Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced Tuesday a package of improvements for Downtown Ellicott City totaling $3 million in his fiscal year 2014 capital budget for sidewalks, curbs and a project to beautify and improve the Tiber River Basin.

Ulman also announced the creation of a new free Downtown Residential Parking Permit program to begin Feb. 4, when all parking meters, including new meters on Main Street and Maryland Avenue, will be operational.

“Ellicott City is a jewel of Howard County, one we need to continue to invest in so that it keeps shining,” Ulman said in a statement. “We’ve worked with the community to identify a series of vital projects, and we will bring them to reality.

If approved by the Planning Board and County Council, the funding for Ellicott City projects would be available July 1 and would include:

•Beautifications and pavement removal in parking Lot D to uncover portions of the Tiber River and create amenities

•Improvements to curbs, sidewalks and streets

•Enhancements along the Patapsco River

•Water quality and drainage projects

Residents of Main Street are invited to apply for a new Residential Parking Permit program.

The free permit will allow Main Street residents the right to park free of charge for an unlimited period of time in any of the metered spaces in public surface parking lots. It also gives them the ability to park on Main Street and Maryland Avenue for free between the hours of 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. every day of the week.

Registration forms and additional information about the permit program are available at www.howardcountymd.gov/Ecparking.htm.

New parking rates in Ellicott City will go into effect Feb. 4. It will soon cost $1 an hour to park on Main Street and Maryland Avenue and 50 cents an hour to park in Lots B, C, E and the metered section of Lot D. Lots A, F and portions of Lot D will remain free.