BERKELEY – Visitors to Berkeley’s South Seaside Park beach will pay more this year, as the daily beach fee for visitors 12 and up will rise from $5 a day to $8 a day.
Township Administrator John Camera explained that what amounts to a 60 percent rise in daily badge rates was needed to help sustain the budget for beach operations, where revenues from beach badge sales are not meeting expenses.
“We’re trying to sustain operations,” he said “We are still cheaper than the next town over.” Township Chief Financial Officer Fred Ebenau said beach operations cost about $110,000 each year, while the revenue is often around $90,000.
Resident Maureen Hall, the only person to speak at the hearing for the beach badge ordinance, said the price for a family to access South Seaside Park for a day is only a bit less than neighboring Island Beach State Park charges for a full season. The price there is $50 for the season for New Jersey residents for their vehicle, where the same car full of two adults and two children over 12 would be $32 for one day.
“I wonder if by raising prices you are going to lose a number of customers,” Hall said.
Camera responded that often there is a second year decrease in volume but that Seaside Heights plans to raise its own daily badge price at that point, which still keeps South Seaside Park affordable. Camera was previously the town administrator for Seaside Heights.
$8 for a weekday, daily badge.
$8 for a Saturday, Sunday or holiday such as Memorial Day.
$25 for a week’s badge.
$30 for a season badge bought before May 15.
$50 for a season badge bought May 15 or afterward.
Besides the badge prices, another change is hoped to help out senior residents with their beach badge. Instead of getting a senior photo each year, they would pay $10 for a lifetime badge. If the photo ID is lost, a reissued one costs $10. The service is available for residents 62 and older.
The badges would be in effect during beach season, which the ordinance lists as between May 15 to September 30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Berkeley’s oceanfront beaches are from 20th Avenue to the border with Island Beach State Park.