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Fort Pierce considers implementing parking fees for out-of-county residents at multiple locations

City spokesperson said officials still finalizing request for proposal
Parking at Jetty Park in Fort Pierce
Posted at 3:27 PM, Jul 31, 2023

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — If you're heading to the beach in Fort Pierce, you may want to take advantage of the free parking while you can.

Pretty soon, if you live out of the county, you might have to start paying for parking at three city beaches.

Currently, parking at the South Causeway, Jetty and Jaycee parks is free, but in a city commission meeting July 10, commissioners voted to ask a company to develop a pay-for-parking system for certain spaces that those three beaches.

According to Kaitlyn Ballard, the city's marketing and communications manager, Fort Pierce is now finalizing a Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be advertised to identify a qualified vendor for "Parking Management Services."

Sebastian resident Andrew Gambardella offers his thoughts on the possibility that Fort Pierce could implement parking fees for out-of-town visitors.
Sebastian resident Andrew Gambardella offers his thoughts on the possibility that Fort Pierce could implement parking fees for out-of-town visitors.

"It is the intent of the RFP to find a third party that will provide services such as installing and maintaining the Pay to Park system and provide these services at three locations in the City of Fort Pierce. (South Causeway Park, Jetty Park, and Jaycee Park)," Ballard said in a statement to WPTV.

While the pay-to-park pilot program has not been finalized, in the proposal shown at the city commission meeting, citizens in Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County will likely be given free parking passes.  

Those who live outside the county, however, like Sebastian resident Andrew Gambardella, who came to Jetty Park from Sebastian to kayak, said if the city does charge for parking, he'll likely just stay away.

"Yeah, I probably just won't come anymore because Sebastian we don't pay for parking at none of the beaches — except for the state park you have to have a pass or pay for the day," Gambardella said. "I wouldn't come to any of these restaurants anymore either if I have to pay to park."

Ballard told WPTV in the statement that the city is still finalizing the Request for Proposal and expects it to be complete and open to the public this August, with a presentation to city commissioners following at the end of the year.

The full statement reads as follows:

"The Pay to Park Pilot Program has not been finalized and will require the information gathered from the RFP to help determine aspects of the program. The City of Fort Pierce estimates the RFP for Parking Management Services will be available to the public in August 2023 with a presentation and recommendation to the City Commission at the end of the year; however, this timeline is subject to change.  More information regarding the Pay to Park Pilot Program and the RFP for Parking Management Services will be provided as it becomes available."