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Free parking request for Main Street Picton estimated to cost $26,750 in revenue

UPDATE SEPT 20: Council did not pass the motion citing observances of parking spots in full use regularly, thus seeing no tangible effect which would also result in the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue.

UPDATE: Council’s meeting has been recessed to next Tuesday due to technical difficulties with Zoom and video feeds.

Following concern brought to council last month over the impact of Main Street Picton construction and detours on downtown businesses, a staff report to be discussed at Tuesday night’s meeting shows the expense of waiving parking fees until Nov. 30.

The estimated financial implications of approving free parking on Picton Main Street totals $10,700 per month: $7,200 in parking revenue and $3,500 in fine revenue. The total for loss in revenue to the end of November could be up to $26,750.

As of Sept. 12, the section of Picton Main between Bridge and Paul streets, including the intersection of Main and Bridge Street, is scheduled to have underground work and road reconstruction to permit two-way traffic.

From Sept. 12, 2022 to Nov. 14, northbound traffic will be allowed on Main from Paul to Johnson streets while the underground and above-ground work proceeds. Southbound traffic will be detoured from Johnson Street to connect back to Main at Paul Street. Final surface course asphalt is to be placed from Bridge to Johnson streets once all work up to Johnson Street is done.

The staff report notes it cannot determine whether this tourism season is up or down compared to previous years, but will do a post-season survey in the coming months.

“Industry stakeholders have anecdotally mentioned to staff that businesses are reporting business is down 20 to 40 per cent,” said Mike Kelly, supervisor of bylaw services, in his report. However, he adds “It has been noticed that a large number of parking spots on Picton Main Street are occupied most days which has made it difficult to find a spot during the daytime.”

December is typically the annual Feed-the-Meter campaign during which all money deposited in the meters for the month, is donated by the County to the Hastings Prince Edward District School Board’s Feed-the-Meter campaign to provide breakfast and snacks at schools. Donation parking in Picton starts Dec. 1 and goes until March 31.

Staff also examined an exemption to paid parking on a wider range: in Picton, which includes Main, Ross, Elizabeth, Walton and King streets; and Market Lane. In this scenario, it was found the the financial impact to the municipality would total $19,073 per month: $14,263 in parking revenue and $4,810 in fine revenue for a total loss of revenue of $47,000.

Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Michelle says:

    Hard to find an empty store front in Picton.

  2. Dan2 says:

    We have operated a small business in the County since 2015. Our sales are down around 20%. In fact every business owner I have spoken to, from wineries, retail operators and accommodation sector, all state revenue is down from previous years. Some as much as 40%.
    Free parking, will do little now, to undo damage.
    Regrettable policies have consequences. And small business in the county sadly now is paying the price. Jobs and economic growth as well. The pandemic was tough on everyone, then our elected officials diligently chased tourist away.

    Update: We now have 21 empty or closed storefronts, on main street Picton.

  3. Mike Rodgers says:

    Parking in Picton on weekends is free, makes no sense. The downtown, in the summer is plugged with cars that sit all day while the owners have left for other parts unknown to enjoy beaches wineries etc with friends because they know their cars are parked safely on Main St Picton free of charge. This county needs to charge for parking 7 days a week in the summer. Contract out the enforcement.

  4. SM says:

    The report to council only refers to “revenue”. There is no indication what the “net revenue” is. Clearly there are costs associated with this revenue: for example enforcement. If one is to assess the financial impact of a decision, both sides of the equation must be considered.

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