Residents still get a free pass, but visitors will have to open their wallets when parking in two more Collingwood waterfront lots this season.
During the March 28 regular council meeting, councillors voted in favour of expanding the town’s paid parking program to the Collingwood Harbour and Millennium Park along Heritage Drive for the 2022 season.
Under the expanded program, residents will still be able to park for free at the four areas, which also include Sunset Point and Princeton Shores, if they register for a residential permit. A new seasonal bylaw supervisor and a customer service representative will be hired to help facilitate the expanded 2022 program.
Residents of Wasaga Beach, Blue Mountains or Clearview are eligible for a seasonal parking permit at a cost of $100.
Coun. Mariane McLeod raised concerns she has heard about the expanded program since it was recommended during the March 14 development and operations services standing committee meeting.
“Several people have come to me and said, ‘How soon will it be before I, who live in Thornbury, will not be able to eat my lunch and look at the water without having to spend $100?’ The plaintive tone this person used was quite sad to me,” said McLeod.
“Are we looking into paid parking at the splash pad and every other place?” she asked.
Collingwood Fire Chief Ross Parr said the program is just a pilot at this time.
“There was a great need for this... to look at controlling parking down at the waterfront to assist parks staff to do what they do,” said Parr. “This is the step now, and considerations for further (changes) would come before council to see where we want to go.”
Paid parking will be in effect seven days a week between the hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from May 20 until Oct. 10. Anyone who is not a Collingwood resident or who doesn’t have a permit will have to pay $10/hour or $50/day to park, on top of any boat launch fees required at the harbour.
For the 2022 expansion of the program, anticipated expenses for new signage, technology and staff will be $38,875, while anticipated revenue from the expanded area will be between $43,000 and $70,500.
According to a staff report on the matter, the 2021 program, which added a paid parking component to Sunset Point and Princeton Shores, helped reduce parking and traffic flow issues and brought in about $400,000 to the municipality.
The 2021 program cost about $48,910 in additional staff, signage and technology. As part of the 2021 program, 5,332 parking permits were issued, bringing in $7,400 in revenue. The HotSpot Parking App registered 7,566 sessions for a total of $79,054. The HotSpot Tap Signs raised $56,391, while the installed multi-space parking meters took in $164,493.
In total, bylaw enforcement staff checked over 15,000 vehicles resulting in approximately 4,036 parking tickets being issued, bringing in more than $100,000 in ticket revenue.
The cost in 2021 for three pay stations was $23,910. The town also hired two additional bylaw enforcement summer students at a cost of approximately $25,000.
Council voted unanimously in favour of approving the program, and that waterfront parking be reviewed as part of the 2023 budget deliberations.