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Carolina Beach leaders make changes to year-round paid parking

Wilmington WECT logo Wilmington WECT 3/9/2022 WECT Staff
Year-round paid parking was a hot topic at Tuesday's meeting of Carolina Beach Town Council © Provided by Wilmington WECT Year-round paid parking was a hot topic at Tuesday's meeting of Carolina Beach Town Council

CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Leaders had a change of heart after residents and business owners expressed concern about the effects of year-round paid parking at a Town of Carolina Beach meeting Tuesday evening.

Leaders voted 3-2 in favor of a motion to make street-side parking free from December 1 through February 28 by bagging the meters.

Before the final approval, several motions were proposed and failed to pass. Council member Mike Hoffer suggested bagging meters through the end of March initially until Mayor Lynn Barbee revealed the Town took over $25,000 in revenue from parking this past weekend even though some of the meters were not working properly.

During the public speaking portion of the meeting, one of the issues residents who lived close to the beach had was that they should be allowed to buy year-round parking passes to support the town.a

“I consider myself a local,” said one resident who lives just north of the beach. “I don’t think living over the bridge I should be classed as a tourist. I don’t want to pay $100 a week for a weekly pass.”

Council members heard a summary of the parking progress since the current program idea was first floated in May 2021 and asked staff if they still supported the program.

“It was Pivot’s recommendation; it was staff’s recommendation. Is it still staff’s recommendation?”

Town Manager Bruce Oakley said it was.

“We’re sympathetic to what we hear, but our goal is to maximize the income from parking,” said Oakley.

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