Residents and business owners in Harrison Hot Springs will be given a chance to voice their opinions on pay parking, through a series of open houses.
And while a final decision hasn’t been made on whether to install pay parking in the Village, a preferred proponent has already been chosen by staff. Staff said that the company GoPark was chosen after a long submission and interview process that eliminated five other service providers.
At this Monday’s council meeting, Andre Isakov, manager of planning and community services for Harrison Hot Springs, explained that staff now would like to hear from what business owners and residents think about GoPark’s proposal.
Two open houses would “engage this proponent with the community and be a time for the public to provide feedback,” he said. Then, if council decided to go forward with the pay parking module, it would refer to comments made through the open houses.
Dates for the open house weren’t decided yet, and are expected to be announced in the near future. Other pay parking service providers who applied but not chosen were Lions Parking, EasyPark, Impark, Vinci Park and Aparc.
A staff committee of five people evaluated the proposals.
On Monday night, council voted all in favour to move ahead with the open houses, with a focus on gaining community feedback. Staff is currently preferring a system where a ticket is printed and placed in the car window, over the system where drivers remember their license plate number and type it into a machine.
Isakov said that it is the more affordable option.
Pay parking wouldn’t be a year round fixture, and the machines would be rented from the company rather than purchased.
Ideally, Isakov said, a local resident would be hired as a parking attendant that could double as an ambassador, greeting visitors and explaining the system to them.
“We need something that works, that’s effective and affordable,” Isakov concluded.
Councillor Alan Jackson pointed out that if pay parking is eventually chosen, that council have direction as to where the money collected would go.
“If this happens to be a reality,” he said, “what are we going to do with the money that we get? Do we have a plan?”
Mayor Leo Facio agreed.
“That has to be a part of the plan, yes,” he replied. The mayor also noted that the areas being considered for pay parking are Esplanade, Lillooet and “possibly Cedar,” totaling about 300 stalls.