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Parking relief for charities to be considered by committee today

New pilot program in Collingwood could see 10 free passes doled out to event organizers, and a 50% discount code for out-of-town attendees
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A picturesque Sunset Point Park.

A pilot project to allow complimentary parking at Collingwood’s waterfront for charitable groups will be considered by councillors today.

During Monday (July 4) afternoon’s corporate and community services standing committee meeting, council will be considering a staff report proposing to allow complimentary and reduced-rate parking at Sunset Point Park, Millennium Park and the Collingwood Harbour when charity events are taking place at those locations.

However, staff’s recommendation comes with some ground rules.

“It is important to note that the pilot project would result in a reduction of parking fees being collected by the town since users attending these fundraising initiatives would not be required to pay the regular parking fees,” noted Adam Harrod, the town’s manager of bylaw services in his report to councillors.

Acting Mayor Keith Hull’s original motion asking for a staff report on the subject was passed at council’s June 20 meeting.

The pilot parking program being proposed by town staff this week will encourage event organizers to remind attendees that Collingwood residents should register for their free waterfront parking passes prior to any events.

If the pilot is approved, the program would see up to 10 free parking permits provided for event organizers for the time period requested to set up, conduct an event and clean up.

Attendees of the events would also be provided with a 50% discount code for the duration of the event, which would last for a maximum of one day; a cellphone is required to register. The code could be entered by attendees once they scan their adjacent HotSpot sign.

“Staff are recommending a 50% discount as event parking does detract from available parking for residents and paid parking budget revenue from non-residents,” noted Harrod in his report.

“This method could be subject to abuse since the discount code could be shared with other visitors who are not participants or otherwise associated with the event.”

Under current rules, the town recommends charitable event organizers utilize municipal park facilities where there is less demand and no paid parking is in effect such as Harbourview Park, Central Park, and Fisher Fields.

A preliminary investigation identified more than 50 charitable organizations operating in Collingwood.

“The town currently offers in-kind support to various community groups, which can include access to arenas, event spaces, and sports fields, as well as event logistics with town supports if needed such as public works, fire and transit,” noted Harrod in the staff report.

Previously, relief for non-profits is included as part of the 2022 Community Recreation & Grant Program. As intake and allocation has concluded for this year, staff are recommending the pilot project for the remainder of the year.

To view the full agenda for this week’s committee meeting, click here.

The corporate and community services standing committee meeting begins at 2 p.m. today at Collingwood Town Hall, and is also livestreamed and archived on the town’s YouTube channel here.

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 14 years of experience to her role as reporter for Village Media, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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