Inlet parking raised for Fourth of July
OCEAN CITY, Md. – Parking at the Ocean City Inlet for July Fourth will cost a few bucks more. The city council deciding the raise rates for that one day from three to five dollars an hour.
Thanks to a new payment system recently put in place, the town offered inlet parking for $3 per hour instead of a traditional all-day fee. Because of that decision, the town says its revenue saw a one-day hit of $24,000.
“We did lose money because of that over what we did in the past with the all-day rate,” said city engineer Terry McGean.
Locals we spoke with were not too happy about the decision, but say it’s somewhat expected.
“Is it greedy, yea. But there’s 250,000 people down here on Independence Day,” said Ocean Pines resident Bill Antoszewski.
“I think it’s a little bit excessive. It’s usually really crowded, anyway. But the $5 parking, I mean that’s just a little over the top,” said Caroline County resident Tyler Rostien.
The town says they depend on the revenue from parking the day of to pay for expenses like an extra police presence, added beach patrol, a $50,000 fireworks show and more.
“But it’s not free. And we think five dollars an hour is a very fair price given what we’re providing in turn for that,” said McGean.
Officials say they hope visitors will consider using their park and ride lot in West Ocean City to alleviate traffic downtown, and to give people options.
We’re told that this increase is expected to bring in an extra $30,000 to $40,000 in revenue for the town, which will go toward events put on for the holiday.