The caps on the parking meters have been removed with the end of the paid parking in town. Bar Harbor took in $2.2 million in parking revenue, according to town officials. ISLANDER PHOTO BY ETHAN GENTER

Bar Harbor pulls in $2.2M in parking money

BAR HARBOR — With a bustling summer now in the rearview mirror, town officials say that Bar Harbor brought in $2.2 million in parking revenue.  

“That is a record,” said Sarah Gilbert, the town’s finance director.  

Parking meters and kiosks in town go up in May and the paid parking season runs through the end of October. From the onset of the season, it was clear that revenues would jump. In June alone, the town took in more than $402,772 in parking fees. In June 2019, the town took in about $284,000.  

This year’s revenue doubled 2020’s, when the town took in $1.1 million. That parking season was slightly abbreviated because of the pandemic. The town made $1.6 million in 2019. 

Parking costs $2 an hour in the core downtown area and $1.50 in other areas. All areas seemed to have been swamped and even places that didn’t used to get filled, such as the dirt parking lot near the ball field, were hard up for space.   

Gilbert noted that the $2.2 million figure is gross revenue and doesn’t include the cost of running the parking program or other fees. The meters do allow for credit cards and the town must pay about a 10 percent fee for credit transactions. 

By state law, parking funds can only go towards roads, sidewalks and parking, Gilbert said. 

Ethan Genter

Ethan Genter

Former reporter for the Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander, Ethan covered maritime news and the town of Bar Harbor.

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