The Village of Bald Head Island files petition to regulate parking and barge operations

Bald Head Island
Bald Head Island(WECT)
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 4:37 PM EST
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BALD HEAD ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) - In an effort to regulate the costs of parking and barge operations, the Village of Bald Head Island filed a petition with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) Wednesday.

Regulation is important to Bald Head Island (BHI) residents because the Deep Point parking lot is the only location for property owners to park when accessing the ferry. Also, the barge is the only way to transport equipment, household goods, and other large essential materials to and from the island.

Currently, BHI parking and barge operations are stewarded by BHI Ltd and BHI Transportation, Inc. and they are not regulated by the NCUC. Only the ferry and on-island trams are regulated by the NCUC.

An attempt made by the Village in 2010 to get the parking and barge operations regulated was unsuccessful; however at that time, BHI Ltd had a vested interest in the island, so parking and barge prices remained reasonable.

Recently, BHI Ltd indicated it is seeking to sell to a private entity. Continued lack of regulation concerns islanders.

The news release stated in part: Any future private owner could raise parking and barge rates beyond a level that would be deemed fair in a regulated environment.

The process for determining parking regulation and barge operations is set by the NCUC and is expected to take six months or more.

In November 2021, a lack of appraisal of the BHI transportation system, which includes the ferry operations and on-island tram service, paused the potential purchase by the Village after questions arose from the State Auditor.

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