SURF CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – Leaders in many Eastern North Carolina communities along the coast either have or are considering paid parking. It’s been a debate for at least a decade in Surf City.
Friday morning, town officials met with the public to discuss their plans to implement paid parking. They are approaching the final steps to require people to pay for a spot for their vehicle.
Town council members believe paid parking will get rid of the unsafe parking situation they’ve seen in recent years, where people park just almost anywhere without considering traffic.
Parking fees are also a financial consideration for Surf City. The town is $8 million short on its share of a multi-million dollar project beach nourishment project.
“So instead of putting more taxes on the property dollars on the island, we looked at the paid parking,” said Surf City Mayor Douglas Medlin.
The town has yet to decide how much to charge visitors but it’s expected to generate up to $1 million a year. People who live full-time in Surf City would not have to pay for parking.
A new rendering shows the estimated 600 parking spaces throughout the island. Visitors would have to pay through a parking app that logs each user’s license plates number.
“Most likely you’ll be able to look on there and it’ll say this lost is 90% full,” said Medlin.
The town is proposing one free parking lot, on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Town officials are scheduled to meet February 19 to decide which company they’ll use to implement paid parking.
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