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Councillor suggests user pay parking directed at tourists

Speaking to parking and congestion in the County, councillor Mike Harper suggested council consider a motion for user pay parking – one that won’t unduly affect permanent residents.

The motion requests staff report back on the purchase and implementation of parking meters in the villages of Wellington and Bloomfield and at key high traffic areas like marinas and boat launches and how that revenue could cover enforcement. It was suggested users were not paying boat launch fees.

Mayor Steve Ferguson suggested Picton’s former coin operated meters could come out of storage to be put to use.

“This subject has always been an elephant in the room, with questions about why there’s meters in Picton but not other places. We could certainly use the additional revenue – which might help to pay enforcement officers.”

The broader trigger, Harper said was tourism which bring benefits, but also complications and problems.

Others supported his idea there could be ways to have off-season breaks for permanent residents including the suggestion a sticker delivered with the tax bills could be affixed to vehicle windows.

“It’s a pretty popular idea,” added councillor Phil St. Jean. “It could also be applied to park passes.”

Council, on June 28 had already directed staff to provide a report on parking issues, including parking for store owners who do not have parking behind their stores, monthly parking fee schedule and winter parking, including for those with mobility issues.

He stated that in the Victoria Transport Institute Parking Pricing Implementation Study, a typical municipal parking space has annualized land, construction and operating costs that total $500 to $1,500.

“Many parking spaces are worth more than the vehicles that occupy them, yet most parking facilities are unpriced, their costs borne indirectly through municipal taxes, rents, higher prices for retail goods, and lower resident advantages.”

He pointed out user pay parking can provide numerous benefits, including increased turnover and therefore improved user convenience, cost savings, reduced traffic problems, and increased revenues.

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  1. jacquie says:

    If our council would stop spending foolish money on buildings like the old convenience store in Wellington, sell some of the surplus unused buildings, stop paying 2 people to drive around in county vehicles to pick up garbage, and the list goes on and on… we would not be in such a crisis.. Will one of them ever have the guts to stop the bleeding??

  2. kb says:

    Thank you for the helpful information Chris.

  3. Chris Keen says:

    kb – The County can apply a Short Term Accommodation tax but the proceeds can ONLY be used to promote tourism in the County. Under current provincial law the only way the County can generate revenue is through property taxes. It can also implement user fees but on a cost recovery basis only.

    On the other hand, if everyone paid for parking in Bloomfield and Wellington as well as Picton and the rules were actively enforced, 100% of the proceeds would flow to County coffers.

  4. kb says:

    My answer to Todd’s question is YES. While tourism is promoted, the private businesses benefit, however the county is also operating a business. So absolutely yes, start developing ways to implement cost recovery, and enforcement. In addition, I would like to see a visitor/accommodation tax added to all hotels, b&bs and STA’s to help the county offset infrastructure costs – maybe then the locals will have some roads fixed and the overgrown ditches and roadsides trimmed. It may not be perfect, but the current plan isn’t working. The damage created by tourists isn’t going away so let’s approach it differently.

  5. Mike Rodgers says:

    Gary you are right, the weekend is the busiest with people parking all day, they are from areas where a parking ticket is $100. and to park in a lot it is $50.So a $20. parking ticket is nothing. Put some bite into the fines.

  6. Mike Rodgers says:

    There are a few streets in Wellington that should be one way. Along with Ross ST in Picton, if Ross was one way a few extra parking spots could be generated.

  7. Gary Mooney says:

    Parking fee policy should be to prevent people from parking at a spot all day — e.g. shop employees and visitors going cycling. This suggests a two-hour limit, long enough for a leisurely dinner at a restaurant.

  8. Todd says:

    So, to be clear, you want to charge boaters, both local and visitors $15 per launch, plus parking???

  9. Argyle says:

    Finally, why Wellington and Bloomfield has not had metered parking defies logic, can council finally be getting its act together and addressing this issue. ?

  10. Yvonne says:

    Parking meters will not work in Wellington. They park on every side street, church and school parking lot and midtown brewery and Foodland. You are lucky if you can go down a side street as they are parked on both sides. Market day on Saturday is a disaster.

  11. Mike Rodgers says:

    In regards to the realtor parking spots.Remove them and make a two way turning lane in the center of the street from Solbeys to Metro would help with traffic flow. As far as parking. Contract out the enforcement. Made from June to September when you have t pay to park, free the rest of the year. Also you have to pay to park 7 days a week during this time from 9am to 5pm

  12. kb says:

    Why are there no parking meters in front of the realty businesses on Picton Main St? Why are they provided free parking right at their doorstep?

  13. Dennis Fox says:

    I am very happy to see that our council and particularly the mayor are considering ways to finally make money from tourism. There was a time, not long ago, that both claimed it would kill business. How wrong they were.

  14. SHARON says:

    maybe when you are putting in new sidewalks in Wellington you could consider meters in town then.. or paving the side streets in Wellington .Take a look at our town .. .we have not had any paving done in Wellington in the last 15 to 20 yrs except the bit on Belleville rd . .. look at our streets first and our side walks enough of the patch work . lets get a propper job done here first.

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