Isle of Palms to consider parking fee increase, council size

VIDEO: Isle of Palms to consider parking fee increase, council size

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms Ways and Means Committee will meet Tuesday to discuss parking fee increases and a possible cutback in the number of council members they have.

Both changes come from concerns about the city’s budget.

The committee is looking to increase parking rates between 10th and 14th Avenue on Ocean Boulevard and in the two parking lots off of Pavilion Drive.

On Saturday, Sunday and holidays the current rate is $12 per day. They are looking to increase that rate to $15 per day. They daily hourly rate is $2 per day and they are looking to increase that to $2.50 per day.

Mayor Jimmy Carroll says they plan to discuss how this would benefit the city's budget.

There are more than 400 parking spaces in the two municipal parking lots located on Pavilion Drive and about 140 spaces along Ocean Boulevard.

All of these spots usually fill up on the weekends.

Increasing these rates would help offset some of the costs generated by the rapid growth IOP and the tri-county area are seeing. Carroll says about 45 people move to the Tri-County area every day, but the beach is not getting any bigger. More people generate more wear and tear—and a need for more city services and infrastructure.

So when factoring in the hard economic hit from COVID 19 and the city needing to make up for the money lost over these couple months, Carroll says this increase in parking fees could make a big difference in their budget.

The Ways and Means Committee will also be discussing paid parking for what is currently free parking around Ocean Boulevard. And they would hope to put it in place by next summer.

Also a hot topic at Tuesday’s meeting will be a possible decrease in council members.

Since the council first came together 67 years ago, there has always been nine council members, but now for the first time ever they are looking to change that.

Carroll says the council is working with limited funds and they are trying to cut on spending.

Each council member is paid $1,500 per year, and they are looking to possibly eliminate two of those council positions. But Carroll says he doesn’t agree with the idea since a total of $3,000 would hardly make a difference when the council is trying to budget millions for high cost spending on projects like rebuilding the marina, drainage projects, and the public safety building.

“I’m strongly opposed to it,” Carroll said. “I like a diverse council. I like a council that discusses everything.”

You can submit public comments before the meeting via this form.

The meeting will be held over zoom Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.