Discounted Freeman Park Passes Available Until December 31st

The Town of Carolina Beach has extended the deadline for purchasing Freeman Park vehicle passes at a discount. The original period was from December 1st to December 15th. That has been extended to December 31st. The Town of Carolina Beach has extended the deadline for purchasing Freeman Park vehicle passes at a discount. The original period was from December 1st to December 15th. That has been extended to December 31st.

Discounted Freeman Park Passes Available Until December 31st Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 18 December 2018 04:36

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Town of Carolina Beach has extended the deadline for purchasing Freeman Park vehicle passes at a discount. The original period was from December 1st to December 15th. That has been extended to December 31st.

Interim Town Manager Ed Parvin explained December 14th, "Due to recent weather events, the Town of Carolina Beach is extending the discount deadline for 2019 Freeman Park permits through December 31, 2018.  Annual permit purchases made in person December 1st through December 31st qualify for the 50% early bird discount off the annual price. Permits purchased during this period are valid from the date of purchase. "

Freeman Park, located beyond the end of Canal Drive on the Northern End of Pleasure Island has been a popular destination for four wheel drive enthusiasts for many years.

The Town of Carolina Beach manages the area as a park and charges for vehicle access and camping permits. The cost for the 2018 annual vehicle permit is $200 per vehicle. The Carolina Beach Town Council agree to lower the "Early Bird" discount from $150 to $100 for people purchasing annual passes to drive into Freeman Park during their October 30th, workshop meeting. The Council also agreed to remove blue trash barrels located throughout the park and replace them with larger containers in an effort to address issues with people piling up garbage around the blue bins.

Freeman Park, located beyond the end of Canal Drive on the Northern End of Pleasure Island, is largely outside of the Town's jurisdiction. The Town owns the first 1,000 feet beyond of the end of Canal Drive. After that, parcels are privately owned. Private properties west of the front of the dune line are considered private while any portion of a property located east of the front of the dune line is open to public use under State Law as a public-trust area. That includes the dry sand beach east to the high water mark. The wet sand beach belongs to the State of North Carolina.

The Town has authority to manage the public-trust beach as a park. That was granted to them by the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners some years ago. There is a fee charged for vehicle access to drive on the beach front within the park. The Town doesn't charge people a fee to walk into the park. They can only charge for four-wheel drive vehicle access. The Town has the authority under State Law to “regulate, restrict and prohibit” vehicles driving on the dry sand beach within the public-trust area.

The early bird special allows locals to get a discount by buying permits in person at Town Hall and other local establishments from December 1st to the 15th. Online sales of passes start after that period and the discount is no longer an option.

Last year the Early Bird annual passes were $75. When Council approved the 2018-2019 budget which began July 1st, the rate was increased to $150 for the Early Bird discount. This lowers the discount to $100.

Early Bird Passes can be purchased at the following locations: 
Carolina Beach Town Hall - Billing Department 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd. Carolina Beach, NC 28428 (910) 458-2999 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
Town of Carolina Beach Parking Office 1204 N. Lake Park Blvd. Suite D Carolina Beach, NC 28428 (910) 458-4614 Hours : Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM/Saturday and Sunday, 9AM-4PM
Island True Value Tackle & Hardware 801 N Lake Park Blvd. Carolina Beach, NC 28428 (910) 458-3049 Hours: Monday-Sunday, 6AM-9PM
The Kupboard Grocery. 901 Carolina Beach Ave. N. Carolina Beach NC 28428. (910) 707-1755

After December 31st, you can also purchase the annual permits online at https://freemanpark.clickandpark.com

If you purchase online, the permit will be mailed to you within 10 business days. However, the paper receipt for an online purchase won't get you into the park, you'll have to wait for the actual permit to arrive in the mail. If you would like to pick up your annual permit in person and not receive it in the mail, you must call the Town of Carolina Beach Parking Office at 910-458-4614 at the time of purchase to make arrangements.

For more information call Town Hall at (910) 458-2999.

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