Wildwood, New Jersey has always promoted its free beach access to lure sunbathers. But now this holdout is exploring imposing beach fees to keep the sand clean.
Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano says he doesn’t want to charge for the beaches, but the cost to keep them clean is being born by taxpayers. Troiano says residents can’t afford a hike to cover expenses from visitors.
“Anyone who lives here is paying their beach fees, it’s called their taxes it’s called maintenance of the beach,” said Troiano. “Beach fees are already being paid by us, it’s their guests that come down who don’t pay and then we have to pay to maintain all the stuff that’s left behind once they are gone.”
The mayor says beach fees are only one of many revenue sources he’s considering–such as starting a paid shuttle to carry people from the boardwalk to the water’s edge.
“That cabanas, we were talking about having storage boxes on the beach, having a beach bar there have even been conversations about having a rather large beach bar on the beach,” said Troiano.
Troiano says first a study will be done and then there could even be a referendum for taxpayers to decide if they want to start selling beach tags.