The parking meters along Harrison's waterfront might be gone

Revenue from Pay Parking totals $156,703.65

Parking meters along Harrison bring in Revenue for the community while sparking debate on their usage.

At a special Committee of the Whole meeting held in council chambers at The Village of Harrison Hot Springs on Monday, Oct. 24, staff revealed the net revenue recovered from enforcement of The Pay Parking Program,  totaled the amount of $156,703.65.

A contract was awarded to the Village for pay parking on Apr. 20, during a Special council meeting for Precise ParkLink, according to a report prepared by staff.

After a trial run from Jun. 15 to Sept 15., fiscal results were determined from the total ‘monies’ received from the thirteen machines, stationed near  Harrison Beach.

“Enforcement revenues are monies received when a person has not purchased a ticket, a ticket has expired, or is improperly parked — a ticket is issued to help achieve compliance,” said the report. “These funds represent recovery of lost revenue that would have been collected as operating revenue, had a ticket been purchased.”

Currently, 68 per cent of enforcement tickets have been paid, with the approximate ticket payment totaling $50.

Some council members and members of the public, found the tactic of pay parking aggressive and unsavoury for business.

Complaints were however, taken into consideration and handled appropriately; though were time consuming, according to council, when intervention was necessary.

“My issue was that the amount for the tickets was too high, but I also want to make a point of saying that it also had a negative impact on the visitor experience, with many of these people saying that they would never come back to Harrison, so we do need to look at that — this is a Resort community and we want our tourists to have a good experience — we also have to look at our signage,” said councillor Sonya Reyerse.

Residents may also be under the belief that pay parking equals lower taxes, which simply isn’t the case, according to Reyerse.

“On the point of taxes I agree that we wouldn’t be lowering taxes, but by generating this revenue, it also keeps us from having to raise taxes. The revenue can offset other expenses. A 1 per cent increase represents $20,000, so this figure of $156,703.65, represents almost 7 and a half per cent in comparison” said councillor John Hansen.

A total of 1866 tickets have been paid, with 870 tickets remaining outstanding.