Pere Marquette parking meters exceed projected revenue

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich, (WOOD) — The city of Muskegon says it’s grossed more than double what it anticipated from paid parking kiosks at Pere Marquette Park. 

The city installed the kiosks back in May. The original investment for the project cost the city about $150,000. They estimated the kiosks would bring in about $120,000 this summer, but they proved to be much more lucrative.  

“We generated over $200,000 in the first month of the summer and nearly half a million throughout the entirety of the summer,” said City Manager Frank Peterson of the parking sales.

Peterson says the total maintenance budget for city parks is $1.8 million. He says the revenue from the Pere Marquette kiosks accounts for about 24% of the total maintenance budget. 

He says they noted most of the visitors to the park were from out of town, but taxpayers were the only ones footing the bill for costly maintenance at the park. 

The city decided back in February to begin charging nonresidents for season parking passes or to park their car at the beach for the day. Residents of the city have remained free of charge. 

The city says despite some concerns from residents that the kiosks would bring fewer visitors, the beach was packed for much of the summer. 

“Even with the coronavirus, even with social distancing, even with people out of employment, it was still an affordable easy fun place to take your family and it shows that the community by in large supported it,” said Peterson.

The city plans to use the money generated from the kiosks to pay for routine maintenance and improvements at Pere Marquette Park. They say with the excess of revenue, there will likely be funds for improvements at other city parks, too.

“We spent so much time and money keeping Pere Marquette Park in tiptop shape because we knew that’s where everybody was. In a lot of ways, we did it to the detriment of the parks that were spread throughout the community, the ones that the average citizens used every single day,” said Peterson. “At the very minimum, what this will do is free up money so that those parks can have better attention paid to them.”

The city says they plan to consult residents before deciding on potential additions to other city parks. 

Paid parking will continue through the end of September. The city is expecting another big weekend of profits for Labor Day. 

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