of the attendants and supervision, but we will make somewhere between $12,000-$15,000. So, I thought it was worth bringing up.”
The extension of dates will also allow the Public Works Maintenance Division to set up and break down the parking operations on the street and in the parking lots during regular working hours on weekends.
Councilwoman Mary Knight added that starting paid parking even earlier than the first Saturday in April may be a good idea.
“Easter this year was so early, it was in March, and we missed that weekend,” she said. “If we open it the first weekend in April, we are going to miss Easter weekend in year 2013 and 2016. So my suggestion would be to open that last weekend in March.”
By unanimous vote, the council agreed to have paid parking begin on Good Friday of each year and end paid parking at the end of the day on the third Sunday of October of each year. Good Friday next year falls April 22, 2011.