Have your smart phone ready the next time you park near the Harbor District.

The city of Destin began the pay-to-park program on its Marler Street public parking lot on May 8 in an effort to raise funds for future parking improvements for the city.

The pilot program requires people to pay $1 for the first hour and 50 cents for each additional hour in the lot located at the corner of Marler Street and Harbor Boulevard. The hourly parking now allows people to park at the lot overnight provided they have paid for the time.

"Its potentially good for the city. If it works, it will provide a funding source for public parking improvements and enhancements, " said Doug Rainer, public information manager for the city.

Users can get the PassportParking app on their smart phone or pay by phone by calling the number of the posted signs throughout the lot. If the driver is running low on time, the app sends a notification to the motorist's phone to pay for more.

The parking lot currently has 146 spaces available and Rainer said that the lot will be regulated by code enforcement personnel who routinely patrol the area and can monitor how many people are logged into the system while they are parked.

The fine for illegal parking is $30, according to Rainer.