- Published on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 13:51
- Written by Super User
The Carolina Beach Town Council recently voted to eliminate a $40 discount for people purchasing $100 annual passes to drive on the beach at Freeman Park.
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council voted Friday October 19th, to eliminate a long-standing discount for people purchasing annual vehicle passes to drive on the beach in Freeman Park.
Previously the passes could be purchased for $60 for the year until April 1st. After that date the rate went up to $100.
The decision was made without a public hearing leaving many residents questioning the reason for the rate hike.
The overall purpose is to generate revenues of around $400,000 a year to help fund beach nourishment and inlet maintenance projects.
In recent years federal and state funding for beach nourishment and dredging the Carolina Beach Inlet has become unpredictable and could disappear in the near future. The Town is seeking ways to create a fund annually to save up for future projects. To add to the funding concerns, the Town was recently informed by the Army Corp of Engineers they are responsible for maintaining a rock wall on the oceanfront on Carolina Beach Avenue North.
We posted the issue to our Island Gazette Facebook page on Monday October 29, and received input from readers. Here are some of their responses:
Amanda Bowers: Are you kidding? This is so ridiculous. Like they aren't getting enough money from the tourists.
Allen Welborn: What a crock of $#%@ Thanks CB for taking advantage of citizens!!!! Gotta meet that quota.
Matt Englehart: Ridiculous. Way to treat your local residents.
Kathy Constantineau Klutz: Sad thing but probably because of a few creating more problems than they should the price hike is necessary. Maybe it will keep some of the "no-gooders" off the beach and make it more enjoyable for those who just want to have a great time.
Nikole Mozzani Silva: Wow! Unreal.
Cindi Jacobs: I think New Hanover County residents should pay $100.00 and all others should pay at least $150.00!
Peter Moss: I remember when you could go out there for free! Residents shouldn't have to pay anything! What the hell are taxes for?
Matt Englehart: I doubt a $40 rate hike will stop the nogooders. If anything it will detour more of the level heads from going because they don't want to pay $40 more to deal with the same BS.
Chris King: City Council of Carolina Beach owes me $40 worth of something! This is a crock of $#%@ I say that not because I expect free stuff but because I pay my money and I will not get any extra services. They pick up the trash, they police the beach what else are they going to do? Anything new? Nope!
Autumn Sykes Brown: Paying for all the "bridge work" being done over the next 4 months I assume. Well, CB you aren't getting our money for 2013! We have had a pass since they started charging several years ago. If this holds up we won't be back. It's a damn shame that the locals have to pay so much to access what once was a free and public beach!
Chris Hardy: So, who's bright idea was this and what is their motivation in taking away local perks? Locals, at least those
on the island, should have that discount. More proof that commonsense isn't a priority of whoever got the ball rolling on this illogical decision.
Chris Hardy: Just when I start to have faith in them (correcting the silly road diet idea), now this decision brings me to the realization that they obviously were not thinking of the locals who
happily deal with tourists and the insane amount of visitors during big events. Local community leaders should have the interest of the local public, not just a few string pullers with their "bright" (although illogical) ideas.
Chris King: Good job Gazette. Way to stay on top of things and let us know what's going on. Keep up the good work.
Alisha Hanes: Seriously what happened to the days where you could go out on "The North End" for free? Carolina Beach is ridiculous... I grew up down there, had a lot of good childhood memories. They sicken me
now. It's a shame, you have to pay $100 to go out on a damn beach. I can find a lot better things to do with my $ than hand it over to them..
Alex Powell: Ridiculousness.
Heather Benfield: They refuse to pick up garbage cans that get washed into grass during high tide, but want more money? They better do something a little better about the garbage! You have
to call Carolina Beach and tell them to make a work order to pick garbage up, and trash cans. Other wise, they ride by and stare at it.
Debbie Bowen Divers: No way! Reasoning behind this?
Lauren Conn: They should have raised the daily and multi day rate for tourists
who leave our beach a mess. Locals take care of our beaches, this isn't fair.
Freeman Park, located at the end of Canal Drive, is one of a handful of areas along the east coast that permit four-wheel-drive vehicles to drive on the beachfront.
Daily passes are $20 per day. Now annual Freeman Park passes will be available starting December 1, 2012 for $100 (NO REDUCED RATES for the 2013 season).
The decals can be purchased at the Carolina Beach Parking Office, Town Hall, Recreation Center, Brew Thru and Island Tackle & Hardware on North Lake Park
Blvd and the Scotchman Convenience Store located on Canal Drive near the municipal marina.
Walking into the park is free although public paid parking areas are limited just outside of the park.
The Town provides restrooms, lifeguards, trash pickup and police patrols.