Parking meter season ends Saturday in Myrtle Beach -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Parking meter season ends Saturday in Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The last day drivers will have to feed the meters in downtown Myrtle Beach is Saturday, October 31.

This is the second year the parking meter season started March 1 and extended through Halloween. Lauren Clever with the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation says that is because October is usually a very busy, popular, and profitable month for the city.

“October usually is a great month weather-wise,” says Clever. “This year, obviously, has been somewhat challenging, the first couple of weeks being very rainy and wet. So that definitely puts a wrench into the program.”

However, the rate hike is expected to keep the total revenue on target for what was projected before the season started. On May 1, 2015, the city implemented a rate hike of 25 to 50 cents more per hour. So depending on where the parking spot is, you will pay $1.50 to $2.00 per hour. The prime parking spots have higher rates.

The numbers are not finalized for this season, but the city brought in just over $1.2 million last season without the rate hike. And last year, city leaders said they expected the rate hike could potentially bring in an extra $300,000.

All of the money collected from the parking meters is invested back into the downtown area with different construction and improvement projects.

“Redevelopment, obviously, is a focus,” says Clever. “So that really is this year’s charge – is to put that back into redevelopment ideas and get that area kind of cleaned up.”

The DRC is considering one potential change for next season. Clever says they are looking at options for adding bigger stickers to the meters. The hope is the stickers would be more clear and simple in explaining when the season is, what times of the day you must pay, and what the fee is for not paying.

Once the meters come out, the city will start fixing them up for next year. Removing the meters actually saves the city some money for not having to buy new meters each year.

“We’re feet, steps from the ocean,” says the city spokesman Mark Kruea. “And that salt air is just not terribly good on anything metal, especially a parking meter. So having that down season to kind of maintain them, make sure they’re oiled and working, is a good thing.”

As of Sunday, November 1, you do not need to pay to park at a metered city spot through the winter. Kruea says city workers will probably start taking the meters down on Monday.

The parking meter season will run March 1 through October 31 again next year. And Clever believes the rates will stay the same through 2016.

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