BEAUFORT - The Town of Beaufort will soon have new parking meters lining the downtown waterfront after a town council vote.
According to assistant town manger Lauren Hermley, the town will have the meters installed and operational by Memorial day. The metered period won't last year round. Money will only be collected through October 1.
The meters are similar to kiosks in that they are computer kiosks that cover 15 to 20 spots each. The town ordered 12 meters to be installed on Front Street only. Side streets will be free to park on.
Hermley doesn't think the town will make money from the tolls, but said it will help free up parking on Front Street.
"We certainly don't want to gouge visitors, but if our funds exceed our expenditures we will be earmarking those funds to the downtown area," Hermley said.
Some business owners along the waterfront think the tolls could inconvenience tourists. Ron White owns a small ferry business that's operated in Beaufort for more than 30 years.
"I feel as though if the town wants to make money with the parking meters than they ought to charge everybody and not give everyone who comes here just to go out on the park service ferries a free parking spot," said White.