Move that kiosk: Beaufort votes out digital meters from Bay Street (update: video of the kiosks coming out)

A sight soon to be left to Beaufort's history books.

Updated January 19: WSAV's Holly Bounds headed down to Bay Street on Wednesday to interview some folks regarding the City Council's decision to ditch the kiosks.

You have to chuckle when you hear a city public works employee tell Bounds that people were "cheering and giving the thumbs up" when they saw the kiosks coming out.

You can check out the video below:

Reported January 18: Not only has the Extreme Makeover Home Edition story spun down in Beaufort today, but so has the ongoing debacle that has been parking in downtown Beaufort. 

After months of debate  - it was just last week that council decided to loosened time limits and reduced some meter rates - today's parking deliberations consisted of a few light questions over the space of 12 minutes time to vote the parking kiosks off Bay Street.

City Manager Scott Dadson said it will take only some five days to make the transition back to the old coin fed meters on new poles and that the city, "started ordering and changing over equipment last week."

Also unanimously approved by council is that the kiosks will now print receipts that will need to be displayed in cars (that means no more needing to remember your space number). The kiosks in other city lots and the ones moved into lots will now carry the universal "P" parking symbol.

Also, the Scott Street lot will be converted to kiosks and the investigation into parking tokens will continue.

Mike McFee closed the talk just before the vote by saying, "It's an ongoing process, it's going to continue.  We want to see even better improvements."

The proposed Olive Garden on Boundary

An ongoing dialog between council, developers, and intermediaries appeared to pay big dividends at the council workshop. 

The tone had shifted to one that was nearly conciliatory.

"The goal is to make the two plans as consistent as possible," Mayor Billy Keyserling opened with. "[We want to] create something that is adaptable over time."

Overall there were three areas the city, 303 Associates, and Darden [the owner of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden family] decided to work on: 

  • Ensure that a paved space in front of the restaurant along Boundary Street was set up for future use and adaptation by the city. 
  • Pull the street back from the side access row to allow for an infill structure.
  • Work on the overall architecture of the building, tweaking it to make some concessions towards the overall plan of the area.

All parties seemed to stress a desire to expedite the process and it seems possible that the project could be OK'd at the next council meeting.

At one point Keyserling said, "I have a personal preference; a row of parking in front that would attribute to an urban look." It was a comment that didn't take Mike McFee long to reply, "We have some kiosks …"

Get back story on the parking issue here and the Olive Garden project here.

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