Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Oak Island to ‘reconsider’ proposal it just approved to implement paid parking services

On Saturday morning, in a special meeting announced Wednesday, Oak Island will reconsider paid parking management services proposals, just days after the town approved one of the proposals.

Oak Island is gearing up to implement a paid parking system for the first time. (Port City Daily/File photo)

OAK ISLAND — Days after approving a new parking service company’s proposal, Oak Island announced it will host a special meeting to “reconsider” proposals on the topic at a special meeting Saturday.

Implementation of a new paid parking system will be the first time the island will charge for parking.

Related: Here’s who threw their hats in the ring to manage the Oak Island pier complex

The town voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve NC Parking Co.’s proposal to implement and manage the new paid parking system. But on Wednesday evening, the town announced a special meeting to be held on Saturday at 9 a.m. That meeting was announced to “reconsider proposals for paid parking management services.”

Paid parking

Councilors Sheila Bell and Charlie Blalock voted against accepting NC Parking Co.’s proposal.

“I’d much rather have another tax increase than I would have to have paid parking,” Bell said at Tuesday’s regular Council meeting.

Bell made a motion to increase the tax rate by two cents to cover revenues estimated the new proposals might bring in. After the town’s clerk, Lisa Stites, informed Bell tax rates can only be set once a year, Bell withdrew her motion.

On Tuesday, Council heard from two parking management companies: NC Parking Co. and Lanier Parking Solutions. Lanier Parking Solutions pitched a deal in which the town would be billed $2,600 a month to manage paid services and would collect three percent of parking fees, excluding fines. The company estimated $329,000 in profits to the town.

NC Parking Co. offered a guarantee to bring the town at least $400,000 in profits and would charge no monthly service fee. Its profits would come from a larger percentage of fees collected — 25 percent — with an approximate 75-25 split with the town that could be renegotiated at a later date.

With NC Parking Co.’s proposal, the town’s 1,100 parking spaces would be managed through spaced-out parking stations. Stations would be solar-powered and placed around every nine parking spaces. Lots would have multiple stations.

“I think it’s inevitable and necessary for public safety,” Councilor John Bach said at the meeting.

Bach later amended his motion to accept NC Parking Co.’s proposal, which passed 3-2, to earmark funds earned. Funds would be restricted to beach redevelopment projects.

Accepting a proposal is just the first step in the process, according to the town’s attorney, Brian Edes. Next, a contract would need to be approved to begin implementation.

Oak Island’s special meeting to “reconsider” paid parking proposals will take place at 9 a.m., Feb. 23, at Oak Island Town Hall.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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