With the open house for the proposed Pay Parking Program approaching on March 30 from 2-7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, Sylvan Lake News staff asked Director of CommunityServices, Ron Lebseck to tell us everything Laker’s need to know before attending.
SL News: Ron, what can you tell us about the history behind and the reasons why the Town of Sylvan Lake wanted to implement a Pay Parking Program?
“I think the rational really goes back to the upkeep and maintenance of the downtown. We do have so many visitors from out of town coming that we don’t see it as strictly a Town’s or resident’s responsibility. One way to generate some revenue to back into the downtown maintenance, for things like landscaping and up keeping Centennial Park, is to ask visitors to pay for parking and help cover some of the cost of that.
What else can you tell us about where that money is going and how much revenue will be generated?
“We have estimated somewhere between $120-150,000 a year in revenue per year and the pay off for the program is estimated to be somewhere in year four or five then the majority of the revenue will start going towards maintenance and upkeep of the downtown and the rest will go towards maintenance and upkeep of the Pay Parking Program itself.”
With this specific proposed Pay Parking Program, will residents be paying for parking in the downtown or Centennial Park areas?
“No, the one we are proposing right now will see residents be able to register their license plates with the Town. All residents will be able to have free parking in those downtown parking zones.”
What will be the proposed pay parking rates and hours associated with them for visitors?
“Pay parking rates would be $1.50 per hour or $7 a day from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., 7 days a week. This program would be in affect from May 15 – Sept .15 each year. So again, just looking at that tourism season for the downtown.”
I see the Town also lists a maximum of three hours parking for both visitors and residents, what can you tell us about that?
“Yes, that’s for in the downtown core but if you are in the Centennial Park lot you can park all day, but on street parking in the downtown is limited to three hours.”
In addition to the proposed Pay Parking Program there has also been talk of the Residential Permit Parking Zones, where did the decision to implement the zones come from?
“The rationale behind that is simply that if we charge for parking on the street in the downtown area then the natural reaction is that visitors will just move over a block and park in the residential area on the streets. Residents in the Cottage, Downtown, and West Village will register their license plates with us. They will have two parking permits issued per residence at no charge. If they do need or require more, they can purchase an additional two per residence. They will be given a tag with a code on it to hang from their vehicle mirror.There would be no parking allowed in those areas except for residents and their guests if they have the passes on their mirrors.”
What does the Town hope to see at the Open House being held on March 30?
“We are proposing the program as it sits right now and we are hoping to get feedback from the public on that. Do they like all of the parts of the residential parking program? Is there something we missed or should change? Do they like what we’ve suggested and what else might residents recommend? This still has to go back to Town Council before it is finalized,as this is the proposed program. Following the Open House there will also be an online survey circulated with 4-6 questions.”
For more information on the proposed Pay Parking Program or the Residential Parking Zones Program visit www.sylvanlake.ca.