Town Considering Changing Parking Enforcement Company

Due to operational issues the Town of Carolina Beach is considering hiring a new parking enforcement contractor to handle their paid parking program. Town Manager Bruce Oakley informed the Council of operational concerns during their March 23rd, workshop meeting. Due to operational issues the Town of Carolina Beach is considering hiring a new parking enforcement contractor to handle their paid parking program. Town Manager Bruce Oakley informed the Council of operational concerns during their March 23rd, workshop meeting.

Town Considering Changing Parking Enforcement Company Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 24 March 2021 03:23

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Carolina Beach Town Manager Bruce Oakley informed the Town Council on March 23rd about concerns regarding the services offered by their parking enforcement contractor SP Plus.
Oakley said various issues that currently remain unresolved prompted him to send a letter to the company's main office requesting they resolve those issues.  If not, the Town could contact other parking companies and seek proposals to take over operations.
Oakley said, "As you know we started our parking program early this year on March 1st. We've had some issues with the management of our parking program. We've had some issues with collecting revenue, installation and maintenance of equipment and meters, meters not working, some issues with staffing, they've not had enough personnel to manage the program properly."
He explained, "We have sent a cure letter giving them 30-days to correct all these things or we will terminate the contract. We have not been very pleased.  They are responding and we are starting to get little things in but they have 30-days. The letter was sent this morning. What I would like in case they do not cure these items, is Council give me permission  to go out for a Request For Proposals (RFP) to request
proposals from other companies to manage the parking. We feel there are some that could step in and take over with-in 30-days so I request Council's permission."
Councilman Steve Shuttleworth asked if the contractor doesn't solve the issues with 30-days, does the Town have a back up plan to manage the program or hire someone to manage it.
Oakley said, "We would like to send out an RFP with a quick turn around to some companies out there that are out there that could possibly step in" and take over the enforcement program.
Shuttleworth said the Council has approved money in recent years to purchase new equipment such as parking meters and asked if the Town had spent the money and received the new equipment.
Oakley said the Town has received the new equipment.
He said, "We've had some issues with meters not working that were ordered. Our older pay stations have had some issues."
Shuttleworth said, "I would like to understand... $80,000 worth of capital equipment to be fixed, repaired and bought. Did we get it, and what are we still short? Because I'm concerned we are going to get a surprise that says you guys need to spend a bunch of money to be in the parking business. We might have to but we need to understand that."
Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin explained, "We did work with them to purchase those items. The problem is when we get the new meters or parking stations they are very slow to install them. When they do install them there are still issues where they didn't get the right batteries. So citizens get frustrated when they go to the new meters or parking stations and they are not working."
Mayor Leanne Pierce said she gets emails from citizens complaining about operation issues with parking enforcement.
Parvin said, "We are getting the equipment it's just their management of it and installing it that is cumbersome."
Oakley said the Town has met with the parking enforcement company in person and communicated via email and they were made aware of the issues of concern expressed by the Town.
Oakley said the letter was sent out on March 23rd and the contractor had not received the letter yet.
Council unanimously gave direction to Oakley to manage the contract and report back to Council.
Mayor Leann Pierce said, "I say move forward with the cure letter and let's see what happens and be prepared to replace it as soon as possible. We can't go into a season without adequate parking. We are taking a beating on the parking as it is at least we can do is collected the funds."
Councilman Lynne Barbee explained, "It's a public relations nightmare when we already catch so much flack for the parking rates, some people find those expensive, but then when you have that kind of parking rate and you can't get the parking meter to work that's super frustrating for people."
The Town currently has 19 paid parking lots that charge a fee for parking from April to October from 8am to 10pm. During the off-season parking is free at lots and on-street metered spaces.
That proposal changed the season which in 2020 was from April through November and in 2021, from March 1st to October 31st. Some lots such as the one at the Carolina Beach Lake were restricted to two-hour parking. Rates for parking meters were increased to from $2.50 to $5.00 per hour to discourage people from parking in those spaces in front of businesses to visit the beach rather than parking in long-term spaces in the paid parking lots. The Town will stop enforcing the two-hour parking limit after 8pm in order to not ticket people attending night time events during the busy tourism season.
Parking Decals
• Resident: $ 40.00
• Non-Resident: $ 175.00
• CBD Employee: $ 100.00
Golf Cart/LSV Permits
• Resident $ 40.00
• Non-Resident: $ 100.00
Metered Parking Rates
• Without time restrictions: $ 5.00/hour or $20.00/day
• With 2-hour time restrictions: $ 3.00/hour
    o Time restrictions end at 8:00 p.m.
Parking Lot Rates
• Vehicles and small trucks:
• Canal Dr., Weeks, and Atlanta Ave. lots $ 3.00/hour or $17.00/day
• All other lots $ 5.00/hour or $20.00/day
• Limos and oversized vehicles $ 5.00/hour or $20.00/day
Parking Violation Fees
• Citation amount: $ 50.00
• With non-payment penalty (after 7 days) $ 60.00
• With non-payment penalty (after 15 days) $ 80.00
Handicap Parking: No charges shall be administered to parking lot patrons that are displaying valid handicap documentation and are in a designated handicap parking place. The citation amount charged for
parking violations is $50. If the citation remains unpaid after 7 days, a $50 penalty is added to the citation making the total due of $100.  An additional $25 penalty is added to the $100 if citation is unpaid after 14 days.
Payments for citations may be mailed mailed in or paid in-person or online.  Contact the parking office at 910-458-4614 if you have any questions regarding parking violation citations.
• Paid parking is enforced March 1st continuing through October 31st.
• Paid parking is in effect from 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m., seven days a week.
• Parking fees restart at 8:00 AM for all of the Town's parking lots and parking meters.
• Parking for more than 24 hours at a time is not permitted.
On January 12th, the Council voted to purchase new pay-stations for various paid parking lots as well as new "boots" or "vehicle immobilization"devices which are fixed to the tires of vehicles with
three or more unpaid parking tickets. All fines must be paid to have to "boots" removed or else the vehicle is towed away and the owner will then have to pay the fines, a fee for towing and a fee for storage of the vehicle until the fines are paid.

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