Rehoboth parking revenues to top budget forecast

Metering ends for the year Sept. 17

By Ryan Mavity | Sep 13, 2012
CapeGazette, September 13
Photo by: Ron MacArthur Parking on Rehoboth Avenue will be a lot easier starting Monday, Sept. 17, when parking meters will be covered.

Rehoboth Beach — Rehoboth Beach’s golden goose delivered again this summer.

Parking meter revenue has already exceeded budget with one weekend to go before the meters are covered up Monday, Sept. 17.

City Manager Greg Ferrese said the city has taken in $2.616 million in parking meter revenue after budgeting $2.6 million. Ferrese said with good weather forecast, he expects around $50,000 in revenue this weekend, bringing the city’s final revenue totals to be about $2.670 million, $70,000 over budget.

Ferrese said he expects about $410,000 of the final total to come from the Parkmobile pay-by-phone system. He said because of the Parkmobile system, which notifies motorists by email and text when their parking session has 15 minutes left and also allows motorists to extend their time, the city’s parking-meter fine revenue will be down.

Ferrese said the city did anticipate parking fine revenue to decrease with the new system.

Mayor Sam Cooper, a driving force behind implementing Parkmobile, said from what he’s gathered, the system worked very well. Cooper said city staff has informed him about 15 percent of the city’s parking revenue came from Parkmobile.

“I kind of thought it would be a little higher than that, but I guess for the first year it's about on target. It was an alternative to having to have quarters, so in that regard it was a big success,” he said.

Last year, without Parkmobile, the city took in close to $2.6 million in parking revenue, although this year there were no meter-rate increases.

The city is beginning its transition to offseason regulations. After Sept. 15, bicycles will be allowed on the Boardwalk at all hours. Left-hand turns on Rehoboth Avenue and dogs on the beach and Boardwalk do not begin until Sept. 30.