Mexico Beach closing all public parking at beach

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MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) Mexico Beach city leaders voted to suspend all roadside parking and close all parking lots near beach accesses in the city, hoping that will limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Mexico Beach city leaders voted to suspend all roadside parking and close all parking lots near beach accesses in the city, hoping that will limit the spread of the coronavirus. (WJHG/WECP)

“We’re hopeful that this is something that limits the access, so that we don’t have outside visitors that bring anything in,” Mexico Beach City Administrator, Mario Gisbert said.

“It’s not a for sure thing that is going to work, but we’re going to give it our best shot and try to keep our beaches open for our citizens and the property owners here,” Mexico Beach Mayor Al Cathey said.

Now residents must walk to the beach from their home, but some residents believe the council should take it a step further and shut the entire beach down.

“You close Bay County, Gulf County, you closed two, but what you’ve created by not closing the third is an even bigger problem,” Mexico Beach resident, Megan McLemore said.

Some say people will still find ways to break and bend the rules to come to the beach.

“None of us down here need any more devastation. Then we’ve already been through in the last two years. It’s gonna keep spreading like wildfire,” McLemore said.

However, others believe city leaders made the right call. So locals will still enjoy the beach and businesses can continue to recover from Hurricane Michael.

“We haven’t had a lot of business in the area. We haven’t had restaurants open or hotels or things of this nature. We haven’t had an influx of people it’s been so sporadic. I think it would not be a good idea to shut the beach,” Mexico Beach resident, Joyce Overstreet said.

Mexico Beach city officials say they'll revisit the emergency ordinance Tuesday to see if the restrictions are working.

During the special meeting, city leaders also announced Gulf County EMS may stop their service in Mexico Beach. Mexico Beach city officials say Bay County EMS is making plans to take over.

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