Surfside Beach will consider raising the costs of its non-resident parking decals to $200 at its Feb. 28 meeting.
Town council has already given initial approval to an ordinance including the raise, which would double the current price. Town officials said that the raise in price will help pay for the costs of maintaining the beach.
“The town of Surfside Beach is its own township, and the costs related to the beach [are] expensive, and it’s on the taxpayers,” Town Councilman Tim Courtney said.
Surfside has significant infrastructure needs associated both with keeping up the lots that people’s vehicles park in and with maintaining the beach, which was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew last October. The town is still grappling with how to deal with its demolished pier. But Courtney, the council’s parking liaison, said even smaller issues, like fixing beach walkovers, can cost $5,000 to $10,000.
The town has 100 of the decals available for purchase every year, Courtney said. He also said there’s already a waiting list to buy the passes this year, and he didn’t expect the increased price to deter people from purchasing them.
But, he said, “If you’re a day-tripper … there’s no reason to buy the beach decal.”
A brief on the ordinance written by Town Clerk Debra Herrmann said the decals have sold out quickly in the past two years.
The price raise would not change meter rates in the town – $2 an hour or $10 a day – or those in economy lots near 13th Avenue South that cost 50 cents an hour, Courtney said.
Councilwoman Julie Samples said she was in favor of the increase and said it was not connected to the loss of the pier, which used to charge $1 per entrant.
“The fact that we’re going to lose revenue for the pier not being open is not really a factor when it comes to the … fees changing,” she said.
Surfside Town Council will vote on the measure Tuesday night.