Galveston opts not to waive seawall parking fees during Mardi Gras

Galveston city council decides against waiving seawall parking fees during Mardi Gras
February 13, 2014 4:10:09 PM PST
There was a debate over the possibility of free parking returning to the Galveston seawall for Mardi Gras, but the city council has decided against the special event waiver.

On Thursday, Galveston City Council debated an ordinance that would have waived fees for parking during Mardi Gras.

During its first six months, the seawall parking program created a $300,000 budget shortfall. So passing up a chance to collect revenue had many city leaders scratching their heads.

District 4 Councilmember Norman Pappous said, "I don't think it's a good idea. Our expenses go up during Mardi Gras. We have increased police traffic, we have increased city services."

Some say that a waiver was implied when the parking fee ordinance was passed. That ordinance does allow for exemptions during special events.

Overnight parking, which is typically prohibitied, will be allowed during periods of the Mardi Gras celebration.

Businesses on the seawall are doing all they can to make parking easy for Mardi Gras patrons.

Lauren Desormeaux, director of operations for the Spot, said, "We ensure that all our team members, our managers and even the owner parks on the street, so we leave those parking spaces in our parking lot for the guests."

They do not believe the $1/hour or $8/day fee will keep anyone away.

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