By Willard H. Killough III
CAROLINA BEACH - At a Thursday April 26, meeting the Freeman Park Committee considered requests from area merchants to cover their cost for selling season passes to Freeman Park on the North End of Carolina Beach.
Four-wheel drive vehicle access to the beachfront park cost $10 daily or $40 per calendar year.
Daily passes can be purchased at the entrance. Annual passes can be purchased at Town Hall during regular business hours or at local businesses such as the Scotchman and Citgo gas stations, Island Tackle and Hardware and many other locations.
According to Valita Quattlebaum - Public Information Officer for the Town of Carolina Beach - the Town Council will consider a recommendation from the committee to give local merchants 5% of each pass sold. That covers expenses such as credit card transactions. Quattlebaum said that one issue was when merchants decided to “go cash only” for selling park passes, it upset many people who carry credit and debit cards instead of cash money.
Another issue centered on people visiting a business just for the passes and not purchasing other items such as gas, tackle or other goods and that sales of some state licenses do allow for merchants to gain a profit on each sale.
Quattlebaum said the Town Council would most likely hear a proposal at their May 8, regular monthly meeting.
The Committee was created several years ago when the Town began charging for access and patrolling the area.
Among other expenses the fees pay for police, restrooms and garbage pickup.
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