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Sea Bright Paid Parking Plan Inches Closer

SEA BRIGHT: The borough council's long-gestating plan to bring paid parking to the borough appears to be finally coming to fruition.

Councilman Brian Kelly said he recently met with the respondents to the request for proposals (RFP) the borough issued earlier this year.

Three companies offered option of kiosk or a smart phone to pay for parking. Kelly said other companies offer the option to only use a cell phone, but that it is not in the best interest of the borough because not everyone has a smart phone.

He said the best option would probably be to implement a parking plan used in Long Branch in Asbury Park where spaces are numbered and parkers pay at the kiosk.

The paid parking would only be in effect during the summer season in the municipal parking lot, the Anchorage beach parking lot and the borough hall parking lot.

The borough council will discuss possible exclusions for paid parking including free parking passes for residents and free parking for business patrons for a finite amount of time.

The borough can either purchase or lease the parking kiosks and have a "six-figure" return each season, Kelly said, although his own estimates were more conservative.

He said purchasing six kiosks would cost the borough about $70,000 and that leasing them would be cheaper.

"From what a few of us have seen, there isn't really much downside to it," Kelly said. "It appears to be the right time to do it."

Councilman Charles Rooney agreed.

"I understand we are going to be doing head-out, angled parking and there's going to be a lot going on, but I don't think one has anything to do with the other," Rooney said.

Mayor Dina Long has long been against paid parking in Sea Bright, but said the additional revenue it would create would really help the borough.

"I hate paid parking...but I hate worse the idea of dinging taxpayers for the cost of reconstruction from Sandy," Long said.

Borough Administrator Joseph Verruni said any funds raised by the parking meters in 2016 cannot be used for this year's budget.

Verruni added that if the borough wants to implement paid parking this summer, that a decision should be made soon because it will take him to set them up.

"Only because there's probably 6-8 week leeway," he said.

He said an ordinance setting the time limits, prices and other aspects of the meters will also have to passed by the council before any decision can be made.

There are no items concerning paid parking on the borough council's March 15 meeting agenda. The first step will be to select a vendor from which to purchase or lease the parking kiosks.

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