The days of free street parking at the Beaches Town Center are numbered.
The Neptune Beach City Council this week approved a $180,058 three-year plan to implement a paid parking pilot program. That cost includes 11 kiosks and software.
City Clerk Catherine Ponson told WJCT News Friday that Neptune Beach is working with Atlantic Beach on forming a mutual agreement for the plan.
The paid parking plan is expected to begin with Neptune Beach's city-owned parking spaces. If it’s successful, Neptune Beach anticipates the owners of private lots will adopt the same type of kiosks.
The City Council voted to contract with NuPark for the project. Motorists will be able to pay to park using cash, credit cards, merchant validation, or through a mobile app or online. The agreement has a 30-day cancellation clause, which is why it’s considered a pilot program.
Payment enforcement will be handled through a license plate recognition system.
The city's revenue estimates were based on a $2 per hour plan. However, Mark Rimmer of RTA Consulting, which is plan's coordinator, said the pricing hasn't been finalized.
"Our target date for a soft opening would be the middle of May," said Rimmer.
He said the soft opening would include an educational campaign and testing of the hardware and software.
According to city documents, Neptune Beach would expect to see revenue of $3,069,471 based on 228 Neptune Beach city-owned parking spaces. In that model, it’s assumed the city would have a 60% utilization rate at $2 per hour, 14 hours per day.
Neptune Beach Pilot Parking Plan Revenue Forecast
In public documents, Neptune Beach cites the need for additional revenue, pointing out that the Better Jacksonville Plan surtax will end in 2030.
Audio of April 1 Neptune Beach City Council meeting, including parking discussion & vote
Neptune Beach is following in the steps of Jacksonville Beach, which recently upgraded its paid parking system to include kiosks and an app.
In the case of Jacksonville Beach, residents can apply for parking fee exemptions. Rummer said Neptune Beach is still discussing how residential parking needs will be handled.
Rimmer said the final pricing and residential parking are expected to be discussed at the April 15 Neptune Beach City Council workshop. That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Neptune Beach City Council Chambers, 116 First St., Neptune Beach.
Residents can check the Neptune Beach website for details as it's updated.