KURE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Going to a restaurant, the pier or just enjoying some time in the ocean could soon cost you more in the Town of Kure Beach as they’re considering charging for public parking.
A meeting was held on the issue Wednesday night where many in the town shared their belief that they are being taken advantage of.
Some in the town say visitors come because it’s free to park, they leave a mess behind, and don’t spend money at local businesses.
“The truth is, we need to manage how things occur in this town,” says Kure Beach Mayor Craig Bloszinsky.
He says parking in Kure Beach has come a long way in the last three years.
“People would park in any direction, anywhere they wanted,” Bloszinsky says. “We didn’t have marked spaces.”
Now that that issue is under control, town leaders and residents believe things may need to go a step further.
Some claim visitors are being disrespectful, leaving behind trash, relieving themselves in public and even using homeowners’ outdoor showers.
“We have a few facts from police reports that we would like to try to fix,” Bloszinsky says.
Some believe charging for parking could deter these types of incidents, but not everyone agrees.
“Some problems that are very real are not related to parking, and can’t necessarily be solved by addressing a parking issue,” Kure Beach resident Cindy Washington says.
Mayor Bloszinsky says a 2018 study showed that the town could make money from paid parking, but that’s not the primary goal.
“I’m not really looking at it as a revenue source, I’m looking at it as a control point,” he says.
The town identified 623 parking spaces they could charge for, though Bloszinsky says it will likely not be so black and white.
“It’s going to be a compromise, maybe some paid, maybe some unpaid,” he says.
Bloszinsky says the next step is to send out requests for proposal to parking management companies, which will likely happen in the coming months.