ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. — Anna Maria Island could be the next beach community to add paid parking. At least one county commissioner wants to look into the model to pay for aging infrastructure. Some beachgoers are against the plan, because they enjoy the free parking.
"To have paid parking I think it would change everything a little bit about the island, we like it the way it is, that’s why we moved across the country to here,” said beachgoer Michael Morehouse.
The parking lots are maintained by Manatee County, but they are located in the city. Holmes Beach Mayor Judy Titsworth is lobbying county commissioners against the paid parking plan.
"I don’t feel it’s wise, people are going to try to save a dollar and park in shopping centers to try to get free parking,” said Titsworth.
County Commissioners will discuss the idea next month, but local mayors said they plan to continue their opposition to paid parking on Anna Maria Island.
“It goes against our character,” said Titsworth.