Changes ahead for Beaufort parking this summer

BEAUFORT, CARTERET COUNTY, (WITN) The town of Beaufort has made some big changes to its paid parking program after facing backlash over it last year.

Starting May 20th the waterfront district will once again have metered parking, but unlike last year, the hours of enforcement will only be from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. instead of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The town has also decided to stop leasing the Ann Street parking lot, and is separating from Lanier, the company who was managing the parking program.

The changes come after downtown businesses, visitors and residents became outspoken when the parking enforcement was initiated last year.

The new guidelines have businesses we spoke with feeling more positive about the upcoming tourism season.

Susan Sanders, Harbor Specialties says, "I'm real proud of the decisions they made. I think it's a workable situation and we really all need to support it."

Town officials say the took the opinions and information from a survey businesses in Beaufort filled out into consideration when creating the new parking plan.

The town will also now be looking to hire a new employee to run the program.

The parking season will end on September 2nd.