Company Increases Guaranteed Share of Emerald Isle Parking Revenue to $ 200,000 | New


EMERALD ISLAND – Emerald Isle will receive at least $ 200,000 in beach parking revenue this season, up from a low of $ 120,000, under an amended contract with private company NCParking to manage the town’s two main lots.

City manager Matt Zapp said on Monday that NCParking recently offered a guaranteed revenue increase as the city’s accessible eastern and western ocean areas have seen higher than expected visits since the new one took effect. system on April 1. Additionally, he said Emerald Isle and NCParking intentionally budgeted conservatively in the original contract.

“City officials met with NCParking in early June to review April and May operations,” Zapp said in an email about a week after city commissioners approved the contract amendment in as part of the consent program on July 13. “Following the Memorial Day billing issue, NCParking proposed to increase the minimum warranty at Emerald Isle.

This billing issue occurred on both batches on May 30 and May 31, when a software glitch in two of the five pay stations billed customers $ 6 per hour, instead of $ 4 per hour. which was supposed to be the maximum fare.

After discovering the problem, NCParking reimbursed all customers who used the two lots during those two days. The company paid $ 3,282 to those who were directly affected by the problem and almost $ 7,000 to those who likely were not.

The $ 4 hourly fee is charged during peak summer and major holiday and event weekends, but at other times the hourly rates are $ 2 or $ 3 per hour. hour. The counters operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day during the tourist season and on bank holiday and event weekends.

The system replaced the city’s fixed fee of $ 10 per day, which was in effect on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays during the tourist season.

In Monday’s email, Zapp said NCParking’s offer to increase the city’s revenue share “shows their professional commitment to meeting / exceeding the expectations of Emerald Isle and its taxpayers.” .

Mr Zapp said he did not have figures on the increase in visits, but Carteret County occupancy tax revenue broke records in April and May, and June and July appear likely to follow, according to tourism officials.

Either way, comparing monthly parking revenue this season to previous seasons would be like comparing apples to oranges, Zapp said, because in previous seasons the fee was only charged on weekends. ends and holidays.

In 2019, the city collected $ 136,150 in facility parking fees. In 2020, despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, that total rose to $ 172,229.

Another change in the NCParking contract approved by the commissioners on July 13 specifies that the company must provide both accesses from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day until Thursday, September 30.

In response a News-Times investigation, Zapp said the amendment was not due to customer complaints about too few workers, but was passed because it was not specified in the original contract.

“The city has not received any parking complaints except for the one issue that occurred on Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “Operations and customer relationships at both WORA and EORA have been high. The only complaint we receive is the limited number of parking spaces. Customers and guests want us to have additional parking spaces near the ocean.

The city spent a year with NCParking to see how the system would work before committing to several years.

Emerald Isle will conduct and produce a paid parking seasonal review, similar to previous years, Zapp said. But he added that he was satisfied with the performance of the company.

“Following the billing issue that occurred during Memorial Day… NCParking took swift action to reimburse every customer who visited our paid parking lots on Sunday and Memorial Day Monday,” he said. . “They went above and beyond to ensure that all customers, even those who were billed accurately, receive a refund.

“In addition, they have voluntarily increased the local income guarantee for the town of Emerald Isle and its taxpayers.

“Also,” concluded the manager, “the… parking ambassadors are doing an excellent job of helping customers with the new system. For these reasons, we are grateful that Emerald Isle has chosen NCParking as its third party supplier.

NCParking did not respond to a request for comment.

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; send an e-mail to [email protected]; or follow us on Twitter @brichccnt.

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