It’s no secret that parking is one of the biggest challenges on Fort Myers Beach. And, with the town raising parking fees from $3.00 an hour to $5.00 an hour, it’s going to be even more challenging for hotel and restaurant employees.
Councilman Dan Allers tried to address that problem Monday but it fell on deaf ears.
Many of the hospitality workers on Fort Myers Beach live off the island due to the lack of affordable housing on the beach. Those employees also need to find a place to park just like everyone else.
The town charges for parking on the streets and under the bridge in the Times Square area. Residents of the beach can purchase an annual parking pass for $25.00. Employees who live off the island are not eligible to purchase that pass.
Late last year the town opened up 35 spots at Town Hall for public use on the weekends. Town hall is about a mile from Times Square on Estero Boulevard. On Monday, Councilman Dan Allers suggested the town offer those spots to verified hospitality industry employees for free.
Councilman Bill Veach shot the idea down quickly. “It’s not the town’s job to provide parking for employees of businesses.”
Allers did not receive any other support for his idea and it’s expected those spots will be $5.00 per hour to park like all other town spots.
While the spots have been available to the public since last October, they are getting very little use because nobody really knows they are there to be utilized.