The Sanibel City Council will have its first reading of an ordinance raising the hourly beach parking fee on Tuesday, Aug. 1. SC photo by David Staver
The Sanibel City Council will have its first reading of an ordinance raising the hourly beach parking fee on Tuesday, Aug. 1. SC photo by David Staver

Before it even starts talking about next year's budget Tuesday, Aug. 1, the Sanibel City Council will hold first reading on an ordinance that will have an effect on the budget – beach parking fees.

The ordinance would raise the hourly beach parking rate from $4 to $5 and would become effective once enacted by City Council.

The council will only read the ordinance at the 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting at City Hall and there will be no discussion. A public hearing and vote will likely come at the regular council meeting at 9 a.m. Sept. 11 ahead of the council's first budget hearing at 5:01 p.m. later that day.

The increase in the hourly rate is not unexpected. The city's beach parking fund is about $1.4 million in the red and is an eyesore on an otherwise splendid balance sheet.

The beach parking is a negative number and I'm an advocate of raising it to $5 per hour,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said when the council took its first look at the 2018 budget on July 18.

The council on Tuesday will look at parking permit fees for restricted parking permits, known as the B and BC decals. The city's beach parking ordinance contains a provision automatically raising the fees each Oct. 1 based on the Consumer Price Index without City Council action.

The council won't talk numbers when it comes to the budget Tuesday, but it will set its three top goals for the coming year. This year's goals, in order, “are improve water quality, sustain the strength of the city's financial stability and improve citizen service for those investing in the community, maintaining and redeveloping their properties.”