WILDWOOD — The city’s downtown Business Improvement District is moving ahead with plans to improve parking in the resort.
Vision 2015, a plan developed by the island’s government and business leaders, detailed creation of a parking garage or “destination station” as key to enhancing the tourism experience for visitors to Wildwood’s downtown and Boardwalk.
According to the district’s budget plan, “In 2013, the (BID) intends to commence on one of the most important projects detailed in Vision 2015. That is the acquisition and development of the Center City Parking Lot.”
John Donio, owner of the Daytona Inn and president of the BID, said Thursday that the group of business owners wanted to get the parking lot under the BID’s management, with the ultimate goal of building a parking garage using county, state or federal funds.
“That’s our basic mission, not to use local taxpayer dollars,” Donio said.
Donio said talk of adding parking to the downtown, which serves both the business district and the Boardwalk, has been around for years.
The lot, which belongs to the city, is bordered by Oak, Cedar, Schellenger, Atlantic and Pacific avenues.
Patrick Rosenello, executive director of the BID, said the district has discussed buying, leasing or managing the lot, but no agreement has been reached.
“We are actively having discussions with the city,” he said.
The district’s budget for 2013 includes $35,000 in anticipated revenue from the leases and meters on the lot, with the intention of returning that money to the city if the district takes over the space.
“We have to keep the city whole,” Rosenello said, explaining that the city relies on the $35,000 income from the center city lot as part of its budget.
The goal would be to make short-term improvements to the lot with an eye toward the development of a multilevel parking facility and transportation hub, Rosenello said.
BID members are business owners from the city’s downtown who pay an assessment. The group’s 2013 budget is $337,500, which is up 37 percent from $245,719 in 2012. The increase is due to the expected parking lot revenue of $35,000 and an increase in assessments from $187,500 to $295,000.
The group was formed in 2004 with the two-pronged plan of improving the look of the downtown and improving the public’s perception of the area.
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