Sylvan Lake made some 11th-hour changes to its pay parking program to address concerns.
Among the changes is the creation of an annual parking pass for visitors. When first envisioned, all visitors, including regular shoppers from just outside town or out-of-town employees for businesses, had to pay for parking where it applied.
On Monday, town council approved a new parking pass for regular visitors at a cost of $126.50.
Council also did away with a scheme to divide up residential parking near the lakeshore area into zones. Residents who registered would have free parking in their zone.
Instead, registered local residents can park free in all of the downtown and lakeshore areas covered by pay parking.
Pay parking came into effect last Thursday. Rates are $2 per hour or $10 per day.
Town communications officer Joanne Gaudet said the changes are expected to address concerns.
“We certainly hope so,” said Gaudet. “We will review it at the end of the season and we’ll include any ideas or proposals that can improve upon it further at our 2018 budget deliberations.”
Other changes council made include increasing the number of parking permits allowed per residence to four from two, a reflection of the many multi-car families in today’s society.
Handicapped parking spots were also made free to any who use them, local residents or visitors.
The town previously estimated paid parking will eventually lead to about $90,000 in net revenue per year. That money will be used for upkeep, maintenance and additional enforcement in the lakeshore area.