Beaufort town leaders evaluate controversial paid parking season

BEAUFORT, NC (WITN) - After a controversial paid parking season in the town of Beaufort, commissioners are reviewing proposed changes to the program, even though the town brought in thousands of dollars to the community.

The busy tourism season for the town of Beaufort may be over, but businesses and town officials are still reflecting and looking at how their paid parking spaces impacted the flow of visitors.

Town commissioners were recently presented with information from the company hired to manage the parking program on how the season panned out.

Parking fees were in effect shorter than originally planned due to mixed feedback from community members and only ran from June 1st to the end of August.

The town is expected to net more than 38-thousand dollars that will be put back into the downtown waterfront area. Public Information Officer Rachel Johnson said, "The board of commissioners for the first time ever have hard data from last years parking season that they are currently going over, there are six different options that have been presented with different potential time changes and season changes and so the town is really trying to work closely with the business community and the residents, and employees and all of the stakeholders to find the best solution for everyone."

The town was also recently presented with survey results from the Beaufort Development Association that asked businesses how they were impacted and what their thoughts were on the program.

A majority of them say they saw an increase in revenue during the parking fees but still wanted to see changes made. Officials say commissioners are planning to review the recommendations before the next parking season in May.