City Hall Parking To Cost At Certain Times

OCEAN CITY — The town of
Ocean City didn’t take long to find a new place to charge for parking, and it
didn’t have to look far either.

A week after a failed
attempt to put parking meters on 146th Street after residents cried
foul, Councilwoman Mary Knight pulled an idea out of her proverbial purse that
could perhaps make up for the $30,000 in projected revenue that was put into
this year’s budget, and essentially lost with the pulled uptown parking meter

“I think that we should
consider putting in paid parking in the lot right here at City Hall after 5
p.m.,” said Knight. “Right now, it’s free, and if you come down here any night
of the week, there’s people from all over parking in this lot, when just up the
road we have one of the more successful paid parking lots in town [the 4th
Street municipal lot].”

The council jumped at
the idea of paid parking at City Hall and voted unanimously on Tuesday night.

“I tried to come down to
see the fireworks on 4th of July and I couldn’t even park in my own
spot,” quipped Councilman Doug Cymek, who, like all members of the Mayor and
Council, has an allotted parking spot at City Hall with signage to boot.

City Manager Dennis Dare
said that, although he agreed with the idea, he is still trying to figure out
how to implement the paid parking at City Hall in the most efficient manner.

“Right now, I’m just
trying to make it work from an operational standpoint,” said Dare. “The last
thing I’m probably going to look at is how much money it’s going to bring in.
There’s a lot of options that I sifting through at this point.”

As per last year’s
council decision to trim the town’s take-home vehicle allowance, there are now
12 vehicles normally parked in the lot after business hours and overnight, thus
making those spaces exempt from potential revenue.

“There’s 74 spaces total
on that lot, so we are looking at probably 62 spaces, which is almost double
the amount that we were looking at on 146th Street,” said Dare.
“However, we won’t be pulling in double the money because we aren’t going to be
charging people to park all day long.”

Some of the ideas that
Dare says he’s considering include a parking attendant stationed at the
entrance of the lot, who would pass people coming to City Hall for evening
meetings through for free, while charging those who are going to use the lot
for leisure.

“It’s going to take us
at least a week to figure out how this is going to look, which will give us
some time to make all the signage and get it up and running,” said Dare. “It
may not be a cash cow, but if we make a dollar or two, that’s a dollar or two
more than what we had.”