Whether those using the Atlin parking lot in the summer months should still have to pay and display is a topic the City of Prince Rupert is chewing on.
The city’s Engineering and Public Works Department was seeking the removal of the Atlin Parking Lot kiosk at the July 28 council meeting, recommending that two hour parking be reinstated and spare parts from the machine be used to repair Rushbrook’s kiosk, as they are no longer available for this particular kind of machine.
“We have noted a significant drop in revenue, and even losses in the area,” explained Richard Pucci, engineering coordinator, during his report to council.
“This department continues to recommend the pay and display program at Rushbrook as the system generates revenue to maintain the area.”
So far this year the kiosk has cost the city $2,427 in expenses, which includes repairs, scheduled maintenance, technology upgrades, fees for credit card usage, as well as seasonal commissioning and decommissioning. There has been $1,053 in revenue collected, which equals a $1,374 loss.
In 2013, the city received $743 from the paid parking lot and $2,503 in 2012.
“This doesn’t account for the cost of the bylaw officer. When you start to factor that in, the Atlin parking area does probably break even or run at a loss,” said Corinne Bomben, the city’s chief financial officer.
Coun. Joy Thorkelson said if two hour parking is reinstated at the parking lot the city wouldn’t be making any money from it and the bylaw officer would still be required to monitor the area.
Thorkelson was also against the idea of those working in Cow Bay being able to park for free, whereas those employed as commercial fishermen would have to pay to park near the dock they already pay a moorage fee to utilize.
“If we’re going to give the business people and employees in Cow Bay relief, then the commercial fleet should be getting relief at the other end,” she said, adding those using Rushbrook’s boat launch should have to pay as that use creates wear and tear.
Mayor Jack Mussallem said the change would create an issue for those going on day-long tours provided out of Cow Bay, with Coun. Gina Garon echoing that paid parking makes room for tourists, some of whom have large vehicles or attachments that need to use the visitor’s information centre.
“Once you open that up to free two hour parking for all, you’re going to have all kinds of business people parking there. Even if you ask them not to park there, they are going to. You’re going to have people heading out fishing parking there all day,” Garon said.
In the end council agreed to table a decision.