Re: Businesses should foot bill, March 6 letters.
The White Rock Business Improvement Association’s initial request to the city was to re-form the Mayor’s Parking Task Force to address the parking issues faced by users on the waterfront.
The BIA would like the Task Force to focus on the main issues, identified as the following:
1. Pay-parking rates during low season
2. Parking enforcement
3. Space shortage during high season
At no time has the BIA requested a tax increase to the residents for the lowered pay-parking rate.
Our goal and message has always been to seek alternative sources of revenue to make up for any loss incurred by the City of White Rock. Suggestions and ideas have included advertising on the reverse of parking tickets, advertising in public washrooms on the waterfront and non-resident decals. These are just some of the ideas that the Parking Task Force – which has now been formed with representatives from the City of White Rock, the BIA and waterfront merchants – will discuss.
Additionally, the BIA would like to explore the option of a 30-minute grace period on parking tickets to give visitors an improved experience on the waterfront. The message being, this grace period has been given to you by the BIA, and with the $30 saved, please spend it in a White Rock business.
Again, the BIA, on behalf of White Rock businesses, has not requested a tax increase to fund lower parking rates. The mention of a tax increase was given during a report by the financial director, Sandra Kurylo.
The BIA has always been focused on alternative revenue solutions.
The report was required for the task force to understand the financial impact of our request and give the task force a starting point for one of our goals of lowered parking rates during the mid-season.
The BIA representing White Rock businesses strongly supports the community through other programs, such as offering free graffiti removal for residential properties during March and April. We also host free events throughout the year for residents and visitors of all ages, including the Uptown Street Festival & Dog Show and West Beach Pumpkin Festival. The BIA also funds Christmas lights and street banners hung on street lamps throughout White Rock.
I believe this gives clarification to letter-writer Kaylee Scott and others that the BIA is not seeking a residential tax increase to fund lower parking rates and other important changes to waterfront parking.
White Rock businesses also pay property taxes that were increased last year and which fund city services and infrastructure alongside residential taxes.
Sherri Wilson Morissette, White Rock Business Improvement Assn.