via Jacksonville Daily News

NC - Emerald Isle Announce Changes for Paid Beach Parking Coming This Summer

Another coastal town is making changes towards public parking for beach access beginning this year as residents in surrounding towns are not happy about it.

The Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners announced they are moving forward with the proposed changes from Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Director Alesia Sanderson where the town will offer a new paid parking program for public beach access.

Since 2011, visitors have only paid for parking between Friday-Sunday and on holidays going for $10 a day at the two main beach accesses, one at Western Regional Ocean Access off Islander Drive and the other at Eastern Regional Ocean Access on Emerald Drive.

The town's BOC are expected to sign a one-year contract with NCParking to provide paid parking services between April 1 and Sept. 30, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the upcoming beach season. According to a release from the town, the average cost is expected to be $3 an hour with a daily maximum for parking set at $16 a day.

Paid parking will be conducted on a sliding pay scale with some days being $2 a day and holidays/weekends would be $4. Depending on the time of the season and the day, the fees will range between those three increments. Visitors will be able to pay for parking by using a credit card through an app or through an on-site kiosk with the help of NCParking associate.

There will be an official vote during the March 9 BOC meeting. Once the town agrees on a contract, all equipment, parking enforcement and personnel will be provided by NCParking, which manages similar parking programs from Maine to Florida.

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