OCEAN CITY – After realizing a holiday fell later in the calendar year than usual in 2011, the Mayor and Council altered the starting date for the start of the paid parking season this week.
A few months ago, the Mayor and City Council voted to set paid parking dates in Ocean City to begin Good Friday of each year and to end the third Sunday of October.
The date of Good Friday was chosen because the ordinance prior to the recent change stated paid parking to begin April 1. It was recommended to change to Good Friday incase April 1 fell on a Saturday or Sunday.
Last year, paid parking opened on April 9 and on April 11-12, the town received $11,000 in revenue from that weekend alone.
“So it was worthwhile to do,” Public Works Deputy Director Richard Malone said.
The recently changed ending date occurred when Malone brought to the Mayor and City Council’s attention that the current ordinance at that time called for paid parking to be closed Oct. 15, which fell on a Friday. Malone requested that the date to be changed to Sunday so that the maximum revenue could be reached from requiring paid parking that entire weekend as well.
Malone recently wrote a letter to City Manager Dennis Dare explaining an issue that had arise in the dates chosen.
“I do not think we achieved the ultimate goal,” Malone had written.
Malone explained that the goal is to achieve the maximum revenue possible in the spring by including Easter weekend in the paid parking time frame.
Malone brought to the council’s attention the date of Easter fluctuates each year depending on the cycle of the moon. Easter can fall anywhere from March 22 to April 24. The recently enacted resolution would not establish paid parking until Good Friday each year. In some years, including 2011, this would be as late as April 22.
In concern of the possibility to miss out on a considerable revenue opportunity, Malone requested the dates be changed.
Malone proposed the language of the ordinance to be changed to begin paid parking the first Saturday in April or Good Friday, whichever occurs first, through the third Sunday of October of each year.
The proposal passed in a unanimous vote by the Mayor and City Council.
“This coming Easter is the perfect example,” Malone said. “Easter is on April 24 this year, which means Good Friday would be the April 22, so we would loose 22 days of paid parking.”