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Pay parking lot opens for downtown visitors

Visitors to downtown Fredericksburg now have 40 more spaces for parking on evenings and weekends.

The city’s newly leased lot behind the Princess Anne Building became available on Monday.

An electronic pay station was installed and spaces were stenciled with numbers so payments can be made for the appropriate space at the station.

Thirty spaces are in the lot behind the Princess Anne Building at 904 Princess Anne St. The other 10 spaces are in the adjoining lot behind PNC Bank, which sits at 900 Princess Anne St.

The spaces—some of which are marked “reserved” or “visitor” for weekday purposes—can be accessed via Princess Anne or Charles streets.

The City Council gave final approval to the leased lot last month. The initial lease is for two years at a cost of $15,000 per year, to be paid in monthly increments.

The pay station—known as the Luke II made by Digital Payment Technologies—and signs cost about $17,000. The city also expects to spend $1,000 to $2,000 annually for snow removal and maintenance of the spaces.

The city is leasing the spaces from Princess Anne LLC, owned by Walter J. Sheffield, Ralph Sutton and Kenneth Butzner.

“This is an effective means to improve utilization of the parking inventory in Fredericksburg’s downtown,” City Manager Beverly Cameron said in a statement on Monday. “The lot is well located and will provide convenient parking for the public.”

The lot will be available from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday and all weekend. Complimentary parking will be provided between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays

People face a $25 fine for parking inappropriately or over the allotted time. The owners of the Princess Anne Building also maintain the right to tow vehicles left in the lot during weekday business hours.

Parking costs $1 per hour and people can pay with cash, credit cards and some debit cards. The machine does not give change.

The machine will prompt people through the steps to make a payment and will provide a receipt.

People paying by credit card can enter a cell number and get a text warning them the time is about to expire. They can then add money without leaving their location.

City police will periodically check the lot and can access information from the machine about payments, said Bob Antozzi, the city’s director of parks, recreation and public facilities.

A local number is listed on the machine in case people encounter problems. An answering service will forward any calls to the city’s on-call person in case of a problem, Antozzi said.

The city isn’t currently considering leasing additional spaces, such as those in the rest of the PNC Bank lot, but Antozzi said he will monitor usage to see if more spaces are needed.

He also will monitor whether people run into any problems finding the lot and the pay station.

“Hopefully, people will get used to it. We think we have the perfect plan in place,” he said. “We will adjust immediately as we need to.”

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972