Town leaders approve budget, rate changes, hold off on parking deck proposals

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) – Carolina Beach town leaders had a busy first meeting of June tackling issues from the budget to a potential parking deck in the center of town.

Town leaders approved their $15 million dollar budget for fiscal year 2018-2019. It will involve rate increases all across town for parking as well as on Freeman Park.

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Hourly rates will increase from 2 to $2.50 with hours also be prolonged. Hourly parking will be enforced from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. when the rate season begins around late March into October.

Daily parking rates will also see an increase from $10 to $17. Non resident parking decals will double in price to $150. Those increases along with increases in golf carts fees are expected to net the town more than $343,000 in new revenue.

Freeman Park rates are going up under the new budget. Annual passes will increase $50 to $200. The early bird special will double in cost to $150. Daily, holiday, and camping passes will go up $10.

Town leaders did have a motion to begin the process of bringing a parking deck to the lot along Carl Winner Drive. The council decided to hold off on moving ahead with that with the majority against the idea of a parking deck all around.

“There is some need for parking we just don’t know how much and do you go too far with a structure that may sit empty for half the year,” said Mayor Joe Benson. “Hard to say, but I’m really interested on what the public has to say on that because it is somewhat of a lightning rod issue.”

Town leaders plan to hold a public meeting in the fall with more on parking information from the town manager.

Current proposals ask to double the 150 spaces currently available in the town lots.