PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Locals and tourists should prepare to pay a little more to park at popular Pinellas County beaches this summer.
Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach leaders approved proposals to increase parking fees to generate some of the revenue both cities lost during the two-month shut down due to the coronavirus.
“I don’t like it, but I understand,” said tourist Matt Crosby.
St. Pete Beach raised its fee from $2.75 to $3.25. Treasure Island approved increasing the rate from $2.50 to $2.75.
Treasure Island City manager Garry Brumback says this will give the city an additional $30,000. He says the money will be used for cleaning up, staff overtime associated with COVID-19. Brumback said the increase isn’t permanent. They plan to keep it in place for the rest of this fiscal year.
Madeira Beach leaders were debating whether or not they should do the same. The city manager proposed raising the rate from $2.50 to $3 an hour until September 30. City leaders voted against that proposal.
“We raised the fees last year, and we did’t want to give tourists any reason not to come to Madeira Beach,” said city spokesperson Curt Preisser.
Locals and tourists were happy to hear Madeira has no plans to increase their fees.
“I’m very thankful they didn’t,” Amy Reese said. “I love seeing all the people here and the families. We need them to keep coming.”
Madeira Beach lost revenue just like Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach did, so leaders are working to come up with “another source of revenue other than parking,” said Preisser.