SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Surfside Beach Mayor Doug Samples and the City Council addressed parking at Tuesday's meeting. Mayor Samples says they have been discussing this issue for two years now, and unfortunately they are far from finished.
Local residents and business owners attended Tuesday night's meeting, some of whom are not happy with the meters' existence in the first place. The council passed the motion to raise the hourly meter parking to $1.25, an increase of 25 cents an hour. This had some locals concerned for future repercussions.
"I do want people to feel welcome in our town. I feel like parking meters don't really encourage that," said Surfside resident Anne Westcott. "Although in some instances I do see that they are necessary. I'm just concerned that people that don't feel comfortable in Surfside won't be there to help us recuperate after the next hurricane, because there will be another hurricane."
Mayor Samples is also concerned for Surfside's reputation after this.
"I am concerned that it could have an unintended consequence, and more importantly impacting the image of the town because like I say, we're the family beach," Mayor Samples said. "We gotta be really careful about 'nickeling and diming' people."
Mayor Samples admits as one person in the council that he originally stood against the meters, but with the way the council works, they voted for the meters. Though the council did announce they will listen to any public opinion. The motion to extend parking restriction areas was denied. This made some people at the meeting feel better and some say it might help Surfside's reputation.