Brick officials have introduced a revamped beach control ordinance, raising fees for badges and parking at the township’s ocean beaches and setting a wider range of potential pricing in case additional increases are required in the future. The hours of lifeguard duty were also changed in the proposal.
The ordinance, introduced unanimously by the township council last week, provides a new pricing floor that will serve as the 2022 beach fees. The ordinance also sets a maximum price which will not apply unless a future township council decides the price needs to be raised again. Towns across the Shore area have been raising beach badge prices this year to account for the state’s higher minimum wage as well as increased competition from private employers that have raised salaries. Brick employs a squad squad of about 75 lifeguards each season.
Under the new ordinance, a season badge will rise from $25 to $30; a daily badge will rise from $8 to $10; the daily parking fee will rise from $8 to $10; seasonal parking fees will remain at $30. Veterans of the U.S. military branches are exempt from beach badge fees and active duty members are exempt along with their families. Senior citizens ages 65 and over are entitled to a free daily badge with identification as well as a $15 seasonal parking tag.
The ordinance also allows the badge fees to rise, in the future, within a range of fees by a simple vote of the township council rather than modifying the ordinance as a whole, which comes at a cost to taxpayers. The maximum future price for seasonal badges is $50, daily badges max out at $20 and parking is limited to $50. None of those fees will apply next season – or any other season – without an additional vote from the governing body.
“The range is in case, in subsequent years, when none of us are here, the fees can be raised without having to do a new ordinance,” said Councilwoman Andrea Zapcic.
The beach’s operating hours will also change for the 2022 season under the new ordinance. Parking tags and badges will be required from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., replacing the previous 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. schedule.
A public hearing and second vote on the ordinance is scheduled for the Dec. 14 council meeting.