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Manager reports 'good week' as Fort Williams Parking parking-fee program gets underway

The pay-and-display parking program underway at Fort Williams Park had a good first week.

Town Manager Matthew Sturgis reported gross revenue of $33,214 for the inaugural week of the program that began July 1, 2019. The first day was a challenge, Sturgis said, but the program soon hit its stride and was buoyed by a busy holiday weekend, exceeding projected weekly revenue by about 10 percent.

"We did install some additional meters to make it easier for people to do what they need to do, because people were cueing up to pay," Sturgis said in his monthly report to the Town Council on July 8. His personal observation however was that visitors appreciate the condition of the park and are happy to help support it.

Sturgis, who said he checks in at the park often, reported a high volume of visitors in June as well, with about 75 percent from out of state. Future reports will break parking-fee revenues down by number of seasonal passes, all-day rates and hourly rates. Free parking areas, near the playground and Children's Garden and away from the ocean, are being used, Sturgis said, but generally visitors are choosing the premium parking areas that have pay-and-display meters.

The parking program has also prompted Cape Elizabeth residents to obtain Recycling Center decals, which exempts their vehicles from the parking fee. Decals are available at the Recycling Center and the Police Department.

In other news, Sturgis reported:

  • Cape police are responding to speeding and other traffic complaints as the weather improves and tourism increases.
  • The town is anticipating an increase in state revenue sharing, approximately $100,000 more than the $475,000 budgeted for fiscal 2020, as a result of the approved state budget.
  • The lawsuit against the town over the paper-street status of Surf Side Avenue is slated to go to court July 22. Sturgis, the town planner and the code-enforcement officer have been named as potential witnesses.
  • The Tri-for-a-Cure and Beach to Beacon races are coming up in the next few weeks - drivers are urged to be cautious during these events and to check the town website for road closures