Going to the beach in Long Beach could get a lot more expensive.
The City Council is to hold a special meeting in the coming days to increase the price of beach passes for the summer season that kicks off Memorial Day weekend.
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How much would beach fees go up?
That’s yet to be determined. The City Council tabled a motion Tuesday night to raise fees after members debated the issue and heard residents’concerns. All of the proposed fees are subject to change with final approval.
The current proposal would raise daily nonresident beach fees to $16 from $12 for those 13 and older. Passes for children younger than 13 remain free.
Annual individual passes for Long Beach residents would increase to $60 from $40 for adults and to $30 from $20 for children.
Nonresident visitor annual passes for ages 13-61, would rise to $110 from $80.
Resident family passes that cover two adults and children under 18, would climb to $80 from $60. Nonresident family passes would cost $160.
Senior resident passes would increase to $20 from $15. Nonresident senior passes would rise to $45 from $30.
Economy passes valid for 10 beach visits would increase to $130 from $80 per person.
Passes for veterans and the physically challenged would rise to $20 from $15.
Why do city officials want to raise fees?
City officials said they need to cover a budget loss of at least $900,000 for operating the beach, adding that the losses come from paying lifeguards, beach maintenance and police special officers, and overtime.
The new fees are expected to bring in $1.5 million for the city, the equivalent of a 5 percent tax hike.
Beach fees were last increased in 2010 and in 2012.
When would the increase go into effect?
This summer’s beach passes are to go on sale Saturday but it has not been decided when the new fees would take effect if the council approves the increase.
What are the concerns about raising the fees?
Councilman Anthony Eramo, who opposed postponing a decision, said he thought some fees were too high. He suggested adjusting the family pass to $70 instead of $80.
Councilwoman Eileen Goggin said the increased fees would discourage visitors from coming to the city. She suggested rolling back the daily pass increase. “I don’t know any other beach that charges $16. I don’t think any beach is worth $16,” Goggin said. “It’s shortsighted to say this is the number and we have to raise taxes if we don’t do this.”
What happens if the fee increase isn’t approved?
Schnirman said the council would have to find other ways to make up for the lost revenue, impose cuts or layoffs in other departments, or cancel community events. He said most of the revenue from the sale of beach passes comes from daily passes purchased by nonresidents.
“It tremendously takes the burden off the residential taxpayers,” he said.
How much are beach fees elsewhere on Long Island?
Jones Beach State Park: $10 per car parking fee.
Lido Beach: $10 parking fee for residents; $25 for nonresidents.
Nassau County Resident Leisure Pass: $25 per person; valid for 3 years.
Suffolk County Resident Green Key Pass: $26 per person; valid for 3 years.