Ludington researching possibility of charging for beach parking.

February 21, 2017

Ludington researching possibility of charging for beach parking.

#LudingtonNews.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — The City of Ludington is researching the possibility of charging non-residents to park at Stearns Park. The city began discussing the topic in November during a finance committee meeting reviewing the 2017, 2018, and 2019 budgets. The budgets showed the general fund’s estimated expenditures would exceed the estimated revenues, by about $264,400 in 2018 and by about $125,200 in 2019. The general fund, which receives most of its revenues by property taxes, pays for the maintenance of city parks; the parks budget for 2017 is $496,800, which includes parks, beach safety, and boat ramps.

According to a press release from City Manager John Shay, one of the ideas during the finance committee meeting was to charge non-city residents to park at Stearns Park. Stearns Park was deeded to the city in the early 20th century by the Stearns family, which once owned much of the lakefront property from Epworth south to the channel.

During a December city council meeting, Shay was directed by the city council to research what other municipalities for parking at public parks. Some of the other lakeshore communities that charge include Empire, South Haven, Ottawa County, Saugatuck, St. Joseph, and New Buffalo.

Shay stated the city is continuing to research the issue but there are currently no proposals to charge for parking at any park in Ludington.

“The City is simply researching this idea, which was discussed at an open meeting of the city council last year,” Shay said. “If and when a proposal on this topic is developed, the city council will seek public input from as many sources as possible before making any decisions.

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