GRAND HAVEN, MICH. - This week Grand Haven's City Council voted to begin collecting a $10 fee from nonresidents to park at the City Beach lot on Lake Michigan.
The 61 free parking spaces at the city beach are popular in the summer because of how close to the water they're located. However, the fee could be a deal breaker for those visiting the beach from out-of-town.
"This is where I want to park and I want it to be free and fast," said Alishia Herbert, from Spring Lake. According to the collection details -- which are still being worked out at city hall -- she would have to pay.
Some Grand Haven residents fear the charge might have unintended economic impact on the city.
"If you start penalizing somebody for driving into the community then they will find another community," said Erich Schroeder, who lives in Grand Haven and visits the beach several times a week.
Grand Haven will have the added expense of paying a worker to guard the gate during fee days, but according to the City Manager's office, revenues from the collection will go towards the effort to refurbish and replace the Grand Haven south pier catwalk.
Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis points out there are other free parking locations in the city. But very soon this premium beach parking spots at City Beach will come with a charge for nonresidents.
"It will be be full at $10.00 a car too -- people will fill it right up," said McGinnis.
Grand Haven city residents will be able to avoid the parking fee by getting a sticker from city hall.
The new fee will likely start in the month of June McGinnis tells us. And it will be collected on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information about the fee, visit the city of Grand Haven's website.
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