Plan for tourist parking in the center

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The city hopes this spring to introduce a “tourist parking program” that it says will make parking easier for visitors, increase parking availability for residents and generate about $2.5 million in gross revenue.

The seasonal program will charge visitors $2 an hour to park in the three city-owned parking garages and two surface parking lots from May 1 to Sept. 30, DPW Business Manager Michael Veitch explained during a Dec. 19 presentation to the City Council.

The three affected garages and lots are located on Putnam, Walton and Woodlawn — where patrons would use pay stations or pay clerks. Time-limited parking will be introduced on some downtown streets, although Broadway will remain largely as it is now.

On-street permits will provide free parking for residents and downtown business employees. It has not yet been decided how exactly these permits will be secured.

“What is being proposed is paid tourist parking in the garages and aboveground lots and limiting the availability of free on-street parking for visitors. However, this program prioritizes continuing free parking for residents and employees,” said DPW Commissioner Jason Golub.

The results of a study conducted by the DPW last summer estimated that the tourist parking plan could generate $2.468 million through hourly sales in new revenue during the busy summer season. Costs to implement the program and operate the plan will cost approximately $1 million, leaving an estimated net revenue of more than $1 million that can be used for other city expenditures or programs.

The Departments of Public Works and Public Safety will have responsibilities for program administration and City Code changes to comply with the plan, and the initiation of vendor contracts for pay stations and permitting plans will also need to be reviewed prior to implementation.

The city hopes the program can be installed by April 2024 with a May 1 implementation.

• In other city news, the Council tentatively tabled a proposal for a one-year contract through calendar year 2024 with RISE Housing and Support Services, which will pay the agency up to $387,160 to provide homeless shelter services. The contract is expected to be approved during the December 28 council meeting.

Earlier this year, the city approved an agreement with RISE to operate Saratoga Springs’ first year-round low-barrier facility. Located on Adelphi Street, just west of South Broadway, the 30-bed facility opened on June 12. Local developer Sonny Bonaccio, who secured a five-year lease on the Adelphi Street property, is renovating the building and making it rent-free to RISE until 2025.

The city is aggressively pursuing the search for a permanent location for a homeless shelter and navigation center; The mayor’s ad hoc task force on homelessness proposed several location options earlier this year. With the start of 2024, a new mayor will take center stage at the City Council table, and members of the task force have publicly expressed their interest in meeting with Mayor-elect John Safford in February.

• The council also passed a resolution opposing the construction and operation of Saratoga Biochar Inc.’s sewage sludge and wood chip incinerator. in the Moreau Industrial Park. According to the resolution, the plant at full capacity is expected to burn up to 720 tons of sewage sludge per day, with the sewage sludge being treated at the Moreau Industrial Park and transported by large diesel trucks with the possibility that the large trucks will be filled with sewage sludge. waters will travel through Saratoga Springs.

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