CAMDEN — A consultant hired to look at problems with parking in downtown Camden recommends charging for parking, increasing enforcement, creating a town committee on parking and other measures.

Parking expert John Burke outlined his recommendations and findings in a meeting Feb. 28 at the Middle School.

He noted the common complaints residents have about parking including lack of parking downtown, commercial truck deliveries, employees shuffling cars, and blockage from tour buses and RVs.

He said a study of the parking situation conducted July 29 and 31 found that there are enough spaces, about 1,459, so the goal is not to build a parking garage. However, the use of the spaces needs to be managed better.

He recommends a seasonal paid parking program downtown that meters existing two-hour parking zones with the first 15 to 20 minutes free.

This would offer deeply discounted parking permits to employees in long-term lots and spaces just outside the commercial/retail district and expand free or permit parking for employees a short walk from downtown.

The program would include actively managing commercial vehicle loading, tour buses and RVs. Tour buses on Elm Street would have a time limit of about 10 minutes or an idling limit of 5 minutes, for example. Overnight RV parking and multi-day vehicle storage would be prohibited.

“Consider directing tour bus layovers and oversized vehicle parking to locations just outside the downtown such as the Old Tannery Parking Lot on outer Washington Street,” was among the recommendations.

He also called for expanding use of Community Service Officers to actively manage day-to-day parking operations.

He also recommended creating a Parking Manager position in the town government to manage the program and a standing Downtown Parking Committee to advise the Select Board.

He said Camden’s $10 first-offense parking fine is below the more typical $30 to $35 seen in other similar communities.

He said permits for commercial fishermen and excursion boat owners in the Public Landing lot and boat trailer parking in the Cove Road lot should be issued to a license plate, not a hang tag and the number of permits may need to be capped. They should be offered for purchase and renewal online, he said.

He proposed allowing employee permit parking in the Public Safety lot on Mountain Street, Chestnut Street south of Frye Street and Wilson Street. He suggested maintaining free parking in the Knowlton Street lot. He saw potential for future expansion in the Public Safety lot, Knowlton Street and Camden Parking Company.

Possible implementation of recommendations may be part of next year’s budget.