Electronic self-pay kiosks and parking permits will be used to solve the parking issues for fishermen.
The Kodiak City Council members voted at their regular meeting Thursday to amend a proposal to reflect what they discussed at Tuesday’s work session about harbor parking.
“Eligible people would get their permits issued from the harbor department, get some kind of a decal that they can put on their vehicle windshield, and then they can purchase for however many days they needed at the two designated lots,” city manager Aimée Kniaziowski said.
The plan allows for permit applications to be accepted from slip holders and paid-up transient vessel operators, except that permits may be issued to the general public in the 30-day lot north of Ramp One at St. Herman Harbor.
Authorized users would apply for an annual permit at the harbormaster’s office. The user pays $1 per day for actual days of use via a smart card, credit card or cash at the self-pay stations.
The cost for installing the self-pay stations could be anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. Payment for the stations will come out of the Port and Harbor fund.
The initial cost is a big one, and because of that, the city council axed the six-month trial period in an amendment and passed the parking plan as a final, best solution to be reviewed every six months to a year.
The next step is to move forward at the next regular council meeting with an authorization to purchase the equipment.
City council members were thoroughly pleased with the decision — one that was a year and a half in the making.
“It seems to take into account the concerns that the fishermen at our last public meeting were concerned with and a fair way to pay for their parking,” council member Pat Branson said. “I hope that this works. It seems like it will.”
Council member John Whiddon also liked the idea and made a point to remind everyone why this project was initially undertaken.
“I just want to remind everybody that I think the genesis of this whole thing was to really clear up the 30-day parking lot and make sure that there was actual parking for people who really did work in the harbor and get rid of vehicles that actually abused this privilege,” Whiddon said.
The harbor staff expects $20,000 to $66,000 in annual revenue to be earned from the self-pay stations.
In other business, the city council chose to postpone the resolution amending the schedule of fees, charges and tariffs for the harbor, public works waste water lab and library.
Some costs include a new pay phone in the public library.
“The phone companies came in and took out most of the payphones, but at the library there are a lot of people who don’t have cell phones and they have been at the front desk all the time asking and their voices are loud and it’s disruptive, so they’ve kind of retrofitted this tiny little closet with a half glass door and sort of made it look like a phone booth … you put in a quarter and it gives you three minutes,” Kniaziowski said.
The lab is a state-certified one used by quite a few groups in town, like the Department of Fish and Game.
“There are a lot of entities in town that come and pay for these tests,” Kniaziowski said. “They haven’t raised the fees on some of those lab tests in forever.”
The city council would like more public input on the resolution, and postponed the decision to the April 28 regular meeting with a public hearing on April 14.
“There’s such a wide variety of increases to a lot of different stakeholders who probably weren’t aware of some of this,” Whiddon said in the interest of making sure the public gets to research the resolution.
The proposed changes can be found on the city website.
Mirror writer Louis Garcia can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.