Parking fees in the waterfront lots increased as of July 1. In an attempt to cover the costs of responsibilities recently reassigned to the Waterfront Department, such as maintenance of restrooms as well as maintenance of the dolphin fountain, the department has increased the hourly cost from $1.50 to $2 and the daily maximum from $9 to $12 in the lots with attendants. The honor fee-collection lot prices have increased from $2 for three hours to $3, with the daily maximum remaining at $7. Scott Riedman, business manager for the Waterfront Department, said the department is trying to keep the costs “as reasonable as possible,” while increasing fees to cover the department’s new expenses, which include not only the additional maintenance but pay for city lifeguards, and the cost of the Fourth of July fireworks displays, previously managed by the Parks & Recreation Department.
The annual permit for the Waterfront lots remains $95 and the first 90 minutes of parking are still free on Stearns Wharf with validation from one of the wharf’s vendors. Similarly, the first 15 minutes are free when parking behind or across from the Visitor Center. Increased parking fees are only part of Waterfront’s attempt to raise more money, which includes a controversial 4 percent increase in slip fees as well.