Rehoboth Parking Fees Likely to Rise - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rehoboth Parking Fees Likely to Rise

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - It's a dreaded moment for locals each spring. When the meters turn back on for the summer, the quarters start to disappear and the ParkMobile app picks up in use. But this summer, visitors in Rehoboth Beach will need more money than ever before to pay for parking.

At a city council meeting Friday evening, Rehoboth will be voting on their latest budget, which includes an increase of parking fees from $1.50 to $2.00 per hour. This would make parking in Rehoboth Beach the highest of any other coastal Delaware beach town.

In downtown Lewes, the parking fee sits at just $1.00 per hour, with a fee of $1.25 at Lewes Beach. Meanwhile in Dewey, the fee jumps up to $1.50 per hour. Meanwhile Bethany Beach struck up some debate earlier this season, when they suggested an increase to $1.75 per hour.

Mayor Sam Cooper said that the increases are needed in order to deal with new projects.

"Every year we have to look at expenses and revenues," he said. "And there were a number of capital improvement projects."

One of the most significant projects, according to Cooper is the "complete replacement" of half of the pay-by-space meters, known better as "Rhino meters." Cooper said the budget also calls for brand new city software, and approximately $250,000 in street paving projects.

Cooper said that he didn't think the change would deter tourists or locals from coming into town.

"We don't think that two dollars is over-burdening people," he said. "To be able to park in downtown Rehoboth."

Server Brandon Bowden from The Greene Turtle though said that employees who work in the downtown area would disagree. Bowden said that 50 cents might not sound like much, but that it can make a big difference for those who park there every day in the summer."

"Over the course of seven days," he said. "All day long. For 14 hour shifts. I'm literally paying that meter from the moment it starts to the moment it finishes. It's absurd. It's crazy."

The budget is expected to be approved at a 7:00 meeting on Friday evening. If accepted, the change in fee would be in place for the 2015-2016 budget year. Meters turn back on for the first Friday before Memorial Day, and continue until the second week after Labor Day.

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