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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It might soon cost you even more to park in downtown Wilmington. City Council is considering raising parking rates.

Faced with a more than $800,000 shortfall in the city’s parking fund, City Council is thinking about adding more parking fees and extending meter hours.

Michael Lambrix owns Candles Etc. in downtown Wilmington. He says his business, and others in the area, would suffer if City Council approves the parking fee hike.

“If we have ten less customers come in, it makes a big difference,” says Labrix. “When you have people thinking they can go out and buy the same thing and not have to worry about parking costs, then they’re going to make that decision and not show up at your store.”

City Council member Laura Padgett says she would like to see meter times extended to 9 p.m. The meter charge right now ends at 6:30.

“One of the suggestions from staff is that we extend the meter hours to nine o’clock, and I said that was a reasonable thing to do,” says Padgett. “Some of the evening traffic would bare some of the cost of parking as well as the daytime traffic.”

But many are saying that extending meter hours would deter them from even coming to Wilmington. Frank Popelars lives in Southport but comes to downtown a few times a month to eat dinner with his wife. He says the extended meter times might discourage how often he comes in the future.

“That would slow me down in thinking about driving this far over from Southport, then have to pay for parking,” Popelars says. “At the same time, just having to use the local restaurants, I think that would deter me, or at least slow me down in my thoughts of maybe I might stay in Southport instead of coming over to Wilmington.”

Another idea discussed was raising the cost of evening parking fees from $5 to $7.

Padgett says City Council plans to discuss the potential increase in parking prices during its next meeting on April 19.

Comment on this Story

  • Bob

    I don’t shop or eat in Wilmington any more because of the taxes and fees.
    Why is it that the Democrats think the only option is to raise taxes and fees?
    Why don’t they look at cutting spending?
    Padgett is a tool and needs to go. Her ideal of balancing budget are wacked. And take Rivenbark with you when you go!!!!!

  • taxpayeriam

    Answer to everything is raise fees,taxes,fines you all are the worst bunch of people if seen that has no control over budget except to do the above.Voters get them out of office or all you will every see is spend spend not control.Forget the golf course and balance the budge with that money.Pave the roads and fix pot holes,forget parking deck
    and convention center that is costing tax payers twice in taxes to support and tax money for utilities.Do your part for the garbage mess and cfpua,stop the “I WANT” crap.Yes we really need to spend thousands on the shot radar only 52 cities out of millions in the US have chosen to buy that crap in 15 years it must be in real demand if that is only that many systems are in service,we are not NYC or LA come on man.

  • John Galt

    until the City Manager and a couple of council members decided to change companies. The change was supposed to save the city money and improve services. We’re still waiting!

  • Guest3230

    Yes raise the rates, that will add to more parking spaces for everyone because less people will go downtown. And you expect more revenue? As Saffo, Padgett and the rest say we need to annex you because you use the services inside the city limits, including downtown. “NOT” My family does not go downtown and do not care to go downtown and want nothing to do with Wilmington. If you live in Wilmington, get ready for everything to cost more, because I believe annexation is over for you. Just because I drive to a store in Wilmington you morons on the council think you need taxes from me. Again “NOT” Good luck w/that Wilmington.

  • Guest_informed

    Stop the wasteful spending, shut down that STUPID convention center that will never get off the ground, quit the FORCED annexation (which thank God is on hold until 2012), and you won’t have to raise any rates.

  • Guestina

    If they extend the meters until 9 PM, you can be sure diners will NOT venture to downtown restaurants in the evenings. The only time I ever go there any more is to eat at Caprice, Deluxe, Manna, etc. and try to leave by 10 PM when the hooligans take over. Why does the City want to destroy downtown and turn it into a low-budget version of Bourbon Street?


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