Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Madeira Beach sees $450,000 parking fee windfall

MADEIRA BEACH — Parking meter revenue is expected to jump nearly a half a million dollars this year, swiftly closing in on property tax revenue as the city's largest source of funding.

This burst of new money comes at a time when the city is spending millions for a new city hall, fire station and recreation complex, and for improvements to infrastructure and the city's marina.

"You and me and the staff may have been labeled as spendthrifts, but when you reinvent $450,000 in new revenue a year, you can afford to do some of the things you are doing. Congratulations," City Manager Shane Crawford told the City Commission this month.

The best part for residents is that this new money is coming out of visitors' pockets. Residents park for free.

The reasons for the increased parking revenue are severalfold, according to Crawford:

• An increase in parking fees instituted last year.

• New digital pay stations that make it easier for people to both pay and park for long periods of time.

• An aggressive marketing campaign that is bringing more people to the community.

"That is outstanding, guys," said Mayor Travis Palladeno.

The city increased parking fees from $1 an hour to $1.50 last year and replaced all of its coin meters with digitally operated pay stations.

Twenty-nine pay stations cover 541 parking spaces citywide. Eleven are in John's Pass Village, four are in South Beach at John's Pass, three are at Archibald Park, and others are at the city's smaller parks.

When city officials originally estimated revenue for the 2014 fiscal year, they knew there would be additional parking revenue but had no idea how much.

City officials estimated the increased parking fees could generate $200,000 or more in the coming year — nearly enough to offset the annual estimated $300,000 cost for debt service for the planned new city hall, fire station and recreational complex.

Instead, revenue soared, and this month the commission revised its budget to account for a $450,000 increase.

The anticipated 59 percent increase brings total parking revenue to slightly over $1 million.

Property tax revenue is expected to total about $1.46 million this year.

"This estimate is pretty reasonable, but we are still hopeful we will be in a better position at year end," finance director Vincent Tenaglia said.

One reason for continuing parking revenue growth is the city's increasingly aggressive campaign to attract visitors.

"You guys have changed Madeira Beach, and people are coming here," Crawford told the commission.

In recent months, the city has stepped up marketing, putting ads in airline magazines and hiring an outside coordinator to publicize its expanding event schedule.

One of the newest events is a Midweek Market, held every Wednesday on Madeira Way, which will be completely closed to traffic during the day.

In other financial moves, the city expects to save about $50,000 a year by switching to an outside service to process parking meter fees collected in the Pinellas County beach parking lot.

The city also decreased its anticipated debt expenditures by about $28,000 while authorizing $25,000 in new spending for beautification and safety improvements at John's Pass Village and other parks.

Madeira Beach sees $450,000 parking fee windfall 05/22/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2014 12:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company

    College

    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.