Leesburg’s parking fee collections increased by 25 percent during fiscal year 2017, according to a report provided to the Town Council last week.
The report included details on parking in the town garage, on specific streets and lots and even collection totals at individual on-street parking meters.
Parking fee collections totaled $397,630 in fiscal year 2017, up from $317,732 the previous year and $326,552 in fiscal year 2015. The biggest drivers of the year-over-year gain were the addition of the Church Street parking lot and increases in parking fines.
The town leased the Church Street lot starting last October and it generated $21,438 during its first nine months of operation.
Parking fines were up sharply last year, totaling $112,599. During fiscal year 2016, tickets totaled $88,009. The report attributed last year’s lower fine totals to staff shortages and collection write-offs. In fiscal year 2015, the town collected $130,612 in parking fines.
The town’s Town Hall garage provides the biggest revenue stream in the town’s parking program, with $125,052 in total collections last year. Only 41 percent of that money came from hourly parking collections; the rest is generated by the sale of monthly parking passes to downtown workers and businesses. Visitors using the garage and paying hourly rates contributed $51,702 last year, a record high. On average, the hourly rates generated $4,308 per month, or just $141 per day. Those figures include the holiday period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day and weekends when downtown parking is free.
Last September, the town contracted to use the Parkmobile app to allow credit card payments for metered spaces and for the Church Street lot. There’s been a steady increase in fees collected through that system, from $1,216 during the first month of operation to $3,861 in June. Approximately 21 percent of on-street parking revenue came through the app.
Overall, revenue from on-street parking increased by $3,472, or 3.3 percent, last year.
North King Street, with 19 spaces, generated the most on-street parking revenue, $30,832, last fiscal year. Harrison Street has 50 metered spaces, but generated only $17,994 in revenue, an annual average of $314 per meter. The 11-space metered lot on Liberty Street showed the lowest usage, collecting only $94 per year per meter, a total of $1,264 last year.
The town’s cash cow of parking is East Market Street, between King Street and the Downtown Station post office. Those six metered spaces generated $10,523 in revenue, an annual average of $1,507 per meter.
It is on this section of road that the town’s most in-demand street-side parking space can be found. Known as EM53, the fourth space up from the King Street intersection was the only meter in town to collect more than $2,000 in coin revenue last year.