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First month parking revenue at Pere Marquette beach higher than Muskegon leaders expected

In June, parking kiosks at four waterfront parks in the city of Muskegon collected $163,000 in fees.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Paid parking kiosks are now in place at four waterfront parks in the City of Muskegon, including Pere Marquette, Margaret Drake Elliott, Kruse and Harbour Towne parks.

The kiosks went up at the parks in late May. In June, Muskegon Police issued 850 warnings to visitors who didn't pay the daily or seasonal parking fee. The warning were an effort by the city to gradually implement the new fee to parking at the city's waterfront.  

Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson says going into the Fourth of July holiday weekend the rules will be enforced with police issuing a $30 fine to individuals who fail to pay the parking fee.

Park visitors who do not properly display a parking pass in the window of their vehicle may also be issued a $10 fine.

"One month into it we're finding that people are very happy and willing to pay for daily passes and seasonal passes," Peterson said.

In June alone the city collected $163,000 in parking fees at the four parks.

The parking fee is collected seven days a week May 15 through September 15. The cost is $5 for weekday and Sunday parking and $7 for Saturday. A season pass cost $20, and city residents can park for free with a pass issued to residents by the city.

Muskegon City Commissioners approved the paid parking policy to offset maintenance costs at the four parks which are often around $500,000 annually. Additional revenue will go towards park improvements.

Peterson says the initial plan was to begin making park improvements 5 to 7 years after collections started. Based on the first month of collections the timeline to begin park improvements may be shortened.

"If things keep going the way they're going they're going to be 2 to 3 year improvements."

City staff estimate 75 percent of visitors to Pere Marquette beach do not live in the city.

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