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Parking fees proposed during peak season at Boynton Beach Marina
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 21:01

By Attiyya Anthony, Sun Sentinelcontact the reporter
Potential parking fee hike stirs Boynton Marina
Parking fees may increase 500 percent at Boynton Marina
An amenity that residents, employees and visitors used to enjoy for free at the Boynton Beach Marina could now come with a price tag.
Earlier this month, the Marina Village Master Board Association voted to enter into a temporary contract with a parking management company to charge $5 a day to park during peak hours in their private garage.
On Tuesday, the city's Community Redevelopment Agency voted to look into managing the parking garage themselves to eliminate that fee.
If the agency doesn't opt to manage the parking garage by next month, then visitors will notice a $5 fee when they park at the marina's garage from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.
Residents at Marina Village have complained to the agency about criminal activity, as well as employees of nearby restaurants parking in the garage and traffic jams, according Rich Dunstan, of the Marina Village Master Board Association.
"I do have serious concerns about what Marina Village is going through right now," Dunstan said. "It needs management of the parking. I've got to put up security cameras and personnel — we need three people in the garage monitoring traffic."
The association put up cameras this month and the cost for the three guards is $54,000, which the association plans to offset by charging for daily parking.
But city officials say that charging the fee could keep away business owners and potential customers.
"I'm totally against charging $5 for anyone to get in there," said Jerry Taylor, Boynton Beach mayor and redevelopment agency board chair. "It's supposed to be open to the public. I don't think that you want to drive away the customer."
Taylor and five other board members voted to get more information from staff to see how much it would cost the agency to manage the garage before the association's parking fee goes into effect Jan. 15.
"If there is a cost to get this straightened out, we need to bite the bullet and get it done ourselves," Taylor said.
Vivian Brooks, the redevelopment agency's executive director, said that parking congestion in that area is becoming a problem.
"Our tenants have no spaces," Brooks said. "We're sending marketing all down the coast [to bring in visitors] and our public parking is filled up with employees of restaurants. It's not the intent that we had when we bought that waterfront parcel."
But business owners, such as Capt. Karen Pratt, of the Geno IV, say that if the parking fee is carried out, she might be ready to go.
"We've been at your marina at since 1961," she told the redevelopment agency. "We're the longest tenants you've ever had and we're not happy. It's going to kill our business and we don't want to leave, but were seriously considering it."

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