Naples City Council votes to increase beach parking prices following Hurricane Ian
The Naples City Council voted on Jan. 30 to increase beach parking costs from $3 to $4 an hour. By October, the price will rise to $5.
Councilman Ted Blankenship said in order to keep cleaning the beaches and fixing the Naples Pier, the city needed to charge more for parking.
Hurricane Ian flooded Naples beaches and severely damaged the Naples Pier when it hit at the end of September.
"We have a lot of costs not only cleaning the beaches themselves, but restoring the beach ends where people can park and access to the beach through the various access points in the city," Blankenship said.
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Blankenship said he believes the community will understand why the city has to raise the cost.
"They wanted us to hurry up and reopen Lowdermilk Park and the pier and the beach access points so that more people can use the beaches," Blankenship said. "And they understand that there's a cost to doing that. They also understand that all the costs have gone up with the high inflation that everyone's experiencing in the US right now."
Blankenship said the cost increase won't affect nearby residents that have a free beach parking sticker.
Lowdermilk Park, off Gulf Shore Boulevard North, took a heavy hit from the storm, and it's still in need of major repairs. It is set to reopen on Friday.
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Naples beach parking prices increase to help with finances after Ian