Port Orchard Waterfront Parking Fees to Increase


People who use the city of Port Orchard’s waterfront parking lot can expect a new pay system before the end of the year.

The city council on Tuesday agreed to switch from the cash boxes that have been there for decades to cashless kiosks. Finance Committee Chairman John Clauson expects the system will be installed some time this summer.

Along with the new system will come a fee increase from $3 to $5 per day, in part to pay for the two machines, which will cost more than $20,000 each.

Clauson and other city officials advocating the switch say it will make more efficient use of staff time. As it is, two people are required to empty the boxes daily and two people must count the money.

A cost-benefit analysis shows that for every $260 in fees collected, the city spends $110 to $130 in staff time.

The city’s budget is tight, Clauson said. Doing away with the parking fee task will free up staff time that could be better used elsewhere. It will not amount to a budget cut, however.

Another advantage of the new system will be increased convenience to parking customers, Clauson said.

Councilman Fred Chang spoke on behalf of people who don’t have credit or debit cards. Clauson said those people, who are probably few and far between, could buy a monthly pass at City Hall or use a pre-loaded credit card, readily available at grocery stores.

City Treasurer Allan Martin said he is a strong advocate of electronic payment. The city is moving toward online payment options for utility bills and eventually other fees. The new system will also be more secure than the old boxes, which are subject to frequent break-in attempts, Martin said.

The council must pass an ordinance for the parking fee increase. It is not on the agenda for the upcoming meeting, March 23, but will likely come before the council within the next month, Clauson said.

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