Suffolk legislators Tuesday voted to reduce entry fees from $5 to $4 at the county's ocean beaches during July and August.
The move will cost the county about $74,000, Legis. Tom Barraga (R-West Islip) said. Lawmakers took no action on county golf greens fees, which had already been reduced to compete with privately owned courses.
"I've never liked the concept, with all the taxes we pay in New York State, to pay any fee to go to a beach," Barraga said.
Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook) said the county can't afford the fee cut.
"We don't have the money. When are you going to get that in your head?" he said.
Barraga said he believes more people will come to county beaches with the reduced fees, but Lindsay said beach attendance is "a matter of weather and timing."
County Executive Steve Levy is expected to sign the measure.
State park beach entry fees are increasing this summer from $8 to $10.
In other action, legislators:
Voted 11-7 to conduct an environmental impact study on the land for the proposed Legacy Village project in Yaphank, but an accompanying bond resolution to fund the study failed because it did not receive the required 12 votes. Levy aide Ben Zwirn said Levy will pursue another vote to fund the study.
Appointed former Suffolk Legis. James Gaughran as chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority. Legislators also named Errol Toulon Jr. of Smithtown to the authority. Toulon is the first African-American to sit on the five-member board.
Tabled a proposal to enact fixed terms for the police commissioner and Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services commissioner until the June 8 meeting.
Agreed to fund an independent appraisal of the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility, which Levy wants to sell to a private operator.
Approved a home rule message asking the state to pass a law creating a panel to conduct a study on whether Long Island could secede from New York.