Beaufort’s parking revenues top $264K - News-Times: News

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Beaufort’s parking revenues top $264K

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Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 12:00 pm

BEAUFORT — Despite a shortened season, gross revenue for the town’s 2018 paid parking season totaled $264,625, a noticeable increase over the $98,738 collected last season.

Lanier Parking representatives presented figures from last year’s paid parking season, which started in June and ended in September, during town commissioners’ Monday evening workshop in the town hall conference room. The presentation was the culmination of data the company compiled throughout the 2018 parking season.

“When we started out we created a mission,” Lanier Parking Vice President Ishaiah Mouw said. “Our mission isn’t about parking tickets … (it’s about) creating that turnover, creating that revenue to put back into the town.”

Prior to the start of the 2018 season, town officials entered into a tentative contract with Lanier Parking, a Georgia-based firm that oversees parking enforcement for a number of places, including areas like Atlanta, Ga., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

While town commissioners could have opted for a multi-year contract, they chose instead for the contract to span a single parking season, in order to gauge the benefits of having a third party enforce downtown parking. Commissioners will decide whether or not to move forward with using Lanier Parking again based on the compiled figures.

According to Lanier Parking’s figures, payments via credit cards made up the bulk of paid parking revenues.

As part of some changes Lanier Parking enacted to Beaufort’s paid parking season, visitors could pay via credit card, coin or via a phone app. While phone app payments made up 4 percent of the total payments, credit card payments made up 70 percent of the share.

“We hope to see an increase in the (pay by phone) app,” Mr. Mouw said.

Credit card payments totaled $185,461. This is almost a $100,000 increase from last year’s collected credit card amount of $88,910.

Coin revenue totaled $24,251, about $14,400 greater than the $9,828 collected last year. Coin payments made up 9 percent of the gross revenue.

Commissioner Ann Carter said comparing current figures to figures from past years could be a bit misleading.

“I question the validity of the expansion because we expanded the amount of paid parking this past year, so comparing it to what we had before is not necessarily comparing apples to oranges,” she said, alluding to the expansion of paid spaces from just Front Street to other areas in the downtown district, including Turner Street and the large parking lot there.

At 8 percent of the total revenue, parking passes were touted as another payment solution. Seasonal parking passes cost $200 and allow for parking in any metered space. A monthly parking pass is $100.

While Mr. Mouw said Front Street employees made good use of the parking passes, Ms. Carter pointed to a recent survey of the town’s business community that said otherwise.

The Downtown Beaufort Development Association prepared the 2018 Paid Parking Survey in an effort to gauge the business community’s thoughts for consideration when town officials decide what to do next.

Business owners who participated in the survey used it to broach the idea of changing the paid parking hours and days. Monday’s presentation included tentative figures for some of the proposed changes.

“Reducing paid parking hours and/or the duration of the paid parking season from the current plan reduces the money available for … projects,” reads an excerpt from Monday’s presentation.

Under the current plan, paid parking runs from May 1 to Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Revenue for the 2019 fiscal year is projected at $310,017.

Keeping the same dates, but changing the hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. could reduce revenues to a projected $295,535, while changing hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. could result in a projected $291,897.

Changing the dates from Memorial Day to Labor Day – Monday, May 27 to Monday, Sept. 2 – has an even greater projected impact. Operating from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on those days results in a projected $284,328 in the 2019 fiscal year, while operating from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. are projected at a respective $276,028 and $272,839.

According to town staff, Lanier Parking is charging $2,000 a month for its services, plus taking an additional 20 percent of the cut if gross revenues from parking fees and fines exceed $100,000.

Town Manger John Day said all of the net revenue goes into a budget line item titled “WBD,” which stands for Waterfront Business District.

“As we’re going forward looking at different changes in different plans where the hours might be shortened or the season might be shortened, those have implications for the revenue,” Mr. Day said.  

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email Dean@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

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7 comments:

  • mtstosea posted at 2:24 pm on Fri, Jan 11, 2019.

    mtstosea Posts: 50

    Jasper, did you do the video? Whoever shot it did a very good job of showing that we really are surrounded by signs now!

     
  • Jasper posted at 7:10 pm on Thu, Jan 10, 2019.

    Jasper Posts: 4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s8v-IfbCZ8

    Signs, signs, signs!

     
  • mtstosea posted at 6:48 pm on Thu, Jan 10, 2019.

    mtstosea Posts: 50

    DeadBolt, I have been to several Highway Dept. meetings, and have yet to have a question answered directly. About 1 year ago the response I received about the new Hwy 70 tie in to the old 70 was: "that issue is still in the planning stage".
    I asked another official about safe access to the boat ramp coming off the old high rise bridge & the 70 tie in to the new bridge from Old Causeway: "We haven't considered old Causeway access yet, but if there is a problem after the bridge is completed, we will refer it to the transportation dept". This was a meeting hosted BY the transportation dept, with Engineers, planners present answer all our questions.

     
  • DeadBolt posted at 7:10 am on Thu, Jan 10, 2019.

    DeadBolt Posts: 2660

    @ mtstosea........

    I am not a gambler, however, i bet you that you will NEVER see the 'net' gains nor the correlation to what your asking ever.

    All you and i see are all the great big stories of do good intentions, with a nice paste of sugar in the moment.

    That is where the deception is, and these lot we have running Beaufort, well, quite frankly , IMO, ARE COMPLETE MORONS.

    They are just the opposite of efficient, after all they have no skin in the game.

    I wish you well on your journey in to this dismal venture.

    ps. if you happen to find out a detailed accounting of said funds, please post it. It will be very entertaining. [wink]

     
  • Osprey posted at 7:55 pm on Wed, Jan 9, 2019.

    Osprey Posts: 658

    How much lost revenue for Beaufort businesses from the many locals who will no longer go to Beaufort because of the meters ?

     
  • mtstosea posted at 5:19 pm on Wed, Jan 9, 2019.

    mtstosea Posts: 50

    Lanier Parking Vice President Ishaiah Mouw has presented wonderful sounding comparison financial data which show how much money they can generate over the previous provider. I am glad the article pointed out that much of the increase came from expanded paid parking spaces. My questions are: how much did the company profit and how much did Beaufore clear on the deal? I want to know what the bottom line figure is after every expense is paid. Second, of the remaining profit, how much will go into a dedicated reserve fund for unexpected expenses this year, and how much will go to the town for street repairs?

     
  • DeadBolt posted at 3:13 pm on Wed, Jan 9, 2019.

    DeadBolt Posts: 2660

    This is great, this means the funds can go towards this.


    http://www.carolinacoastonline.com/news_times/opinions/letters_to_editor/article_eba6e65a-0ea1-11e9-92e4-33dfc7989e4b.html

    Get to paving, and look no taxes at all!

    Finally, the tourists get to foot the bill for their trespass! [wink]

     

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