DRC to pitch parking meter hike to MB Council

Published: Feb. 4, 2012 at 2:34 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:45 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A representative with the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation will go before Myrtle Beach City Council to ask members for a parking meter rate increase.

City Spokesman Mark Kruea says the increase would be the first ever. Rates now are either 75 cents or $1.00, depending on location. The hike would raise them 25 cents.

Chuck Martino, former councilman and DRC vice chairman says the plan is aimed at pumping money back into downtown Myrtle Beach. He hopes to get projects to improve Ocean Boulevard and other locations going with the revenue.

Martino says the money would go directly to the City's budget and not to the DRC.

Despite the purpose for the increase, some visitors and businesses don't think an increase is a good idea.

"It does seem kind of expensive. That might tempt me if I wanted to go to a restaurant to go somewhere a little further south or a little further inland where the parking is free," said Jim Sutton, who lives in Myrtle Beach part-time.

"Leave it alone. I thought the meters were a bad idea in the first place. There are a lot of cities that don't even have meters and where people can actually spend money on the actual businesses," said Dick Todd, who owns Tags and Tees Airbrush near the boardwalk.

Not everyone agrees an increase would be a bad thing.

"Where I come from it's about $3.50 an hour and they're only good for about two hours and you have to renew them. I find it's not too bad," said Mike McGovern, a visitor from Canada.

Council will hear Martino's pitch at its meeting on Valentine's Day. A vote will follow at a later date.

Meter season begins in Myrtle Beach March 1.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.