Penticton may add more paid parking as it deals with COVID-19 induced $3.9M budget shortfall | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton may add more paid parking as it deals with COVID-19 induced $3.9M budget shortfall

The City of Penticton wants to introduce more paid parking to the city and increase the hourly rate.
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July 23, 2020 - 5:18 PM

City of Penticton is looking at parking as a potential revenue generator as it looks for ways to make up for a $3.9 million budget shortfall created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City is investigating an expansion of the metered parking program and plans to consult with the public with respect to financial tradeoffs if it continues its policy of not charging for parking in some parts of the city.

City planner Blake Laven called the present system, where several streets downtown presently have free parking, unequal and said a fairer approach would be to charge for all parking spaces in the downtown area.

The City is looking at areas where there is presently no cost to park including the South Okanagan Events Centre, Lakeshore Drive, Okanagan Lake parking lots, Skaha Park and Parkview Street, along with resident-only parking areas.

Laven’s report to council noted the City’s present parking program generates $500,000 annually. The addition of paid parking in areas under review would ad an additional $840,000 in revenue against $390,500 in capital and ongoing expenses, which would include the need for an additional two employees.

The City last took a comprehensive look at its parking policies in 2017. At that time there wasn’t a public appetite to establish paid parking at the City’s parks and beaches, but there was a desire to see downtown parking spaces used more efficiently.

The report also asks council to consider “a slight increase” in the City’s hourly rate for parking, which is currently $1.25.

The public consultation period is set for July 22 to Aug. 3, with questions focusing on tax implications if the system is to be subsidized, revenue neutral or turned into a money maker.

The results will be compiled before being brought back before council at its Sept. 1 meeting.

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