By JOHN WAYNE FERGUSON | Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 12:30 am
GALVESTON — The beginning of the tourism season brought a big jump in revenue from the city’s seawall parking program, according to the latest report released from the Texas General Land Office.
Between March and May, the program collected $157,229 in parking fees. That amount was nearly double what was collected in the preceding three months. Between December and February, the program collected $58,105 in beach-user fee revenues.
Since its launch on July 27, 2013, the program has collected $392,014.39. After subtracting expenses, the city’s beach user fee fund has a balance of $198,047.
The city is required to report its beach-user fee revenues and expenses to the General Land Office every three months.
Despite the increased amount in collections, the parking program has made less money than was anticipated at the beginning of the fiscal year. The 2013-14 city budget anticipated that the program would collect $1.5 million from parking fees. The city has since walked back those projections, and the police department has cut the operating expenses associated with running the program.
Revenues from beach-user fees are required by law to be spent on beach enhancements, including infrastructure. In July, the City Council approved a plan that would use parking revenues in conjunction with $5.8 million in federal transit grants to install new amenities on the seawall, including bathrooms and lighting.
The figures reported to the state do not include money raised through parking fines, which are considered separate from beach-user fees.
The seawall parking program collects $1 per hour or up to $8 per day from visitors who park on Seawall Boulevard from Sixth to 69th streets and 81st to 103rd streets. A $25 annual pass is also available.
At a glance
Seawall Parking Revenue
July 27, 2013 to Aug. 2013 $89,866
Sept. 2013 to Nov. 2013 $86,813.86
Dec. 2013 to Feb. 2014 $58,105.53
March 2014 to May 2014 $157,229