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Dylan Silver

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City keeping close eye on parking program

With all the parking kiosks now in and operating, city officials are keeping a close eye on the performance of the new program.

"We've been very pleased with the progress of the paid parking and the residential parking areas," said Denelle Spaeth, South Lake Tahoe's principal community service officer, who manages the program.

The city hopes the new program will produce $144,000 after costs each year. The new kiosks in the Lakeview Commons area started operation July 11. Since June 24, the entire program has generated $40,610 in revenue, including tickets, according to the city.

"It's more than we anticipated because we didn't get started until the middle of July for Lakeview Commons," City Manager Nancy Kerry said. "The amount of revenue we're collecting is more than anticipated in those areas."

The city's 33 kiosks cost $45 each per month to operate. The city also pays two part-time officers to enforce the parking regulations and is looking to hire one more.

"We are still recruiting," Kerry said. "We will continue to recruit."

The number of parking tickets the city has issued has steadily increased throughout the summer. So far, the city has issued 498 parking tickets in July, up from 393 in June, 151 in May and 112 in April.

A lot of the tension over the parking program has eased, though some residents continue to voice opposition, Kerry said. Making changes to where paid parking was implemented and resolving specific issues before the program started, helped a lot, Kerry added.

"It was a very good change to move the kiosks that were meant for Regan Beach to Lakeview Commons," she said.

The city hasn't received any complaints from visitors about having to pay for parking near Lakeview Commons, Kerry said.

"We haven't seen much concern from the visitors," she said. "I think they're used to it."

Still, the city plans on analyzing the parking system at the end of the summer to better understand how effective the program has been. At the moment, the city does not have the ability to gauge what areas generate the most revenue, Spaeth said.

"When we assess the program at the end of the summer, we're going to take a look at all the parking," Kerry said. "We may have missed the mark in a couple of spots, so we need to evaluate what's effective here and there."