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Twilight Fees Waived at One of Three County Beaches

Beach-goers outraged.

The Suffolk County Parks Department has decided not to charge a $4 twilight parking fee at Hampton Bays' ; however, it has instituted the fee its West Hampton Dunes and Shirley-based . 

The move was made after the East End Supervisors and Mayors Association and local families who had previously enjoyed free nights at the beaches urged the county not to charge the fee between 5 p.m. at 8 p.m.

On Friday Suffolk County Parks Commissioner Greg Dawson said that his department had been considering not charging the fee at Meshutt, but the other fees were still on the table. He said the fees are necessary to help defray the costs of running the beaches. 

He surmises the fees will generate $90,000 for the parks department coffers.

County Legis. Jay Schneiderman, who voted against the measure that gave the parks department authority to charge the fee, said he believes the county is making an error in charging the fee whether it be at two beaches, or three. 

"People are going to be upset and I think this is going to impact the number of people that go to the beaches to listen to music in the evenings," said Schneiderman, who said he tried to compromise with the parks department.

"They feel they need the money," said Schneiderman, who feels that the county is going to be hearing from a lot of upset residents.

A number of Patch readers voiced their concerns over the fees last week and of the 96 people who respond to our poll about the issue, 83 said they are against the fees. 

 commented, "This is an absolute outrage. Nickel and dimed to death."

And  wrote, "They already raised the fee from $3-$8 and they are collecting money till 5pm. It is a crime that they charge this much for locals to park at the beach. I was so pissed that they raised the price $5. Why?? specially if we live in the community,and just want to go for a quick swim in the bay.. they are crooks.. and our taxes still keep going up and up.. find your money elsewhere and leave us residence alone."

Continue the conversation and post your thoughts in the comment section below.

densie bethel June 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM
thank you for this article. i go to smith point beach and am furious about this fee. i understand the county is an a financial mess but DO NOT gouge the people who live and work here. If the fee was waived at Meschutt get rid of it at the other two also.
Victoria Kingwell June 26, 2012 at 01:13 PM
So - pay the $65 for the season parking pass, and you can go to the beach in the daytime too. I go to Smith Point frequently and I know that, because of the music, there is a lot more trash generated and the need for two more security people. Perhaps the county can throw us a bone and have some lifeguard protection past 5:30.
Robert Busse July 09, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I am a lifelong resident of the area and have seen the fees going up and up ,What are the people that go to the flight 800 memorial going to pay to pay thier respects , I hope the county booths have currency exchanges .

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