Legislative battle brews over beach fees

While many beach towns are still cleaning up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, some are looking ahead to next summer. But there’s a fight

Some lawmakers want beaches that use federal funds to rebuild to allow free access.

Some lawmakers want beaches that use federal funds to rebuild to allow free access. (12/20/12)

BELMAR - While many beach towns are still cleaning up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, some are looking ahead to next summer.

But there’s a fight brewing over whether residents and visitors should have to pay to enjoy the sand and surf.

Some legislators are considering a law that would require shore towns that use federal or state funds to rebuild their beaches after Hurricane Sandy to provide free access to the public.

Gov. Chris Christie and several shore towns say they want some discussion before considering the proposal. Some shore towns are planning to raise beach fees for 2013. They say they desperately need the funds to help rebuild after Sandy.

Sweeney says if more small shore towns consolidate services they could easily get rid of beach tags.
 

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