FENWICK ISLAND – In an effort to generate additional revenue, officials in Fenwick Island last week approved the use of the town hall parking lot for permitted parking on weekends and holidays.
Last Friday, members of the Fenwick Island Town Council had before them a recommendation from town staff to use the town hall parking lot for permitted parking on weekends and holidays – including Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day – throughout the summer months and to spend $700 from the public works budget to install the necessary signage.
Town Manager Terry Tieman said parking revenue was initially discussed during committee meetings on the fiscal year 2020 budget.
“This was proposed during the budget discussion,” she said. “We thought that we could use the town hall parking lot for permit parking.”
Tieman said town staff recommended designating 12 spaces and two handicapped spaces to the front and side of town hall as permitted parking, six spaces near the park as one-hour parking and six spaces in the back as town staff and fire department parking, which would also require a permit.
Parking will not be enforced during Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on Sunday mornings.
Councilman Roy Williams said he was concerned about parking availability at the neighboring Cannon Street Park.
“The only thing I’m a little concerned about is if there is enough reserved parking for the people that want to drive up to the park,” he said.
Tieman noted the six one-hour spaces available near the park.
“It’s no charge, but they would have to move within the hour,” she said.
Although she said she understood the need for signage, Councilwoman Vicki Carmean said she was concerned about the $700 request.
“I’m concerned about the $700 it would cost for the signage,” she said. “Are you going to make that up in parking fees? Have you estimated that?”
Tieman told Carmean it remains unclear how much revenue would be generated from the changes in the town hall parking lot. She said one space can bring in $20 for all-day parking.
“It might not be cost effective the first year,” she said, “but it will pay off in the subsequent years.”
With no further discussion, the council voted 7-0 to approve the use of the town hall parking lot for permitted parking on weekends and holidays and to designate $700 from the public works budget for signage.
The change will be implemented as soon as signs can be installed.