Paid Marina parking start went well; Police Chief says 4th of July ‘trying time’

By Jack Mayne

The first day of paid parking at the Des Moines Marina went well, with about 1,200 tickets sold Thursday (July 6), but that number does not include marina tenants or those who have a resident or frequent user passes.

Bill Linscott of the Marina tenants groups said congratulations were in order for the first day of paid parking.

“We saw everybody out there, the Marina staff was out there helping people through the gate today,” and added that validation from Anthony’s Restaurant went smoothly.

“Everybody is cooperating. So far, so good,” City Manager Michael Matthias said.

About 450 combined user passes have been sold so far, and roughly 10% of those are frequent users (people who live outside the City), with the rest being resident passes.

‘Beta’ parking test
Chief Operations Officer Dan Brewer reminded the Council that city staff has imposed a 45-day “beta test” of the Marina paid parking program.

“If there are issues before (the end of the test), we will address them and come back to County,” Brewer said. “At 45 days we will report back how things are operating. We have noticed that there are things that can be tweaked and made some adjustments already.”

Brewer reminded that paid parking at the Marina is about three things:

“Its about preserving our infrastructure and here are some pictures of our north bulkhead … there is a beam completely missing here,” he told the Council.

Vandal videos
“The revenue generated from this is intended to help pay for capital reinvestments in the waterfront zone and our bulkheads in particular,” said Brewer. “Secondly, it is to enhance law enforcement by regulating access, particularly at night both on the Marina floor at the beach park. Thirdly, to assure the north lot is available for emergency management operations” if they are ever needed in case of unforeseen events.

Brewer also told Council that making the changes also permitted them to add fiber optic cable which will “capture some really big benefits” that include added beach park security and “enhanced payment options” at the parking pay station, allowing for controlled access to the gate to the beach “so we know precisely who is coming and going out of that gate which we’ve never been able to know (before).”

There are still vandalism problems in the beach park area and the city is considering cameras down there that could be viewed at the police station so that officers could be dispatched, Brewer said, and recordings of such events could help convict miscreants.

Brewer said the marina and beach parking pay project original budget was $400,000 but the estimated cost to complete it is $610,000 with the additional amount offset by available real estate excise tax money and savings from other funds available to the city. The Council unanimously approved the changed budget.

4th is ‘trying time’
Police Chief George Delgado said the 4th of July is “a very trying time for the public” and he had some concerns expressed by citizens. He said the department is “fortunate” it survived another year and is seeking to “increase our efficiency in the future.”

He said there were 39 calls to the emergency 911 number, the same number of calls as last year.

“What I have to say is that the average spike for 911 calls in south King County went up 112 percent. Every city, fireworks ban or not, had a significant spike,” Delgado said. “We remained the same and I have to credit the staff for all the public education, all the efforts of warning our citizens and our community about the dangers and the fact that it is illegal to do fireworks.”

But, he said there were “some very loud explosions that are very frustrating for us.”

Manpower stretched
Traffic creates bottlenecks and visitors to the city sometimes include problem people from other places, the chief said, adding to the problems of citizen calls for service during such a holiday. At the same time that there is an increase of officers working the holiday in the busy marina, plus service calls from the eastern part of the city, city police manpower is stretched thin.

The use of alcohol increases in the evening of such holidays, increasing service calls and further stretching the limited manpower of Des Moines police.

“We can’t get to the concerns of our residents when we are dealing with these things, so we do our best and we are very fortunate that we survived another year,” Delgado said. Problems were in the Pacific Highway area, and from areas of the city where there normally are crime problems.

“It was pretty much spread around the city,” Delgado said.

City Manager Matthias said the problems of legal fireworks at the Marina and the illegal issue in the rest of the city and the new banning of fireworks in neighboring Kent is something he wants to take up with the Council at a later study session.

Other Council business
The Council voted to change the title of mayor pro-tem to deputy mayor to match earlier changes in city ordinances.

The Council voted to approve a supplemental agreement with Exeltech Consulting of Lacey for the Redondo Boardwalk Repair in the amount of $17,760.14 to complete construction administration and inspection services associated with project delay, bringing the total contract to $946,234.63.

Patrice Thorell, city Parks, Recreation and Senior Services director, said the vast number of community summer activities are all listed on the city’s website.


19 Responses to “Paid Marina parking start went well; Police Chief says 4th of July ‘trying time’”
  1. mariah says:

    “with the additional amount offset by available real estate excise tax money and savings from other funds available to the city”

    so not only do residents have to pay for parking in OUR marina, but we have to pay to setup the paid parking through taxes? this isn’t right…

  2. BirchCreek says:

    A big BOO to paid parking.

  3. Franky says:

    Would you rather watch the north end of the marina parking lot drop off into the sound or have a private party buy the marina and not allow access to the public? You can either pay $1 an hour for YOUR marina or not have it available to the public. We are trying to save our marina for the people of Des Moines and the south end.

