After a year and half, the Port and Harbor Advisory Board will have a trial parking permit system for fishermen this summer, if the Kodiak City Council approves the plan at Thursday night’s regular meeting.
If approved, the trial period for long-term lots for St. Paul and St. Herman harbors would allow slip holders and paid-up transient vessel operators to park vehicles in the 30-day lots. They would pay $30 for a first permit and $50 for a second vehicle each month.
The permit structure was changed from a one-time payment for a six-month period to a monthly payment to address the problem of abandoned vehicles. Derelict vessels and cars essentially stored for months at a time will be weeded out.
“If the point of this is to find out the derelict cars and those who are parking there, I think we should dive into it with the $30 monthly fee,” city council member Pat Branson said at Tuesday’s work session. “Let’s not pussyfoot around and go for it. That way we find out. A dollar a day is not much.”
Short-term parking in the 12- and 72-hour areas would still not require permits, and the permits would not guarantee an available parking space.
There was much discussion at the work session concerning cost and village users.
Council member Tom Walters said a lot of villagers asked where they would park, and most council members agreed it is a separate issue to look at.
“It’s a good point in that when the villagers, or out-of-towners, or people that may have a vehicle someplace because they don’t live in town, where do they park?” Walters asked. “That’s a good point. If we want to discuss that, I think that’s a different discussion.”
It was looked at as a separate topic mainly because the topic crossed the line from valid parking for work to parking for storage.
“What we foresee as staff is that if you issue a permit to anyone for a six-month period it becomes a six-month permit,” deputy harbormaster Lon White said. “There’s no enforcing that. That means the harbor users can abuse that lot just the way it’s being abused for years.
“You don’t need to inconvenience the rest of this community with your car sitting down there when you’re out of town,” he said. “We know that we have fishermen who have their vehicles parked down there right now that live in Seattle.”
It was decided that there are private and commercial places for long-term parking choices such as parking at the Kodiak Airport.
Council member John Whiddon was unsure about charging people for essentially going to the harbor to do their jobs, but council member Gabriel Saravia disagreed.
“The bottom line is people abuse the thing because we don’t charge them,” Saravia said.
Mirror writer Louis Garcia can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.