(Jan. 10, 2020) Residents and visitors should expect to shell out an extra 50 cents per hour for parking this summer after the Ocean City Council on Monday adopted a rate increase that is projected to produce $900,000 in revenue.
Parking in the inlet parking lot will go from $3 per hour to $3.50 per hour in June, July, August and September, and $3 per hour in April, May and October for weekends.
Fines for inlet parking are the recorded time parked plus $25, with a $50 late payment fee if the fine is not paid within 30 days.
For other street and municipal lots, in-season parking will be $3 per hour, while weekends in April, May and October will be $2 per hour with free weekdays.
Fines for these parking spaces are $50, but can be voided if the driver pays the correct fee within an hour.
However, there remained a few questions city staff had to clarify before the council felt comfortable proceeding with the vote.
“I wanted to make sure, that with this 50-cent increment, that our ParkMobile can accommodate that change,” Councilwoman Mary Knight said.
City Engineer Terry McGean explained that Ocean City Parking Task Force members had been concerned about whether the bill-collecting meters, which do not give back change, would give users the time they paid for now that the rate is no longer a flat number.
“We did confirm that it would give you $3 divided by $3.50, however many minutes that is, it will give you that many minutes. So, we are comfortable with … the machines at the $3.50 rate,” McGean said.
Councilman Dennis Dare then addressed concerns over a language miscue in the resolution where the word “lot” had been used, rather than “vehicle” in addressing handicap parking and parking grace periods.
In the inlet parking lot, both handicap and standard parking spaces are subject to a 30-minute grace period, but other municipal lots and street parking allow handicap drivers an hour of free parking.
If the language had remained the same, it would have eliminated the one-hour free parking for handicap individuals at all paid-parking spots.
McGean reassured the council that the language had been updated.
With their questions satisfied, the council passed the resolution, with Councilman Matt James absent.