  4. Michelle says:

    those who oppose marina paid parking should support Anthony Martinelli for city council. He’s the only candidate who has publicly come out against it and said he’d make it free for us residents!

    • Bob Sheckler says:

      He would make it free? You mean he and six other councilmembers.

      • Michelle says:

        well the current councilmembers are responsible for this ridiculous new policy that makes residents pay for something that’s been free for decades. all about greed. but with the backlash thats occuring if someone like Martinelli who opposes marina paid parking makes it on the council and introduces an ordinance to change it the rest of the council will cave

        • DMResident says:

          The upcoming council election cannot be a vote of the citizens based off this one issue. Martinelli’s platform has so many other negative and detrimental issues for our City. This is the same with Harper

          • Michelle says:

            what negatives does Martinelli’s platform have? from his website ( his top priorites are raising the minimum wage, increasing police funding, setting up a community center (finally!!), lower utility taxes and supporting Park, Recreations and Senior Services. all sound like great things to me.

          • Larry H. says:

            marinelli and harper have progressive platforms that our city desperately needs. pina and the council have done nothing to move us forward and have done everything they can to make life tougher on us like increased taxes and making is pay for marina

          • DMResident says:

            Michelle and Larry H.,
            While I admit I’m surprised he wants to increase funding for police I can’t help but notice his reason for increasing funding is to decrease mail theft. Mail theft is certainly a current problem but it is NOT the one reason a councilmember should pick for wanting to increase police funding. Our police and City have much bigger issues to tackle other than making mail theft their priority. Increase the minimum wage is a big looser, look at the recent report from UW and the negative effects it has had on Seattle. This would certainly slow or stop future commercial growth within our City as it is so easy to move to the other side of Pac Hwy and pay $5/hr less. The rest of the platform is fluff….community center should not be a priority when our City is still trying to figure out how to pave roads, hire more police, and pay for a necessary multimillion dollar repair in the Marina . And his offer of lowering utility taxes but increasing other services is again a liberal talking point that CAN’T happen. If he wants to remove paid parking, lower utility taxes, open a community center, who and how is he going to pay for this. His platform is the typical liberal talking points and he and Harper would attempt to turn our city into a mini Seattle when it comes to policies and ordinances. I’m not okay with that.

          • Allenman says:

            no community center? Not addressing mail theft which is now a huge issue in our city? not raising the minimum wage? Yeah… you must be a Pina fan.

          • Michelle says:

            he says increasing police funding for a recent increase in crime particularly mail theft, not ONLY mail theft. and as for minimum wage around the same time as the UW report was a Berkley report showing its benefits. and a community center we desperately need saying otherwise is silly.

            and he mentions making $500,000 a year on just a 5% marijuana tax which is an excellent idea and will help pay for some of this (it alone could pay for around 8 new full time police officers).

            our city is ready for liberal progressive ideas. the old ways of trying to run our city have failed, and so has pina and the current council. time for new faces!!

  5. Greg A Giboney says:

    all public land should be free.There is less open to the public every year and new charges being added all the time. This country is not just for the wealthy or powerfull. We need a fair tax system to pay for the things we all benefit from not just add a fee or sell off to private party.

  6. John Riley says:

    How did this effect the Farmers Market over the weekend? Was the crowd the same? I have not gone as this does not make economical since for me with the added parking fee getting a few produce items.

    • John O'Leary says:

      John, if you go to the market and purchase something the first two hours of parking are free with validation. Hopefully that will encourage and others to continue patronizing the market!

    • Allenman says:

      Went to today’s market and it had at least 30 to 40% less people than the other times I’ve gone..I feel bad for those with booths that their business is being hurt do to a stupid paid parking system.

  7. Robert M. says:

    How can Anthony’s restaurant put up with this?
    When business declines because of this, the city will hear from them I’m sure.
    Noticed lots of people parking on the streets and walking down to Marina areas. They know how to get around the parking issue.

  8. Slaughter says:

    This paid parking is right up there with the bicycle rental program that Seattle recently scrapped. Bad idea, it’s never going to work. I would NEVER pay to park at the Des Moines Marina. The businesses in the area will take a financial hit due to the paid parking.

  9. Laurie M says:

    Having attended the Paid Parking meetings for a year now & expressing my concern for the area in front of the entrance gate for my condo – in addition to all the concerns expressed above – I came to accept that paid parking is a “done deal” and am now focused on how to make it work. For a total of 13 hours over 9 days I’ve counted 437 u-turns in front of our entry gate at the gates to Anthonys and the south marina lot. This is an extremely dangerous situation – for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. I have been urging the City to increase signage regarding the parking rates – $1 an hour up to $5 all day – so that more people know how inexpensive it is, and letting people know they can enter, turn-around, and exit. Both would possibly reduce the u-turns & encourage more people to use the lots, increasing revenue to maintain the Marina. The good news, according to my neighbors who overlook the Anthonys lot? Much less noise and illegal activity since implementation!

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