Fenwick Parking Permit Fees Jump

FENWICK ISLAND –  Fenwick Island officials last week agreed to change their parking permit rates ahead of the summer season.

In a Fenwick Island Town Council meeting last Friday, the council voted unanimously to change the town’s fee structure for parking permits.

Mayor Gene Langan said the proposed changes were in response to the purchase of a new parking kiosk.

“In this year’s budget we approved and have purchased a parking kiosk, which will sell parking permits,” he said. “We will no longer have staff here doing it. We will have a machine do it.”

In years past, daily, weekly, monthly and summer parking permits were issued at the Fenwick Island Police Department. This year, however, residents and visitors will use the kiosk to purchase permits.

“Because of that, we had to change the structure of our fees,” said Town Manager Terry Tieman.

In addition to establishing an hourly parking rate of $2.50, the town’s Finance Committee recommended changes to the entire fee structure as part of their review of revenue sources.

Daily parking permits have increased from $10 to $20, weekly parking permits have increased from $60 to $120, summer parking permits have increased from $350 to $400, additional residential parking permits have increased from $150 to $400, employee parking permits have increased from $75 to $100, and replacement permits have increased from $75 to $200. Monthly parking permits have been eliminated.

“We also did comparisons to other communities and they (the fees) were pretty consistent,” Tieman said. “So we are very competitive.”

Members of the town’s Finance Committee justified their decision to raise parking permit fees.

Councilman Richard Mais, committee chair, said the group worked over the course of multiple meetings to create a new fee structure.

“This Finance Committee reviewed this pretty thoroughly in two meetings,” he said.

Councilwoman and committee member Julie Lee added that the committee was composed of several community stakeholders.

“The Finance Committee is a relatively large committee that was representative of the community,” she said. “There was broad perspective and there was complete consensus.”

Tieman said changes to the parking fees will be implemented with the fiscal year 2019 budget, but must be adopted prior to the summer season.

“The reason we are bringing this up now … is that the kiosk will go into effect May 15,” she said. “We need to move fast.”

The council voted 7-0 to approve the proposed parking fees.

The new rates will go into effect May 15, and parking permits will be required from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.