Report shows successful first year for visitor pay parking in Sylvan Lake

By Troy Gillard (Twitter: @Troy_Gillard)
October 11, 2017 - 1:25pm Updated: October 11, 2017 - 2:12pm

The Town of Sylvan Lake appears poised to pay off its Visitor Pay Parking Program much sooner than anticipated, thanks to a hugely successful first year.

A report given to Town Council on Tuesday revealed the program generated $72,802 in profit, well above the $62,451 that was forecasted at the start of the year.

At this rate, the Town would be able to pay off the costs associated with implementing the Visitor Pay Parking Program in less than three years (2.8) as opposed to nearly nine (8.6).

Weather played a big role in the program generating revenues that were much higher than expected; with the report saying only four summer days were lost to poor weather in 2017, compared to 10-15 days during a more typical summer.

Total projected revenue for 2017 is $276,435 made up of parking revenue and projected violation ticket revenue (not exclusive to pay parking areas).

According to the report, the busiest months for the Visitor Pay Parking Program were (in order) July, August, June, September and May.

When it comes to complaints, municipal enforcement reported the program “did not create as many issues in the downtown residential district as they had anticipated.” In all, 1089 controlled parking space citations were issued.

Some of the concerns/feedback received from residents during year one of the program included:

- Some owners of commercial property in Sylvan Lake that do not live in the town feeling they should be treated as residents and given parking passes at no charge;

- Lineups at pay terminals were quite long, especially on weekends;

- Signage was not adequate in the downtown commercial and residential districts;

- No ability to pay tickets online.

Council accepted the Visitor Pay Parking Program report as information, as well as:

- Directed Administration to purchase additional pay station kiosks;

- Directed Administration to install additional enforcement and informational signage in the areas of Town in which the Visitor Pay Parking Program occurs, with the funds to come from the existing operating budget;

- Requested the topic be placed on an upcoming Committee of the Whole agenda for a year-in-review discussion.

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