File photo by Jason Ruiz.

Street sweeping enforcement restarted Monday after a two-month suspension, but not everyone is back at work as pandemic-related orders continue to force Long Beach residents to stay home.

With double-digit unemployment figures compounding the issue, the mayor and City Council are expected on Tuesday to consider directing city staff to look at programs that may provide relief to individuals and families while still enforcing street sweeping in order to keep roads—and oceans and waterways—clean.

“Due to the significant financial and economic impacts COVID-19 has had on the community, it is important to balance the need for street sweeping with penalties issued for non-compliance with parking during street sweeping hours,” according to a staff report to the City Council.

The report, signed by Mayor Robert Garcia and councilmembers Mary Zendejas, Jeannine Pearce, Dee Andrews and Roberto Uranga, requests the city manager to report on how street sweeping enforcement efforts have impacted neighborhoods and what programs could be implemented to “waive, dismiss, or lower street sweeping citations during COVID-19 emergency.”

“The city should be cognizant of these challenges and if enforcement is creating undue hardship beyond normal operations, consider a program by which to alleviate further financial pain for those who have lost their jobs, substantial wages or have otherwise been adversely impacted by COVID-19 if there is a significant increase in street sweeping tickets issued to these individuals and families,” the report went on to state.

Soon after the city suspended street sweeping citations on March 17, it provided residents with free parking permits in impacted neighborhoods and increased parking meter courtesy times. It was initially intended to end April 30, but when stay-at-home orders were extended, so did the citation suspension.

Officials noted that over 4,000 free parking spaces continue to be available, with only a fraction of the spots are being used.

The parking spaces include beach lots, at least seven parking structures, six libraries and three schools, according to the report.

At this time, a total of 4,388 parking spaces have been made available. Of those, 2,844 permits remain available, city officials said.

But locals have expressed discontent online with the lifting of the citation suspension, noting that not all parking-impacted neighborhoods have access to the alternative parking spaces, and if they do, in some cases it can be as far away as half a mile from their homes.

Others pointed to neighboring Los Angeles, which Long Beach has made an effort to align its rules with, where city officials have relaxed residential street sweeping rules to June 1.

It’s unclear what the financial hit is to the city’s budget with no street sweeping enforcement over the last nine weeks. In this year’s adopted 2020 budget, the city anticipated collecting close to $20 million from all types of parking fines.

At the same meeting, the council is expected to hold a study on the city’s financial outlook.

The City Council is expected to meet via teleconference at 5 p.m. on May 19. For more information click here.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the number of free parking spaces available to residents through the city’s parking relief program.

Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.