Parking fees along the Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach go towards improving the boardwalk district

(Location: Myrtle Beach Access 47th Ave. North. Photo: Sharon Tutrone)

Myrtle Beach Parking Wars

Paid parking along the Golden Mile in Myrtle Beach. It is a big hassle to some and big money for the city. But where does that money go?

“Money from paid parking goes back into the area from which it was generated,” said Mark Kruea, a public information officer for the City of Myrtle Beach.

Last year Myrtle Beach implemented parking regulations along the Golden Mile between 31st and 82nd Avenues North. Residents who live outside the city limits and tourists pay “$2 per hour or $10 a day to park.” The fees are required every day from 9 a.m. to midnight and drivers can pay the parking cost on their cell phones through the Parkmobile system.

“The city instituted paid parking in that area because residents there complained of visitors parking in their yards and disrupting the neighborhood,” Kruea said.

That is not sitting well with some.

“We are not a political group, we just want to go to the beach,” said Rich Malzone, a spokesman for Make Myrtle Beaches Free, Clean and Safe.

Malzone formed the advocacy group, Make Myrtle Beaches Free, Clean and Safe, after the parking ordinance went into effect.

Malzone is hoping the city will compromise by offering a $100 non-resident parking pass, which will be valid for all residents outside the city limits “and part-time residents.”

“As non-residents, they live in the unincorporated part of Horry County and do not pay city property. Living in an incorporated municipality comes with both taxes and benefits,” Kruea said.

As the fate of the parking ordinance idles; here is a look at where the fees collected are going.

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Myrtle Beach Boardwalk district is one of many projects to receive parking revenue to maintain the area and fund entertainment events. Photo: Sharon Tutrone

“The parking revenues have been used to help fund the streetscape improvements throughout the boardwalk district, which includes funding events and activities, maintaining the boardwalk and provide additional parking,” Kruea said.

Kruea also said that parking fees are part of a $10 million line of credit that is used to demolish dilapidated buildings and the purchase of Superblock properties.

And what about those parking meters? Well, it turns out they benefit you.

“They identify which spaces are public so that you know you can park there; they encourage turnover so that spaces are not monopolized, allowing more people to park,” Kruea said.

Several emails and calls to Horry County officials on this story have not been returned.

The parking ordinance remains in effect until October 31.

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