ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — Under wraps in the parking lots of public beach accesses in Orange Beach — parking meters. “Five dollars for a car, not a big deal,” says Anna Sawin from Mobile. “Ten dollars may change things.”
Kiosks have been installed at Cotton Bayou, Romar, Alabama Point East and the Shell Lot, all on property owned by the state of Alabama and it already has tourists and locals talking.
“I think it’s a shame that a lot of people won’t be able to come down and enjoy the beach whenever they want to,” says Debbie Baresford from Michigan.
“A nominal fee wouldn’t be the end of the world,” Sawin said. “But it’s our backyard.”
“This is our thing, fishing,” says Jim Myrick from Robertsdale. “We will just have to find somewhere on the bay I guess to fish where it is free.”
The city and state are still in discussions on who will have to pay and how much. Locals getting a break on parking fees are part of those negotiations. “Everybody likes something for free, but I understand the needs of the local economy and the ability to capitalize on the tourism,” Sawin said.
Pay to Park in Orange Beach expected to start March 1.
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