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Surfside business leaders worry about meter plan

Published: Feb. 2, 2012 at 1:32 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2012 at 3:15 PM EST
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SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Business leaders in Surfside Beach worry parking meters could be on their way to Surfside Drive despite the town's claims that a plan does not exist.

Leaders from many businesses along the town's main stretch met Tuesday with residents from the town's newly formed resident parking committee. They discussed reports that meters would go in as well as other concerns about parking in the town.

Brayer Surratt, who runs Charleston Cafe, says the businesses signed a petition to show their opposition to meters in the Main Street-like area.

Surratt and other business owners worry meters would hurt them.

"If you put in parking meters on this section of Surfside Drive then I think it's actually gonna decrease business on Surfside Drive and send it to other places where you don't have to pay to park," said Surratt.

Town leaders say meters will not go in at Surfside Drive, dismissing the reports as rumors. Councilman Bob Childs says a plan for meters was discussed before workers finished the streetscape, but it was nixed then.

Some say they don't trust the town's word.

"I believe them as of this moment, but I don't believe them tomorrow," said Greg Fielden, of Surfside Beach.

"We've got elections coming up this spring where some of the council members will be different and I think [the parking meters] could come up in the future and that's why we're going ahead and letting them know now how much this could hurt us," said Surratt.

Town Administrator Jim Duckett said the parking committee can give council feedback, but town leaders have no obligation to follow any recommendations. Duckett points out that the town has made progress implementing the results of a recent professional parking study.

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